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

diseases like H1N1 flu, avian flu, SARS and Ebola. The other four USAID initiatives in the Emerging Pandemic Threats Program are PREPARE, IDENTIFY, RESPOND, and PREVENT.

"The Wildlife Conservation Society is proud to be part of this new effort to identify emerging disease threats before they become global pandemics," said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Wildlife health is one of our main priorities, and our existing capacity to monitor wildlife populations will augment PREDICT's ability to spot potential pandemics before they occur and help formulate effective measures to prevent health crises."

"Our globalized society presents the health community with new challenges that necessitate a coordinated effort for detecting diseases that move across the human-animal nexus," said Dr. William Karesh, Vice President and Director of WCS's Global Health Program and Senior Technical Advisor of PREDICT. "This new consortium will help inform key decisions by health agencies and governments on critical health issues."

"Identifying emerging pandemics quickly is critical in protecting human populations from severe disease outbreaks," said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee that funds USAID global health efforts. "I am pleased USAID is supporting this collaborative project, and I am confident it will help improve our ability to monitor and identify wildlife diseases like influenza strains that could affect humans."

"Predicting where new diseases may emerge from wild animals and detecting viruses and other pathogens before they spread among people give us the best chance to prevent new pandemics," said Jonna Mazet, the UC Davis scientist leading PREDICT, and the director of UC Davis' new One Health Institute in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

UC Davis will also bring on emerging-disease authority Stephen S. Mo
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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