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PAWS: Towards a globally integrated outbreak surveillance system for public health

von Csefalvay, Chris; Foldi, Tamas

The novel emergent coronavirus now designated SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in late 2019. Since then, this rapidly spreading pathogen has created one of the most significant pandemics in recent history. Globalisation and international trade have created a unique potential for fast-moving pathogens to spread globally overnight. In this paper, we describe a globally integrated system of data-driven viral surveillance by analogy to the CTBTO’s technical infrastructure. Established as a result of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed in 1996, it is backed by a robust, globally distributed monitoring infrastructure that may serve as an inspiration for developing a similar monitoring network for public health. We propose to build on the experiences of the CTBTO’s technical infrastructure to conceptualise a Pandemic Advance Warning System, an early warning infrastructure for emerging pathogenic threats.

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