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
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 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
Last summer, I met with Dr. Tomoya Saito in Tokyo to learn about outbreak and bioterror preparedness in Japan.
Our conversation will be posted in two parts. Part I (below) is about the role that different Japanese institutions play to prevent and respond to biological threats. In Part II (to be posted soon) we will discuss how dual-use technologies change the risk of biothreats.
Dr. Saito is Chief Senior Researcher at the Department of Health Crisis Management of the National Institute of Public Health of Japan (NIPH). His current area of research is biosecurity, public health emergency preparedness and response, and simulation epidemiology. He is based in Saitama, Japan.
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Containing and Preventing Biological Threats, by Jeffrey R. Ryan, is a very comprehensive and multi-faceted book. This was one of the first books that I read when I began learning about global public health and it gave me a great introduction into the sometimes complicated field of bioterrorism.
On the preparedness front in the United States, the new National Biodefense Strategy was released on September 19, 2018. The new strategy establishes clear and thoughtful goals that will become a vital part of “managing the risk of biological incidents… in today’s interconnected world” 1. Continue Reading
This is the second part of my conversation with Professor Benjamin J. Cowling about influenza pandemic prevention and preparedness. The first part was about pandemic preparedness and genomics. In this part, Prof. Cowling focuses on national and global responses.
I recently spoke with Professor Benjamin J. Cowling about influenza pandemic prevention and preparedness.
Our conversation will be posted in two parts. The first part below is about pandemic preparedness and genomics. The second part (to be posted next week) will examine national and global responses.