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Long-Term, Preventive Efforts Critical To Responding To, Containing, Eliminating Infectious Diseases

STAT: Do we keep waiting for the next pandemic or try to prevent it?
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…As cities continue to grow, our best defense will be anticipating outbreaks before they occur. For some diseases, that means making childhood immunization and pre-emptive vaccination campaigns a priority. In other cases, it may mean greater investment in sanitation infrastructure, which can help prevent not just cholera but other water-borne diseases, like the diarrhea-causing rotavirus. And many poor countries are in desperate need of basic diagnostics and surveillance capabilities; enabling them to detect an outbreak as early as possible gives them an opportunity to quickly respond. … All countries must step up their long-term efforts to prevent and, wherever possible, eliminate infectious disease. If we keep waiting until outbreaks occur, we may soon find that our ability to respond, contain, and end them is gravely inadequate” (6/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.