The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Global Health Risk Framework: Governance for Global Health: Workshop Summary (2016)

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the health sector. Education, child protection, commerce, transportation, and human rights have all suffered. The consequences and lethality of Ebola have increased interest in coordinated global response to infectious threats, many of which could disrupt global health and commerce far more than the recent outbreak.

In order to explore the potential for improving international management and response to outbreaks the National Academy of Medicine agreed to manage an international, independent, evidence-based, authoritative, multistakeholder expert commission. As part of this effort, the Institute of Medicine convened four workshops in summer of 2015 to inform the commission report. The presentations and discussions from the Governance for Global Health Workshop are summarized in this report.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: The only way public health agencies can deal with infectious disease is to have good surveillance in place, wait for an outbreak to happen in a human population, and then rush to contain it.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    By identifying pathogens in the animals where they naturally live and monitoring those organisms as they move from animals into people, it may be possible to prevent deadly new infections of animal origin from entering and racing through human populations.

  • Correct!

    By identifying pathogens in the animals where they naturally live and monitoring those organisms as they move from animals into people, it may be possible to prevent deadly new infections of animal origin from entering and racing through human populations.