Bending the pandemic curve: Improving decision-making with clinical research

“Of the threats faced by humanity, a pandemic is the threat that is regarded as the event most likely to kill more than 10 million persons. Factors such as change in climate and land use, as well as intensive farming practices, increase the likelihood that infections with pandemic potential will occur. Unfortunately, bioterrorism is also a plausible source of a pandemic in the 21st century. Extensive air travel means that there is limited capacity to contain infectious agents that are airborne or droplet spread.”

“A critical feature of all pandemics is uncertainty, and research can and should serve to resolve such uncertainty as quickly as possible. This new knowledge is needed by clinicians caring for patients, particularly patients who are critically ill, as well as policymakers, who need to make decisions regarding provision of healthcare services, triage, and community level interventions such as social isolation and cohorting.”

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