Mark Woolhouse comments on epidemics management in Science

Prompted by the recent Ebola press conference held by UN, World Bank and WHO, Mark Woolhouse, Patrick Drury and Christopher Dye comment on the ways of modern outbreak management in their editorial published in Science last week.

They note that in addition to strengthening the response to outbreaks it’s important to work on global surveillance and detection at the very early stages of the epidemics when it is easier to contain.

They highlight the need for a single international agency in charge of managing global health hazards, with existing agencies participating.

Most emerging infections, including Ebola, have animal origin; therefore veterinary sector has a key role to play. New techniques (handheld data collection devices, social media, risk modelling and analysis of pathogen genome data) can be used to support traditional ways of monitoring outbreaks.

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