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  /  DxPx Blog   /  Strategic Planning Before Next Virus Pandemic Outbreak Appears

Strategic Planning Before Next Virus Pandemic Outbreak Appears

Strategic Planning Before Next Virus Pandemic Outbreak Appears

Preamble: Pandemic is not common to listen and even many professionals in this field are either not aware of it or only come to know once pandemic situations arise. Many pathogens may be responsible for pandemic outbreaks, but so far bacteria (Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plaque) and viruses (Influenza causes respiratory diseases) are founding pathogen that triggered many Pandemics outbreaks in the past and now. To have a more suitable preparation for possible future pandemics, we need to review the outbreaks of 1900-2020 including ongoing COVID-19 which may have resulted possibly due to our lack of pre-planning. The emphasis in this blog is given on viral pandemic outbreaks and their future planning to reduce health and socio-economic burdens. The winter season remains most favorable for pandemic evolving viruses to trigger infectious outbreaks. Each year, Digital Pharma-Diagnostics partnering platform between companies, industries, investors, regulatory affairs, data protection and academic technology transfers needed to prepare better before the next pandemic occurs. 

How to define Pandemic and Blueprint pathogens

A pandemic is an infectious disease outbreak that has spread across a wide area, across several continents or across the world, affecting a significant number of people. Dangerous pathogens most likely to cause pandemics is called Blueprint pathogens such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Ebola, Marburg, Lassa fever, MERS-CoV, SARS, COVID-19, Nipha, Rift Vally Fever, Zika and many new emerging viruses. HIV, avian Influenza and dengue are not enlisted with Blueprint pathogens because there is already development in surveillance, research, testing and antivirals drug pipelines. 

Historical pandemic outbreaks between 1900-2020

There are several outbreaks1 such as: COVID-19 PANDEMIC (2019-at present), Total death: 0.3 Million (at present); HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC (2005-2012), Total death: 36 Million; FLU PANDEMIC (1968), Total death: 1 Million; ASIAN FLU PANDEMIC (1956-1958), Total death: 2 Million; FLU PANDEMIC (1918): Total death: 20-50 Million; SIXTH CHOLERA (1910-1911), Total death: 0.1 Million

How does a pandemic erupts

People are always keen to know how pandemic erupts.  As we know, different viruses live in their different reservoirs (human, animal and bird). It is classified as Zoonotic diseases when viruses switch from an animal-to-human and cause infectious diseases. Likewise, it also causes infectious diseases when the viruses jump from birds to humans. In this way, the first infected human transmits the virus to at least one other person who is spreading the virus and therefore contributes to population transmission, a pre-requisite for pandemic outbreaks. 

How and why viruses turn into virulent to cause pandemic outbreak

There are several possible viruses that already exist or are emerging with the ability to cause infectious pandemic outbreak, but Spanish Flu 1918 has already demonstrated its high impact on presenting an historical outbreak as particular2. Mostly the RNA viruses that are vulnerable to mutation in their genomes have been viewed as greatest threat for causing global infectious pandemic3. Because of the mutation, viruses acquire the ability to spread effectively within a new host by gaining variations that enable viruses to overcome barriers in the new host which results in devastating outbreaks4. Viruses have no sense like human but
they do adapt to avoid vaccines and antivirals for their own propagation benefits. Eventually, smallpox DNA virus is the only human infectious disease that has been completely eradicated5 by the introduction of vaccination.

Health and socio-economic burden

There are several possible viruses that already exist or are Pandemic poses several negative impacts such as morbidity and mortality, fear at work and other public gathering places, social distancing, self-isolation travel restrictions, increase in domestic violence, decrease in workforce, school closings, decrease in commodities and manufactured products, economic crisis and recessionpolitical instability and quarantine sparked violence and tension between states and citizens. 

Strategic Plan for Future Pandemic Outbreaks

  • Pandemic is like a war6 requiring rapid and substantial intensive care units (ICUs) with ventilators in hospitals similar to how military forces rapidly expand their capacity during war.
  • To recognize and monitor the emergence of potential pandemic virus strain and announcing a pandemic without delay.
  • The form of infection (zoonotic or human-to-human) must be reported to the WHO so that the possible danger and severity, such as endemic or pandemic, is explicitly addressed.
  • To provide reliable and up-to-date information at all stages of the pandemic, to the hospitals, public, media, and other professionals.
  • Well defined protocols on epidemiological and scientific issues including international collaborations must be prepared. 
  • Containment and Mitigation strategies must be developed to minimize morbidity and mortality in both, the community and hospitals.
  • Essential services and normal daily life must be secured.
  • Lockdown, social distancing and travel restrictions must be practiced to avoid possible virus strains from being transmitted from human to human. 
  • PPE kits, gloves, face masks, sanitizers, diagnostic kits, vaccines and medicines must be stockpiled.
  • Proper virus sample banking laboratory must be arranged for future research.
  • National administration to ensure manufacturer licensing on disease surveillance, vaccine and antivirals. 
  • R&D must be continued to improve diagnostics, vaccines and therapies against present and past strains of pandemic viruses.
  • Last but not least, the Pharma-Diagnostics and Research Tool partnering conference/meetings must be held annually between companies, industries, investors, regulatory affairs, data protection and technology transfers in order to be able to establish appropriate strategies for correct diagnosis, protection and treatment before next pandemics appears. 

Sources:

  1. Staff: Outbreak: 10 of the worst pandemics in History.
  2. Amesh Adalja. The characteristics of pandemic pathogens. 29 May, 2018
  3. Amesh Adalja. RNA Viruses Viewed as Greatest Threat for Causing Global Pandemic. 29 May 2018
  4. Parrish et al., Cross-Species Virus Transmission and the Emergence of New Epidemic Diseases. MICROBIOLOGY ANDMOLECULARBIOLOGYREVIEWS, Sept. 2008
  5. Alina Bradford. Smallpox: The World's First Eradicated Disease. 23 April, 2019
  6. Joshua R. Hendrickson. Pandemic Preparedness. 27 March, 2020