Twenty-six countries have formed a global coalition to improve prevention, detection, and response to infectious international health threats.
Formed to take on outbreaks, whether they are natural, accidental, or intentional, the initiative mirrors efforts by the World Health Organisation which set out guidelines in 2005 for countries to measure their preparedness for emerging disease threats and outbreaks.
Around $40 million will come out of existing resources to support the efforts in 2014 of 10 low- and middle-income countries which are working to meet the regulations set out by WHO.
Diseases which have never been present in, or were eradicated from, the U.S. are seeing a resurgence. Mosquito-borne West Nile type viruses have appeared for the first time, and drug-resistant tuberculosis is being reported. In areas with high-immigrant populations, and with business people who regularly travel abroad for work, there have been growing reports of TB.
International health regulations require countries to report outbreak to WHO, but many haven’t complied. One of the Global Health Security Agenda’s aims is to better link countries’ disease monitoring systems, and enable biological samples to be shared more rapidly.