Ebola virus disease, Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), West Nile virus, Marburg virus disease, and the list goes on of viral diseases that took the world by surprise.
As of April 13, 2016, about 11,310 people deaths were reported during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, 28, 616 suspected, probable, and confirmed cases, and 15,227 laboratory-confirmed cases – CDC report.
Scientists are now coming up with new strategies and vaccines for emerging diseases before they become global health emergencies. Researchers are initially targeting diseases which have the potential to cause serious epidemics including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Lassa and Nipah viruses.
…Over the next 5 years, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) plans to bankroll the development of vaccines against three viral threats—Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-coronavirus, Lassa, and Nipah—so that small outbreaks never get a chance to become raging epidemics.
Formed last year without serious funding, CEPI has received $100 million commitments from the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the governments of Japan, Germany, and Norway have pledged to contribute an additional $260 million. As Science went to press, CEPI planned to announce the commitments at the World Economic Forum this week in Davos, Switzerland….courtesy of http://www.sciencemag.org/
Epidemiologist John-Arne Røttingen, CEPI’s interim president through 2017, says he hopes more countries will now contribute. “CEPI is a collective function, and it’s a premium they need to pay for global health security,” says Røttingen, who is based in Oslo.
‘We know from Ebola, Zika and SARS that epidemics are among the significant threats we face to life, health and prosperity.
‘Vaccines can protect us, but we’ve done too little to develop them as an insurance policy.
‘CEPI is our chance to learn the lessons of recent tragedies, and outsmart epidemics with new vaccine defences. If others join us in supporting CEPI, we can realise our goal of creating a safer world,’ said Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust.
Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, also states ‘Ebola and Zika showed that the world is tragically unprepared to detect local outbreaks and respond quickly enough to prevent them from becoming global pandemics.
‘Without investments in research and development, we will remain unequipped when we face the next threat. The ability to rapidly develop and deliver vaccines when new ‘unknown’ diseases emerge offers our best hope to outpace outbreaks, save lives and avert disastrous economic consequences.’