With global population on track to reach 10 billion within a few decades, and with travel and trade steadily intensifying across the world, the spread of many types of infectious disease (like the Flu and worse) is a real and increasing threat to global health.
Rapidly detecting, reporting, and responding to infectious disease occurrence is required to contain small outbreaks before they have the opportunity to spread into a regional epidemic or become a global pandemic threat. The Flu is the most likely infectious disease to cause a severe pandemic. The chances of a devastating outbreak may seem slim, but the level of devastation if it occurred is almost unimaginable. Every year there is about a 1% chance that an influenza pandemic could emerge…and that if it did it would cause more than 6 million pneumonia and influenza deaths globally. Flu pandemics have happened before…we are just waiting for the next one to arrive. But fortunately, some innovators are solidly focused on how to detect the problem so that the impact could be controlled.
Our safety and the rapid detection of infectious disease depends on effective disease surveillance systems gathering data from multiple sources and places. Equally important is how fast a system can detect a threat of disease to prompt earlier response and the best chances for protecting all of us from the spread of illness and potential death.
On this episode, Kevin Hutchinson, will share how he has spent his career gathering and analyzing data and working alongside health organizations to monitor and identify possible health threats.