Identifying factors affecting public health department perceptions of public health preparedness capabilities
Gerald Parker, vice president for public health preparedness and response at Texas A&M Health Science Center, is presenting at the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) high-level meeting and the Seoul Defense Dialogue meeting, both in Seoul, South Korea.
An outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has recently been reported in South Korea and China. Frightening, given that nearly thirty percent of those that contract the virus die and that in this age of air travel, any person – and the viruses he or she is carrying – can move across the world in a matter of hours.
Disease outbreaks, such as the H5N1 avian influenza, H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009, and more recently the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, exposed the need for quick access to high-quality, life-saving vaccines and therapeutics, and the importance of reliable, U.S.-based vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities and expertise.
New, rapid point-of-care TB test dramatically reduces the current delays in diagnosis with incredible accuracy, accelerating appropriate treatment and reducing the death rate of the highly infectious disease. Low-cost, easy-to-use test has the potential to eradicate TB.
Ebola is a stark reminder that an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere. This is both the harsh reality and the shining truth, but more than just managing this outbreak, we must learn from it and vow to prevent the next one by overcoming social, scientific and economic barriers that inhibit effective public health preparedness and response.
Gerald Parker, D.V.M., Ph.D., vice president for public health preparedness and response at Texas A&M Health Science Center, was recently appointed to serve as an ex officio member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M Health Science Center CEO Brett Giroir, M.D., and officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), State of Texas and biopharmaceutical company GSK dedicated a national pandemic influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Bryan, Texas, which when complete will serve as an anchor for the Texas A&M Biocorridor – a rapidly evolving hub of economic development and scientific discovery that is swiftly positioning Texas as the third coast in biotechnology.
Brett P. Giroir, M.D., CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center and director of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, testified on Oct. 10 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security to address rising concern surrounding the nation’s infectious disease preparedness and response following the first case of Ebola being diagnosed in the United States the previous week.