The cable industry is set to help warn Americans about the H1N1 virus, better known as the swine flu, with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association distributing government public service announcements (PSAs) and NCTA members pledging to air the spots.
The cable industry is working to assist the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) increase awareness and promote the prevention of the swine flu.
While the swine flu is not as big a threat as the avian flu, which HHS describes as “lethal,” it can produce more severe illnesses than the typical flu.
According to HHS: “This year, the H1N1 (swine) flu virus may cause a more dangerous flu season with a lot more people getting sick, being hospitalized and dying than during a regular flu season. H1N1 (swine flu) is a new virus first seen in the United States. It is contagious and spreads from person to person. Like seasonal flu, illness in people with H1N1 can vary from mild to severe.”
“The upcoming flu season, and the prospect of additional widespread outbreaks of the H1N1 virus, could become disruptive to the everyday lives, health and welfare of millions of Americans,” noted Kyle McSlarrow, president and CEO of the NCTA. “With cable’s ability – through thousands of local cable systems and scores of ad-supported cable networks – to reach the vast majority of American households, we think it’s critical to add our resources to the government’s efforts to help all Americans avoid the flu and other infectious diseases.”
A satellite feed will be available on Oct. 13 from 2-2:30 p.m. EST for cable operators and programmers to “downlink” the PSAs. Information on satellite coordinates and other ways of obtaining the PSAs is available from the NCTA’s Communications & Public Affairs Department by contacting Helen Dimsdale at firstname.lastname@example.org  or Allison Shelton at email@example.com , or by calling (202) 222-2350.
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