This chapter explores the concept of health protection, defines its scope, and illustrates how health protection may be needed in relation to a wide range of issues with specific examples that the author has been involved with during his public health career. A framework for health protection which covers both communicable and non-communicable disease threats in both the natural and built environment is proposed. Examples covered include chemical incidents; the emergence of new and novel infectious diseases; the crisis in measles, mumps and rubella vaccination following the publication of a since-discredited scare in the Lancet by former Dr Andrew Wakefield; the Hillsborough football stadium disaster; the humanitarian crisis in North Macedonia during the Kosovo emergency; and a fatal mass shooting in Cumbria. The emergence of the threat of HIV infection to injecting drug users in Liverpool is described together with details of the response which included the first large-scale syringe exchange programme. The importance of preparedness, training, intelligence, and inclusive public communication is stressed as well as the dynamic nature of health protection.
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