There is no denying that diagnoses and treatments of infectious diseases differ globally and culturally within different regions of the world. And as we witnessed and experienced the various countries’ responses to the Covid pandemic, economics do play a big part in how countries respond to and treat infectious diseases. Each of us has an obligation and a part to play in keeping our nation and world safe, healthy, and secure. This requires a continuous effort on our part to commit to improving what we can, where we can (Montgomery, 2019).
Infectious diseases are emerging at an alarming pace worldwide and are due to numerous factors, such as, microbial adaptation, increasing human population migration, urbanization, conflict, and instability, and intensified animal-human interface. The litmus test for an effective national public health program is its ability to be ready to initiate an effective response to an unknown emerging or re-emerging infectious disease or public health event. The most impactful of which are public health programs that are built with the understanding that they must be able to help countries strengthen core public health capacity so that new threats can be detected and contained before they become international crises (Montgomery, 2019).
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is on a mission with its Global Disease Detection (GDD) program since its inception in 2004 to increase global health security. This is being done by systematically bringing resources together to promote a broader approach to infection management and continuous effort to prepare countries for any infectious disease threat that could occur. Today, after more than a decade of partnerships in groundbreaking science, disease detection, and response successful strategies include increasing coordinated, multi-center scientific collaboration across nations to strengthen the global network; increasing the number of public health professionals trained; broadening and strengthening global partnerships; and reducing gaps in global preparedness for emerging health threats (Montgomery, 2019).
Early detection relies heavily on surveillance, and while sophisticated countries are successful at this, developing countries are struggling due to the lack of the resources or infrastructure to support this activity. And this is where the majority of the population resides. One way to close this gap in infectious disease surveillance and detection can be mitigated by the dispersion and use of technological advances such as regional syndromic surveillance, bioinformatics, and rapid diagnostic methods. Outbreaks and epidemics are virtually guaranteed to continue but a unified systematic approach for developing and implementing responses and utilizing advanced technologies will help to contain these outbreaks. Developing countries will require assistance and collaboration to fortify their teams and resources (Bloom, 2019).
Bloom, D.E., Cadarette, D. (2019). Infectious disease threats in the twenty-first century: Strengthening the global response. Front Immunology. 28;10:549. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00549.
Montgomery, J.M., Woolverton, A., Hedges. (2019). Ten years of global disease detection and
counting: program accomplishments and lessons learned in building global health security. BMC Public Health. 19 (Suppl 3), 510. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6769-2