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Wildlife Conservation Society to expand health surveillance through PREDICT
Date:10/23/2009

The Wildlife Conservation Society will play a key role in a new international effort to monitor diseases that move between animals and people in order to prevent the next global pandemic.

The global early warning systemnamed PREDICT and created with incremental funding of up to $75 million over 5 years from the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program will help develop global capacity to anticipate and prevent emerging infectious diseases through monitoring and identifying possible pathogenic threats at the human-animal interface. The Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program builds on the successes of USAID's long-standing programs in disease surveillance, training, and outbreak response, particularly those addressing avian and pandemic influenza.

PREDICT will benefit from the expertise of WCS's Global Health Program, which monitors wildlife diseases in more than 40 countries worldwide. WCS is a leader in wildlife health issues and currently leads the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance (GAINS), which tracks the movements of avian influenza through wild bird populations in the field and on the GAINS database. WCS also created the One World-One Health model for promoting international and interdisciplinary strategies that encourage health experts from around the world to share information on the movements of diseases between humans and animals.

WCS is one of five members on the PREDICT team, which also includes UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (the consortium's leader), Wildlife Trust, Global Viral Forecasting, Inc., and the Smithsonian Institution.

Additional collaborators include the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Princeton University, and HealthMap.org (a global disease alert mapping system).

PREDICT is one of five initiatives being funded by USAID to help prepare the world for infectious
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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