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?
Interesting Read on the First Documented Coronavirus Reinfection
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.
The Race to a Vaccine
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 Difficulty of Predicting the Coronavirus Trajectory
There is currently a debate about the trajectory of the new coronavirus disease, now named COVID-19. Different models are predicting different outcomes and numbers provided by Chinese authorities seem to indicate a steep increase in cases. Continue Reading
WHO Declares Global Health Emergency
The continuous spread of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) led the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency today. WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the main reason for the declaration “is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries”. Ghebreyesus made sure to praise the measures and the ways in which Chinese authorities are controlling this outbreak. Continue Reading
The Norwegian Approach to Public Health and Pandemic Preparedness
As with many other countries around the world, biodefense and public health planning, surveillance, and response are the responsibilities of numerous intertwined agencies within a country that all have different assignments and responsibilities, yet have to work together to successfully protect a nation from harm.
Last summer, I interviewed a Norwegian public health expert who chose to remain anonymous. She shared with me valuable information regarding the Norwegian Government’s approach to public health. As the Norwegian health system is universal and available to everyone, I was interested to find out how they organize pandemic preparedness and the agencies involved. Continue Reading
Flu shots are now available!
Flu shots for the 2019-20 season are out. Go and get yours! It’s the best prevention that’s available for now. I got mine on Labor Day at my local pharmacy, which proved to be a good decision as there were no lines with people still away for the holiday. Continue Reading