WHO launches global network for virus surveillance

The World Health Organization is doubling-down on pathogen surveillance with the launch of a global network created to understand more about how infectious emerging diseases are and how they spread. 

The International Pathogen Surveillance Network launched May 20, and will allow countries to collaborate and analyze pathogen samples using genomics techniques and respond appropriately to any future outbreaks.

"Global collaboration in pathogen genomic surveillance has been critical as the world fights COVID-19 together," Rajiv Shah, MD, president of the Rockefeller Foundation and one of the IPSN's members. "IPSN builds upon this experience by creating a strong platform for partners across sectors and borders to share knowledge, tools and practices to ensure that pandemic prevention and response is innovative and robust in the future."

Genomics surveillance has also been used to monitor important changes in influenza, HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. The hope, according to WHO, is that this network will allow for a broad analysis of and cohesive response to any future pandemic or health threat.


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