Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EPIDEMICS
A global early warning system for infectious diseases
by Staff Writers
Millbrook NY (SPX) May 24, 2016


A model for a global warning system for infectious diseases. Image courtesy EMBO. For a larger version of this image please go here.

In the recent issue of EMBO reports, Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and John Drake of the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology call for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases. Such a system would use computer models to tap into environmental, epidemiological and molecular data, gathering the intelligence needed to forecast where disease risk is high and what actions could prevent outbreaks or contain epidemics.

An early warning system would shift the infectious disease paradigm from reactive - where first responders scramble to contain active threats, as in the recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks - to pre-emptive management of risk. Infectious disease intelligence could assess vulnerabilities based on the ebb and flow of risk in real-time, and inform targeted responses that minimize damages.

"For far too long our main strategy for tackling infectious disease has been defense after emergence, when a lot of people are already suffering," Han explained, "We are at an exciting point in time where technology and Big Data present us with another option, one that is anticipatory and has real potential to improve global health security."

Han and Drake propose that a three-tiered system with "watches," "warnings" and "emergencies" - like that used for severe weather alerts - would help decision makers and the public to make more informed decisions.

They explain, "Much of the destructive potential of infectious diseases stems from the fact that they often strike unexpectedly, leaving little time for preparation. The best countermeasure is therefore an early warning to give affected regions or communities more time to prepare for the impact."

Machine learning methods have already proven successful at mining data from multiple sources to identify animal species that are likely to carry disease and geographic hotspots vulnerable to outbreaks of specific pathogens. Scaling up this effort to create a tool for global health authorities will require an increase in the stream of data available for modeling, investment in a quantitative workforce, and open dialogue among academic modelers and decision makers.

Data sharing is essential. Han explains, "Accurately predicting potential outbreaks and guiding effective responses relies on rapidly assimilating data from multiple sources to identify trigger conditions in real time. Ironically, in this age of Big Data, one of the few remaining hard limits on our forecasting ability is the volume and quality of basic scientific information. We can't collect data on everything - yet - but, we are getting a better sense of the kinds of data that would be the most useful."

Drake notes, "One of the key problems is figuring out how to integrate multiple data streams. Also, there are some aspects of epidemics that are poorly understood and can change quickly, such as how individual behavior changes in the face of a perceived acute health threat. We need better sources of information about these processes, if we are to develop a reliable basis for forecasting."

A global early warning system for infectious diseases would be transformative in efforts to advance global health security and improve global health equity. Learn more about what is needed to harness Big Data and technology for the safety of all the world's citizens in "Future directions in analytics for infectious disease intelligence".


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EPIDEMICS
NASA Helps Forecast Zika Risk
Huntsville AL (SPX) May 05, 2016
NASA is assisting public health officials, scientists and communities to better understand Zika virus and try to limit the spread of the disease it causes. Scientists at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have partnered with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and other institutions to forecast the potential spread of Zika virus ... read more


EPIDEMICS
Pre-launch processing is underway with Indonesia's BRIsat for the next Arianespace heavy-lift flight

Russia Spent $1.3Bln on Vostochny Cosmodrome So Far

New Antares Rocket Rolls Out at NASA Wallops

First work platforms powered tested in VAB for Space Launch System

EPIDEMICS
AAC Microtec to develop miniaturized motion controller for space rovers and robots

The rise and fall of Martian lakes

Opportunity microscopic imaging camera back to normal operations

Second cycle of Martian seasons completing for Curiosity Rover

EPIDEMICS
NASA research gives new insights into how the Moon got inked

First rocket made ready for launch at Vostochny spaceport

Supernova iron found on the moon

Russia to shift all Lunar launches to Vostochny Cosmodrome

EPIDEMICS
Dwarf Planet Haumea's Lunar System Smaller than Anticipated

Andre Brahic, discoverer of Neptune's rings, dies aged 73

Largest unnamed world in the solar system 2007 OR10

Icy Hydra's highly reflective surface

EPIDEMICS
Star Has Four Mini-Neptunes Orbiting in Lock Step

Exoplanets' Orbits Point to Planetary Migration

Synchronized planets reveal clues to planet formation

Kepler space telescope finds another 1284 exo planets

EPIDEMICS
Air Force demos key rocket engine technologies for new launch systems

Russia to start financing new Phoenix carrier rocket development in 2018

Orbital ATK completes installation of world's largest solid rocket motor

Generation Orbit signs Space Act Agreement for GOLauncher 1 Testing

EPIDEMICS
China, U.S. hold first dialogue on outer space safety

Long March-7 rocket delivered to launch site

China's space technology extraordinary, impressive says Euro Space Center director

China can meet Chile's satellite needs: ambassador

EPIDEMICS
Close-up Hubble images show new details of comet

Asteroid Mining - What the Heck

DSI and Luxembourg partner to commercialize space resources

Comet from Oort Cloud brings clues about solar system's origins




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement