In handling swine flu, public health officials find themselves in a unique position -- giving the public the information it needs without causing confusion, complacency or panic. NY1's Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
The daily press conferences are numerous, all looped into a 24-hour news cycle.
From an international to a local level, public officials have been offering a number of perspectives on a developing story, logging lots of camera time trying to explain how serious the threat of swine flu is while at the same time trying to calm our fears.
"We feel the more upfront plain information we give the less concern that's inappropriate there will be. You fear most what you understand least," said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.
But still, public reaction is mixed about the message that's being conveyed.
"I still don't fully understand all that. I don't think they fully understand all that's happening. And it's frightening," said one New Yorker.
"People don't know if they should be very sensitive to it, or if it's something that they should take lightly or heavily," said another New Yorker.
Health officials have been clear from the start that swine flu is a threat that could remain mild, or become much larger and more serious.
James Tallon, a former New York State Assembly Health Committee chairman, and President of the United Hospital Fund says in coming up with a measured response to swine flu, public officials are in a unique position.
"I think the most important message, the message ought to be tilted towards the scientific leadership. They have to be thinking in their message about what do people understand? That is, if I use a word that is a common word in public health like 'pandemic' does my audience really understand that word? And the big question the audience wants to know -- what can or should I do today now?" said Tallon.
One thing people can do is look beyond the headlines and continue to seek out additional sources of information.
For the latest updates, residents can visit both the Centers for Disease Control and New York City Department of Health websites.