Current global disease control efforts focus largely on attempting to stop pandemics after they have already emerged. This fire brigade approach, which generally involves drugs, vaccines, and behavioral change, has severe limitations. Just as we discovered in the 1960s that it is better to prevent heart attacks than try to treat them, over the next 50 years we will realize that it is better to stop pandemics before they spread. That effort will increasingly be focused on viral forecasting and pandemic prevention.
Dr. Wolfe discusses how novel viruses enter the human population from animals and go on to become pandemics. He’ll discuss attempts by his own research group to study this process and recent attempts to control viruses. By creating a global network at the interface of humans and animals researchers are working to move viral forecasting from a theoretical possibility to a reality.