PDPC Frontrunner 5 project is on a mission to set up a national surveillance network for pandemics, focusing on transport hubs. They celebrated the kickoff of ‘International Network Surveillance for Pandemic EmergenCe’ on April 19th on the convergence square with presentations from colleagues.
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 detecting 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, three PhD students will work with a large multidisciplinary team of senior researchers.
The project is highly collaborative. The researchers aim to identify and characterize critical nodes in the complex global network of transport and migration for emerging and disseminating new viruses. They will further investigate these critical nodes using rapid deployable and innovative sampling and detection methods. Initial data explorations have already revealed that health-related data is available for regions of interest in virus outbreaks, as well as transportation data for incoming ships and planes, including their previous destinations and onboard health conditions. By combining this information, the team can better understand the likelihood of a virus outbreak and take preventative measures.