This Wall Street Journal article was written by Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2017. While COVID-19 preoccupies us at the moment, it is crucial to begin thinking about the next inevitable pandemics. Dr. Frieden explains that in the years after COVID-19, it is likely that another infectious disease, possibly a similar pneumonia-like illness, suddenly emerges. Will we be ready?
The first documented Coronavirus reinfection was reported in Hong Kong on August 24th, 2020. Experts say this finding was not unexpected, “especially given the millions of people who have been infected worldwide”. While there have been many presumed cases of reinfection, this case was the first to be confirmed.
While social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of Coronavirus and flatten the curve of infections to make sure that hospitals are not overwhelmed, to return to full normalcy, we need to discover, test, and administer a vaccine in large quantities. The good news is that there are currently 35 companies racing to create a vaccine and at least 52 vaccine programs underway.
The US seems behind in its efforts to contain the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Learnings from other countries, in particular Italy and Germany, indicate that infections have already spread widely in communities and can no longer be traced and controlled. These countries are ahead of the curve and there is no reason to believe that developments in the US will not follow this same path. Continue Reading
To anyone interested in the topic of public health, a visit to the David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta is a must for two reasons:
1) The exhibit provides a comprehensive, yet easy to understand overview of the history and the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2) It shows the various battles fought against global diseases in the past and in the present, in great detail.