July 2, 2010

In the Spotlight – Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases: A Report

The Importance of Disease Surveillance to the Control and Prevention of Emerging Zoonotic Diseases

Recent outbreaks of pandemic H1N1 (so-called "swine flu"), avian influenza H5N1 ("bird flu"), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are examples of how zoonotic diseases -- those transmissible between humans and animals -- can threaten health and economies around the world. In this video, six members of the authoring committee of Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases, a report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, explain why responding to these diseases is so important and the steps they recommend to sustain global surveillance and response.

>>> VIEW VIDEO [YouTube] [video 7 min 5 secs]
Description source: YouTube

The Report

The full report is available to read online. From the publication description on The National Academies Press website this report “assesses some of the disease surveillance systems around the world, and recommends ways to improve early detection and response. The book presents solutions for improved coordination between human and animal health sectors, and among governments and international organizations.

Parties seeking to improve the detection and response to zoonotic diseases -- including U.S. government and international health policy makers, researchers, epidemiologists, human health clinicians, and veterinarians -- can use this book to help curtail the threat zoonotic diseases pose to economies, societies, and health."

Key Recommendations

The key recommendations from Global Surveillance report have been consolidated into a short 4-page publication, Recommendations of the Committee on Achieving Sustainable Global Capacity for Surveillance and Response to Emerging Diseases of Zoonotic Origin. “Recommendations assigned as high priority are foundational for a global integrated zoonotic disease surveillance and response system.

The remaining recommendations are considered priority, though not listed in rank order. While resources and leadership sufficient for carrying out these recommendations may result in different implementation timetables, each of the 12 recommendations is essential to achieve and sustain a successful global system.”

High-Priority Recommendations:
  • Establish surveillance and response strategies through collaboration at national and international levels
  • Design sustainable funding strategies
  • Create a coordinating body for global zoonotic disease surveillance and response