Preparing for Pandemics through Surveillance

Davies, Sara E. (2009) Preparing for Pandemics through Surveillance. Elcano Newsletter (52). 7 p.. ISSN 1698-5184

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Abstract

The international surveillance of infectious diseases is being addressed through international, national and non-state networks. Summary: Within the next century there will be a rise in the number of new infectious pathogens, while the drug-resistance of existing pathogens such as dengue, meningitis and tuberculosis will also increase. The need to prepare for the pandemics we can predict, let alone the ones that we can’t, has led to calls for investment in preventive efforts. One area of particular growth is infectious disease surveillance networks, set up by both state and non-state actors. International disease surveillance networks exist in a variety of formats: email alert networks, sophisticated laboratory diagnostic networks, cell phone alerts and web scan systems. Generally, the global response to the proliferation of these networks has been positive. Having surveillance in place for situations when either states do not have the capacity to respond to an outbreak or may be tempted to cover up an outbreak, makes the rest of the world safer. But what are the potential political obstacles to the proliferation of infectious disease surveillance networks, and will more ‘disease watchers’ create secure foundations for protecting the global community from ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC)?. This ARI outlines three reasons for caution: (1) state capacity is still weak in areas where the greatest numbers of new pathogens have been diagnosed; (2) the ability to identify where a disease outbreak has occurred does not alleviate the political obstacles to international efforts to contain such an outbreak; and (3) we are yet to establish a correlation between the multiplication of surveillance networks and better responses to disease outbreaks.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Estudio sólo disponible en inglés
Uncontrolled Keywords: Seguridad y Defensa
Subjects: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
BIOLOGY; FOOD; HEALTH > MEDICINE; DISEASES > HEALTH CONTROL.
BIOLOGY; FOOD; HEALTH > MEDICINE; DISEASES > INFECTIOUS DISEASES.
BIOLOGY; FOOD; HEALTH > MEDICINE; DISEASES > EPIDEMICS.
BIOLOGY; FOOD; HEALTH > MEDICINE; DISEASES > DISEASE CONTROL.
BIOLOGY; FOOD; HEALTH > MEDICINE; DISEASES > HEALTH.
Divisions: Real Instituto Elcano, RIE
Depositing User: Jorge Horcas Pulido
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 09:51
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2012 09:51
URI: http://biblioteca.ribei.org/id/eprint/1699

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