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Center for Health Security report assesses preparedness for high-impact respiratory pathogen

Center News



September 18, 2019 – The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security was commissioned by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) to assess the state of readiness for a high-impact respiratory pathogen pandemic—that is, pathogens with the potential for widespread transmission and high observed mortality. If a high-impact respiratory pathogen were to emerge, either naturally or as the result of accidental or deliberate release, it would likely have significant public health, economic, social, and political consequences.

The Center’s report assesses preparedness for high-impact respiratory pathogens that have the potential to cause pandemics, and the Center’s work has informed the GPMB during their drafting of their annual flagship report.

The Center analyzed numerous high-level reviews of global preparedness and conducted interviews with international experts in pandemic preparedness and response. The states of national and global readiness in 10 functional areas were examined, including global preparedness mechanisms; multisectoral involvement and coordination; surveillance, monitoring, and assessment; health systems and clinical management; community engagement; risk communication; research and development for medical countermeasures; nonpharmaceutical interventions; accidental release and biosafety; and deliberate use and biosecurity.

The findings detail the current capabilities and gaps that would likely hamper efforts to respond to a high-impact respiratory pathogen. The report identifies priority actions for countries, international organizations, and other stakeholders to pursue that would mitigate the public health, economic, social, and political consequences of the emergence of a high-impact respiratory pathogen.

The publication, Preparedness for a High-Impact Respiratory Pathogen Pandemic, can be found here.

The Center’s core project team was led by Senior Scholar Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH, SM, and includes Analyst Lucia Mullen, MPH; Analyst Michael Snyder, MALD; Deputy Director Anita Cicero, JD; and Center Director Tom Inglesby, MD.

The opinions expressed in this report are those of the Center authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions, views, or recommendations of the GPMB.

About the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board:

The GPMB, which was convened in 2018, is an independent monitoring and accountability body that ensures there is ongoing progress to increase preparedness and response capacities at the international and national levels. On September 18, 2019, the GPMB published its first annual flagship publication, Report on the Status of Global Preparedness for Health Crises, which provides an independent and comprehensive overview of the state of preparedness for health crises along with recommendations to improve the current state of preparedness.

About the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security works to protect people from epidemics and disasters and build resilient communities through innovative scholarship, engagement, and research that strengthens the organizations, systems, policies, and programs essential to preventing and responding to public health crises. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is located in Baltimore, MD.