US to revive research program for emerging diseases

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The U.S. will implement a new version of an infectious disease surveillance program that expired last fall, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, reports The New York Times.

The United States Agency for International Development halted funding for the Predict program in October 2019, which identified potentially dangerous animal viruses that could spread to humans. The program launched in 2009 in response to 2005's H5N1 bird flu scare. 

This October, the Agency for International Development will launch a  $100 million program, Stop Spillover, which will function similar to Predict.

Denis Carroll, PhD, creator and former director of Predict, said he designed Stop Spillover as a "companion piece" to Predict to help spot outbreaks of known pathogens. Predict functioned as a surveillance program for unknown pathogens. 

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden told the Times he would restore funding for Predict if elected. 

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