Emerging and re-emerging viruses have the potential to cause high morbidity and mortality and range from localized outbreaks to epidemics. Due to their emerging nature, most aspects of the biology and infectious potential of these viruses are poorly understood. Our continuing struggle to respond to a procession of pandemics including SARS, avian influenza, MERS, Ebola and more recently Zika highlights key gaps in our knowledge and should serve to motivate our re-thinking on how we can better prepare and deal with future unknown viral threats. This meeting focuses on important areas such as surveillance, diagnostics and countermeasures and other important advances in new technologies and how they are being applied to research. Furthermore, the meeting discusses how to facilitate the translation of research, data and candidate treatments through the development pipeline in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The key themes covered include the need to understand why zoonotic diseases matter, their association with agriculture, the importance of surveillance and early detection, and the difficulties of dealing with diseases that involve both medical and veterinary communities. The conference brings together experts in virology, immunology, vaccinology, epidemiology with those who seek to transfer knowledge between these groups, veterinarians and industry and government. Further, the meeting brings together individuals involved in the control of these diseases in government and non-government organizations, as well as researchers involved in study of zoonosis and countermeasures. The creation of global networks and sharing of information will ensure that we are better prepared for future outbreaks.
To view the program of this conference, visit www.keystonesymposia.org/18S2.
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The open access to this Keystone Symposia Virtual Access was made possible by a grant from the Croucher Foundation and The University of Hong Kong.