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.
Check out this COVID-19 simulation tool. It allows you to change several different variables both individually and together. You can test how duration, interventions, severity, and contagiousness all affect the trajectory of this fast-spreading virus.
I originally created this blog as a way to spread awareness of the importance of public health preparedness, as it was an undervalued and underfunded topic. However, times have changed and public health and emergency management are at the forefront of news and public policy today as a result of COVID-19.
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
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
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
An important issue in the public health area today is dual use research and technology, a topic that often remains unspoken about and unknown to the public. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “dual use research of concern (DURC) is life sciences research that is intended for benefit, but which might easily be misapplied to do harm”. 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
During my meeting with Prof. Dr. Manfred Wildner and his colleague Dr. Herbert Zöllner in Munich, Germany, we discussed the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the German, UK, and US public health systems. The systems are strikingly different.
Over the summer, I met with Prof. Dr. Manfred Wildner and his colleague, Dr. Herbert Zöllner, in Munich, Germany to learn about the structure of public health institutions and emergency preparedness in Germany.
Germany is a federal republic consisting of 16 states. Each individual state is responsible for public health, as well as other matters including policing and education. I wanted to understand how Germany, and in particular the individual states, organize themselves to prepare for public health emergencies. Continue Reading