April 14, 2020

A pandemic is not a war

Deadliest Enemy. Our War Against Killer Germs

Key messages from the book:
To review, our greatest threats are:
1. Pathogens of pandemic potential, which essentially means influenza and the downstream effects of antimicrobial resistance.
2. Pathogens of critical regional importance, which include Ebola, coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, other viruses such as Lassa and Nipah, and Aedes-transmitted diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, and Zika.
3. Bioterrorism and dual-use research of concern (DURC), and gain-of-function research of concern (GOFRC).
4. Endemic diseases that continue to have a major impact on the world’s health, particularly among emerging nations, including malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, viral hepatitis, childhood diarrheal diseases, and bacterial pneumonia.

Priority 1: Create a Manhattan Project–like program to secure a game-changing influenza vaccine and vaccinate the world.
Priority 2: Establish an international organization to urgently address all aspects of antimicrobial resistance.
Priority 3: Support and substantially expand the mission and scope of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) to fast-track comprehensive public-private vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and distribution for diseases of current or potential critical regional importance.
Priority 4: Launch the Global Alliance for Control of Aedes-Transmitted Diseases (GAAD) and coordinate with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s malaria strategy, “Accelerate to Zero.
Priority 5: Fully implement the recommendations of the bipartisan report of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.
Priority 6: Establish an international organization similar to the National Scientific Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to minimize the use of DURC and GOFRC to transmit pathogens of pandemic potential
Priority 7: Recognize that TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other life-threatening infectious diseases remain major global health problems
Priority 8: Anticipate climate-change effects
Priority 9: Adopt a One Health approach to human and animal diseases throughout the world.