PRedicting Emergence Of Virulent Entities By Novel Technologies (PREVENT) Symposium - Opening Remarks, Welcome Statement, and Technical Background
Prakash, B. Aditya
Torrens, Paul M.
Wigginton, Krista R.
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In the last year, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the livelihoods of our planet’s human inhabitants, infecting over 85 million individuals, and causing nearly 2 million deaths. What actions should have been taken to minimize the severity of this pandemic (and others before it in the past decades such as Zika, SARS and Ebola)? In retrospect, many actions could have played key roles: environmental monitoring for potential animal-to-human infection spillovers, establishment of pipelines for rapid vaccine development and optimal deployment and distribution, designing data science tools to accurately forecast trajectories, fast and adaptive syndromic surveillance and behavior tracking, designing and timing effective interventions, training susceptible individuals for measures needed to inhibit the spread of infectious agents, and others. What lessons have been learned and what gaps in our knowledge, methodologies, technologies, and policies remain?