Is Australia prepared for the next pandemic?
Pieces of the plan are in place, but we must continue to strengthen preparedness research capacity
Infectious diseases continue to threaten global health security, despite decades of advances in hygiene, vaccination and antimicrobial therapies. Population growth, widespread international travel and trade, political instability and climate change have caused rapid changes in human populations, wildlife and agriculture, in turn increasing the risk of infection transmission within and between countries and from animal species. New human pathogens have emerged, and previously “controlled” diseases have re-emerged or expanded their range. In the past decade alone, the global community has experienced infection outbreaks of pandemic influenza, Ebola and Zika viruses and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).