Vaccines and stronger public health infrastructures are critical to tackle global health threats, said experts at a briefing hosted by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 21.
The program coincided with the opening of the Smithsonian’s “Outbreak” exhibit and the release of a public opinion survey that found 95% of Americans think infectious and emerging diseases facing other countries will pose a ‘major’ or ‘minor’ threat to the U.S. in the next few years. “It’s not a question of if there will be another outbreak but when,” said Dr. Stacey Schultz-Cherry, president, American Society for Virology.
“It’s important for those who work with, and who oversee the government, to educate, surveil, and detect infectious diseases and communicate with the public what they need to know,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said a universal flu vaccine would safeguard against many strains of flu, including those that cause pandemics. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called immunization a public health success story. “Even for diseases for which we have less than perfect control, like pertussis, mumps and measles, we’re still preventing 90% of the cases that occurred a century ago,” she added.
Watch a recording of the event at https://cs.pn/2rZxVwR.