Predicting, preventing, and controlling pandemics

(Thanks to GMU Biodefense MS student Deborah Harden for passing this along)

“About 60 percent of infectious diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that make the jump to humans from other species; this includes some of the most devastating disease outbreaks of the past thirty years, including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and SARS; despite the huge and rising toll of such diseases, many gaps remain in our understanding of how these “zoonoses” evolve, develop, and spread — gaps that must be filled if we are to succeed in preventing or at least reducing the impact of a next pandemic

About 60 percent of infectious diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that make the jump to humans from other species. This includes some of the most devastating disease outbreaks of the past thirty years, including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and SARS. Despite the huge and rising toll of such diseases, many gaps remain in our understanding of how these “zoonoses” evolve, develop, and spread — gaps that must be filled if we are to succeed in preventing or at least reducing the impact of a next pandemic.

A new paper published in the Lancet by Stephen S. Morse, Ph.D., professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and colleagues, lays out a series of research and surveillance opportunities that could help bridge these gaps and move the global pandemic strategy from response to pre-emption and prediction. The paper, ‘Predicting and Preventing the Next Pandemic Zoonosis’, is part of a special Lancet series that explores the ecology, drivers, and dynamics of zoonoses with a view toward improving prediction of the next pandemic and reducing the human and economic costs.”

Read more here.

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