Three reasons the US is not ready for the next pandemic: Public health experts warn there WILL be a global outbreak of flu – and it could crush America…(“The Plan”??)

Monday, August 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

Christine Crudo Blackburn, Andrew Natsios and Gerald W Parker all work in public health at Texas A&M University
Blackburn is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Natsios is director of the school’s government and public research center, Parker is director of the Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program
They explain how three main factors are making the US more vulnerable
It is not a matter of if, but when, the next disease will sweep the world with deadly and costly consequences

By CHRISTINE CRUDO BLACKBURN
DAILYMAIL.COM
20 August 2018

One hundred years after the Great Influenza pandemic of 1918, global health leadership stands at a crossroads.

The United States continues to expand its policy of isolationism at a time when international cooperation in health could not be more important.

The state of pandemic preparedness and the necessary steps for protecting the people throughout the world was the topic of The Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs’ 2nd Annual White Paper.

As pandemic policy scholars, with two of us spending the majority of our career in the federal government, we believe that it is essential to prepare the country and the world for the next pandemic. It is not a matter of if, but when, the next disease will sweep the world with deadly and costly consequences.

There are many topic areas that national leaders must address to create better preparedness and response capabilities, but we believe three are most urgent.

These include targeting the resistance to antimicrobial agents that has come about because of overuse and misuse of antibiotics; ensuring continuity of supply chains; and improving and strengthening leadership.

Overuse of a wonder drug

Prior to Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, even the smallest scratch could be deadly.

Its discovery, however, helped contribute to the perception that man had conquered disease, despite Fleming’s warning that ‘the thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of a man who succumbs to infection with the penicillin resistant organism.’

Now, 70 years later, society is quickly reaching the precipice of that reality.

The problem of antibiotic overuse and misuses is extensive. In fact, in the United States, 80 percent of all antibiotic use occurs in the agricultural sector and the majority of this use is nontherapeutic, meaning it is not medically necessary.

Misuse of antibiotics also occurs frequently in the human health sector, however.

The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance estimated that if changes are not made, the world could witness 10 million deaths annuallydue to antimicrobial resistant infections.

To help prevent this public health threat from reaching that level of crisis with potential catastrophic implications, we recommend four actions.

First, an increase of investment needs to be made by the federal government and the private sector into research, development and production of new antimicrobials.

In 2014, WHO also called for greater investment in discovering new antimicrobials, but in the last 50 years, only one new class of antibiotics has been discovered.

Second, governments throughout the world need to create stronger internationally harmonized regulatory systems for agriculture production and veterinary use of antimicrobials.

The Rest…HERE

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