The UK has a new “Pandemic Radar” system plan

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Rivers and George’s proposal were read by the right people.Five days after President Joe Biden took office, the new government Firm Create a national epidemiological prediction and outbreak analysis center. In March, they designated $500 million in funding as part of the U.S. Rescue Plan Act.

This is where the upcoming U.S. institutions coincide with the hoped international efforts: their success will depend on data: richer data, more refined data, but moreIn the mid-20th century, inaccurate weather forecasts were the source of late-night TV jokes. What makes it a reliable job is to deploy data collection equipment—satellites, Doppler radar, weather balloons, automatic ground observation systems—and implement supercomputer processing capabilities and graphics systems to understand and represent results.

Data collection equipment that can help us scan for pandemics already exists. (You may be reading this article.) Mobile data, purchase history, search terms, words you use in your tweets — all of these represent information that can power forecasting tools. The public health department has not done a good job in accessing data, collating and analyzing data. Even in rich countries, the channels to obtain it have not been opened up. In the global south, the problem is even more serious.

“The potential capabilities of different countries and regions vary greatly,” Rivers said. Obtaining these data to help a country sound the alarm, let alone contribute to global forecasts, “it may even be a matter of shifting from paper reports to digital reports,” she added. “It’s hard to see how you can jump to the end and have an advanced radar system without focusing on these basic parts first, because every part of every jurisdiction is a difficult task.”

Take the test results as an example. It is best to insert the results of any diagnostic tests performed during the visit to determine whether a wave of respiratory infections is caused by a common virus or a new strain. But so many people do not have access to health care services that the predictive power of diagnostic data may be limited.On the other hand, most people use sewage systems (if available) and wastewater sampling Can detect pathogens Do not infringe on personal privacy or force the construction of an interoperable recording system.

Animal data It is another gap. Structures for reporting cases of human diseases and wildlife and livestock diseases already exist, but they are independent and managed by different United Nations agencies. Reports in one system will not sound the alarm in another system-this is an oversight, because many emerging diseases are zoonotic, starting in animals and then spreading to humans.

The news that a coronavirus carried by cats and dogs was found in people’s old throat swabs two weeks ago proved this. Because of an academic project, it was long overdue. These tests are not reported through the notification system, and there is no indication that someone has set up anything new to track the virus. “We currently don’t have a system that can pay close attention to the canine coronavirus,” Carlson said. “We know this is a virus, and it can be transmitted to humans through recombination. We have Seen It did it in a very limited way. We know this is a potential threat to health and safety. But there is no global monitoring. “

The final question that the pandemic radar will face is: Who benefits? The colonial model of resource extraction—obtaining commodities from the global South and using it to benefit the global North—has tripped up disease surveillance before. In 2007, amidst worldwide concerns about the spread of H5N1 avian flu, Indonesia Stop Send the virus collected in its territory to the WHO influenza surveillance network. WHO scolded The country says it is endangering the world. The Indonesian government – there were more bird flu deaths than any other country at the time –Responded This is the only possible means for it to fight inequality. If wealthy countries use the Indonesian virus to develop avian flu vaccines, Indonesia wants to obtain a guaranteed and cheap vaccine — without having to compete for products that would not exist without its help.

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