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Next Generation Can Help Stop Future Pandemics

Medium: Talking with the Next Generation about the Next Pandemic
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The vast majority of people alive today have never experienced a serious pandemic. While Ebola and Zika have raised awareness of the risks we face, few of us have encountered a dangerous, fast-moving infectious disease. That’s why we at the Gates Foundation believe it’s essential to speak out  —  and speak often  —  about what the world must do to stop the next pandemic. … Pathogens have achieved unprecedented breakout potential, and if we look at recent respiratory illnesses such as SARS and H1N1, we know there are viruses at the edge of human society that could prove deadlier and more contagious than what we faced in 1918 [with the flu pandemic]. So is there anything the world can do to stop future pandemics? The good news is yes … 1. We need better and faster ways to produce vaccines. … 2. We need an effective global surveillance system that can track and respond to outbreaks as they emerge. … 3. We need to change the culture of knowledge management and data sharing. … [O]ur message can get through, and we count on the next generation to help us prepare the world for tomorrow’s challenges” (12/16).

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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.