On average, in one corner of the world or another, a new infectious disease has emerged every year for the past 30 years: Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Nipah virus, Hendra, and many more.
As a hotspot for emerging and remerging diseases, Africa needs to develop a research base and scientific environment that will help accurately detect, document and monitor a range of pathogens.
The World Health Organization R&D Blueprint aims to accelerate the availability of medical technologies during epidemics by focusing on a list of prioritized emerging diseases for which medical countermeasures are insufficient or nonexistent.
Much has been learned about the links between the degree of preparedness and the effectiveness of response to a breakout of infectious diseases. Being prepared involves vital elements ranging from laboratory surveillance to communication about the risks.
The 2013–2016 outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa led to unprecedented morbidity and mortality.
Less than three months since an Ebola outbreak was declared, and after only about 50 cases, the outbreak’s efficient containment is a remarkable achievement that stands in stark contrast to the West African epidemic that spiraled into a two-year global crisis with over 28,000 cases.
Despite the enormous government efforts, some practitioners of alternative forms of medicine made conflicting statements in social media, even casting doubt over the existence of Nipah virus. This confusion was compounded by a string of statements on social media declaring that fruit was a vehicle for the virus.
When Ebola flared up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, a wave of international public health workers had just left the country, where they had been deployed to combat cholera.
As health officials, governments and global business leaders prepare for threats of global outbreaks, many are examining the ways that financial structures, supply chains, and information sharing can work together to prevent calamitous outcomes.
The Joint Action EMERGE is working to deliver an efficient response to emerging and high-threat pathogens at the EU level.