Nathan Wolfe — American Scientist born on August 24, 1970,

Nathan D. Wolfe is an American virologist. He is currently Director of Global Viral and the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University. Dr. Wolfe spent over eight years conducting biomedical research in both sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2007, he founded Global Viral with the goal of developing an early warning system for pandemics to monitor the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans. The initiative currently coordinates a staff of over 100 scientists in China, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, DR Congo, Republic of the Congo, Laos, Gabon, Central African Republic, Malaysia, Madagascar and Sao Tome. He also directs Metabiota which offers both governmental and corporate services for biological threat evaluation and management... (wikipedia)

When there is an influenza threat, drop everything and focus on risks from influenza pandemics. When SARS spreads, focus on unknown respiratory diseases. This approach helps to quell public concern, but it's a hugely inefficient way to deal with future risks.
The reality is: By the time swine flu got on the radar screen of global public health, it had already spread. It was already in the States, it was in Mexico, it was in New Zealand. By the time it reaches that point, you've lost the ability to contain it.
The features of globalization have huge consequences on pandemics. It just connects us so much more closely... And as a consequence, every one of these viruses that passes from animals to humans has the capacity to infect all of us.
Seasonal flu is now a pandemic that lasts for years and years because you've got so many people that it's jumping back between northern and southern hemispheres and moving itself around the world. By the time it gets back to where it started, it's changed sufficiently so that people are no longer immune.
We know there are certain types of viruses that are nasty - influenza, for instance, is an area that is not a blindside. But a lot of viruses have come out of nowhere, like H.I.V., or to a certain extent SARS. Because we know we have the potential to be blindsided, we really have to investigate the unknowns.

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