Kickoff PDPC Frontrunner 5: International Network Surveillance for Pandemic EmergenCe

PDPC Frontrunner 5 project is on a mission to set up a national surveillance network for pandemics, which will focus on transport hubs. The team celebrated the kickoff of the ‘International Network Surveillance for Pandemic EmergenCe’ project on April 19th  on the convergence square with presentations from colleagues. It was good to see everyone come together.

One of the pillars of preparedness is a well-functioning early warning system. As most emerging diseases come from animal reservoirs, early warning focusing on detection of changes in the ecology of diseases in wildlife or livestock could potentially prevent outbreaks. In this Frontrunner project on integrated early warning surveillance tools and methods, 3 PhD students will work with a large multidisciplinary team of senior researchers.

frontrunner 5

From left to right: Hélène Voeten, Saskia Wiegmans, Alexander Verbraeck, Stephen Rainey, Gertjan Medema and, on the screen José Gonzalez Rojas and George Sips, Miranda de Graaf, Jeannette de Boer and Jeroen Langeveld.

The project is highly collaborative. Within the project we aim to identify and characterize critical nodes in the complex global network of transport and migration for the emergence and dissemination of new viruses. Using rapid deployable and innovative sampling and detection methods we will further investigate these critical nodes. Our initial data explorations have already revealed that there is health-related data available for regions of interest in virus outbreaks, and that from the transport side, there is information on incoming ships and airplanes, including their history and the health situation on board.

Read more about Frontrunner project: Integrated early-warning surveillance methods and tools