Researchers propose process to detect and contain emerging diseases

Science Daily  December 18, 2020 To date, the main pre-emptive response to zoonotic diseases outbreaks has been extensive, cost-heavy efforts to document virus diversity in wildlife. To enable fast detection of new zoonotic disease outbreaks, an international team of researchers (USA – University of Arkansas, George Washington University, University of South Carolina, Kenya, Canada, France Gabon, Republic of Congo, Rwanda) proposes a system of procuring and screening samples from hospital patients with fevers of unknown origin, analyzing samples from suspicious fatalities of unknown cause, testing blood serum in high-risk or sentinel groups and analyzing samples that have already been collected […]

A step toward a universal flu vaccine

MIT News  October 7, 2020 Most flu vaccines consist of inactivated flu viruses coated with a protein called hemagglutinin (HA), which helps them bind to host cells. After vaccination, the immune system generates squadrons of antibodies which almost always bind to the head of the HA protein which mutates rapidly. Parts of the HA stem very rarely mutate. The immune system is intrinsically not good at seeing the conserved parts of these proteins, which if effectively targeted would elicit an antibody response that would neutralize multiple influenza types. A team of researchers in the US (MIT, Harvard University, industry) describe […]

Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak Suggests We Aren’t Ready for a Pandemic

Global Biodefense  February 7, 2020 According to a top biosecurity expert in the US over the past decade and a half, since the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, it’s clear that China has built stronger public health capacity. What this outbreak is making clear is that there is no country, including the United States, that is fully prepared for a high consequence outbreak. This outbreak is obviously a bad situation and we don’t know which direction it is going to go yet. But we do know that we don’t have the capability to detect, isolate, and ultimately stop a […]

Joint Call to Action on Pandemic Preparedness and Response: 7 Recommendations for Readiness

Global Biodefense  January 20, 2020 The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have issued 7 recommendations in a joint call for action for new public-private cooperation to improve Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Recommendations have been reviewed, built upon and agreed to since first introduced at the Event 201 pandemic exercise conducted in October 2019 that featured a fictional coronavirus igniting a major pandemic and 15 global corporate and health stakeholders from key industries responding. The next severe pandemic will not only cause great illness and loss of life but could also […]

The US Is Woefully Underprepared For The Next Pandemic

Science Alert  August 20, 2018 Pandemic policy scholars believe that it is essential to prepare the country and the world for the next pandemic. It is not a matter of if, but when, the next disease will sweep the world with deadly and costly consequences. Topic areas that national leaders must address to create better preparedness and response capabilities include – overuse and misuse of antibiotics; ensuring continuity of supply chains; the absence of high-level leadership. If the United States chooses to elevate the issue of pandemic preparedness and biosecurity as a national security priority, we could be prepared Outbreaks […]