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August 15, 2018

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Successful Responses to Outbreaks Require Sustained Preparedness

IDSA member and spokesperson Daniel Lucey, MD, FIDSA, shares his insights on the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an opinion piece, “Sustained US preparedness needed for Ebola and other pan-epidemic threats,” published in The Hill. A global health and infectious diseases expert at Georgetown University Medical Center, Dr. Lucey draws from his many years of experience responding to outbreaks around the globe. Based on his work fighting the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Dr. Lucey proposed an exhibition on epidemics to the Smithsonian which just came to fruition in a three-year longexhibition that opened this spring in Washington, DC.

“The exhibit highlights a reality that the current outbreak in North Kivu illustrates once again — outbreaks of pandemic potential comprise a major part of humanity’s history and are not about to go away on their own. In fact, as the current outbreak shows us, some of the factors that lead to the wide spread of infectious agents that have jumped from animals to humans are only increasing. This means our efforts and our focus must increase as well,” the opinion reads.

Dr. Lucey stresses that our success in responding to the outbreak in West Africa and the more recent outbreak in the DRC were dependent in part on the Global Health Security Agenda. If we are to continue to be successful when outbreaks occur, continued support of the agenda and reauthorization of the All HazardsPreparedness Act (PAHPA), which IDSA has been steadily advocating for, is critical. Read the full opinion piece here. Visit IDSA’s Ebola Resources page for updates on the current outbreak and to watch a Facebook live interview with Dr. Lucey.

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