Preventing, Detecting, and Responding to Epidemics: CDC’s Achievements

Prevent: CDC Supported Achievements in 17 Phase 1 Countries

Prevent: CDC supported Achievements in 17 Phase 1 Countries
Antimicrobial Resistance Zoonotic Disease Biosafety/Biosecurity Immunization
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11 countries demonstrated successful detection and reporting of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in the last 6 months 9 countries shared surveillance data between human and animal health sectors for at least 80% of prioritized zoonotic diseases 5 countries improved security controls and electronic inventories for all dangerous pathogens and toxins in national laboratories 14 countries increased immunization coverage based on surveillance of disease burden at the community level
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Why it Matters
Antimicrobial-resistant organisms have adapted to widespread use of antibiotics, decreasing our ability to treat diseases. Identifying Antimicrobial-resistant organisms allows us to react quickly when they spread An estimated 6 out of 10 infectious diseases are zoonotic and spread between animals and humans. We quickly need to know about zoonotic disease outbreaks in animals to prepare for and prevent possible spread into human populations Dangerous pathogens need to be handled carefully and stored securely to prevent them from accidentally or intentionally being released and harming the public Effective immunization systems reduce illness and death from vaccine-preventable diseases and help limit the magnitude and number of infectious disease outbreaks


CDC’s Contributions in Prevention

  • Reduce factors that contribute to the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance, including improving infection prevention and control
  • Keep laboratory workers safe and reduce the risk of theft, loss, or mishandling of dangerous pathogens that could harm the public
  • Strengthen the prevention, detection, and response to zoonotic diseases and the development of national action plans to combat the spillover of disease from animals to humans
  • Establish and strengthen vaccination programs to protect people from highly contagious yet preventable diseases, and conduct vaccination outbreak response measures

Challenges Persist

One example of a remaining challenge in preventing avoidable outbreaks is the exchange of surveillance data between the human and animal health sectors. The lack of information sharing between these sectors can leave countries vulnerable, creating barriers to collaborative action to prevent, detect, or respond to zoonotic diseases (e.g., rabies, influenza viruses, hemorrhagic fevers, and anthrax). To address this challenge, CDC is working across ministries in partner countries to prioritize zoonotic diseases and to strengthen disease surveillance systems that are able to share information rapidly between sectors for faster action.

Detect: CDC Supported Achievements in 17 Phase 1 Countries

Detect: CDC supported Achievements in 17 Phase 1 Countries
National Lab Systems Real Time Surveillance Reporting Workforce Development
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11 countries can conduct laboratory tests to detect national priority pathogens that cause disease, outbreaks, or death 10 countries can connect disease surveillance data with laboratory data

7 countries have established event-based surveillance in communities and health care facilities

4 countries detected more than 3000 health events through this surveillance

13 countries established a web-based national database for surveillance 17 countries established or expanded their program to train disease detectives
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Why it Matters
Confirming diagnosis with laboratories allows health workers to respond rapidly with the most effective treatment and prevention methods, reducing spread of disease and deaths Effective disease surveillance with rapid laboratory diagnosis enables countries to quickly detect outbreaks and continuously respond to potential risks Having a national database that is web-based helps countries detect, respond, and report potential outbreaks and allows experts to assess public health events and respond rapidly To maintain global health security capabilities, countries need a disease detective workforce that can quickly investigate potential outbreaks and take swift action

CDC’s Contributions in Detection

  • Establish monitoring systems that can predict and identify infectious disease threats at various levels of the health system, including community, district, and national levels, as well as global monitoring through CDC’s Global Disease Detection Operations Center
  • Strengthen countries’ ability to quickly and accurately collect, analyze, and use public health information
  • Train disease detectives, laboratory scientists, veterinarians, and healthcare infection prevention experts who are equipped to identify, track, and contain outbreaks in humans and animals before they spread
  • Build tiered laboratory networks at the local, regional, and national levels that can transport samples safely, increase the number of samples laboratorians are able to test, and transfer information securely between patients, responders, and policymakers

Challenges Persist

One example of a persistent challenge in the early detection of health security threats is the lack of national, web-based databases that link suspected cases of illness with laboratory confirmation. This leaves countries vulnerable, as they cannot accurately and quickly identify the presence of pathogens to minimize the spread of disease. To address this challenge, CDC is sharing technical expertise with countries to strengthen disease detection through databases that are linked to laboratory results, enabling timelier and more coordinated outbreak detection and response.

Respond: CDC Supported Achievements in 17 Phase 1 Countries

Respond: CDC supported Achievements in 17 Phase 1 Countries
Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) Public Health and
Law Enforcement
Medical Countermeasures Border Health
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15 countries trained emergency management specialists and experts to support a well-functioning EOC 7 countries coordinated public health and security personnel to respond to infectious disease threats 11 countries improved their operating procedures and logistics systems to deploy staff, medicines, and/or supplies to combat infectious disease threats 13 countries enhanced their cross-border communication and collaboration
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Why it Matters
EOCs bring together experts and stakeholders to efficiently and effectively coordinate response to an emergency or public health threat Health and security personnel must often work closely together to combat infectious disease threats. First responders may be police officers or security personnel, not doctors. Close ties between health and security can help the sectors work together to detect, report, and limit the threat of infectious disease During a public health emergency, countries need medications, vaccines, or personal protective equipment. Putting systems in place before an emergency strikes is critical to preventing delays in patient care Because of the high influx of travelers through ports of entry (POE) and in porous border regions, it is important for countries to have systems in place to reliably detect and quickly respond to infectious disease threats at borders to prevent international spread

CDC’s Contributions in Response

  • Establish public health emergency operations centers (EOCs) to serve as a centralized location in partner countries to efficiently and effectively respond to a crisis
  • Develop technical expertise and capacity needed for countries to lead their own effective responses to public health threats
  • Train Public Health Emergency Management fellows to lead and manage emergency responses
  • Establish and strengthen CDC rapid response teams that can mobilize quickly to address the critical and diverse needs and priorities that arise from infectious disease outbreaks
  • Develop, test, and train on protocols for the rapid identification of health threats at POEs

Challenges Persist

One example of a persistent challenge in responding rapidly and effectively to health security threats is the limited functionality of EOCs. Without well-functioning EOCs, countries’ coordination during an outbreak is at risk. To address this challenge, CDC is working with countries to develop EOC infrastructure, implement sustainable models for EOC operations, and assist with training current and new EOC staff to activate and manage emergency responses.

Page last reviewed: September 23, 2019
Content source: Global Health