The ongoing COVID-19 disaster―and the universal realization of the inevitability of even worse pandemics in the future―has resulted in a wealth of books, scientific papers, and journalistic analyses of the politics, medicine, and human suffering. The Nature of Pandemics is not an outcrop of COVID-19 publication frenzy. Conceived in the period between the outbreaks of SARS and Ebola, the book addresses the critical, but commonly overlooked issues that limit readiness, recognition, and rapid response to emerging biodisasters.
The book is unique in its approach to pandemics. It offers a holistic view of the nature of pandemics as a phenomenon, and of the challenges involved in mounting an organized, concerted response to a worldwide lethal bioevent. Most healthcare professionals at national and international levels recognize the danger; the political efforts to establish consistently effective countermeasures are sporadic and dissonant when they do occur. The slow and politically safe approach, the failure to react quickly, and unhesitatingly mobilize all resources, remain the paramount obstacles to the effective containment of a pandemic.
The individual chapters of the book are written by internationally respected experts from Africa, Europe, and North and South America. The contributing authors represent a cross-section of professions involved in counter-pandemic activities: some operate at the highest levels of national and international institutions, others work as clinicians specializing in infectious diseases, scientists, experts in public health, law and its enforcement, or military aspects of pandemics. Their contributions, often highly personal and perhaps even controversial—supported by their involvement in the "front-line" challenges of pandemic containment and mitigation—provide a rare combination of first-hand knowledge of the current "state of the art" and recommendations for the implementation of best practices.
The Nature of Pandemics offers multifaceted insight into problems that, if ignored initially, come to mar all subsequent response and mitigation efforts. The content spans solutions to developing readiness and mobilizing response as much to the current pandemic as to the future ones. Addressing government-generated roadblocks to response, military and security issues, global supply chain infrastructure, communications, information technology, ethical dilemmas posed by vacillating quality of care—and the inevitable mass fatalities—together with the confused interaction of global health organizations and response agencies, the book examines the panoply of complexities not only at the center of a pandemic outbreak but also at its equally critical and deadly periphery.
Table of Contents
1: Politics, Economics, and Egos: When Agendas Conflict—A West African Case Study by John Jordan
2: The Socioeconomic and Security Challenges in Responding to Medical Emergencies—Pandemics or Disasters - in Post-Conflict Society: The Liberian Ebola and COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences by Saint Jerome Larbelee
3: Pandemics: Nature of an Emerging Global Threat—Preparedness in the African Context by Doudou Fall, MD, MPH, MSc
4: Predicting Mosquito-Borne Epidemics in Latin America by Jaime R. Torres, MD
5: The PREDICT Project: A Transdisciplinary Case Study in Partnerships for Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness by David J. Wolking and Jonna A.K. Mazet
6: An Administrator’s Nightmare by Steven D. Berkshire and Asa B. Wilson
7: The Cascading Impact of Infectious Diseases on the Healthcare System by Amesh A. Adalja
8: Supply Chain Infrastructure in Global Health Systems: A Strategic Asset for Pandemic Preparedness by Anne Snowdon and Alexandra Wright
9: Emerging Infectious Disease Communication Strategies of Health Organizations: An Internal and External View by Anat Gesser-Edelsburg
10: From Woe to Go—Understanding Rumours and their Role in Preparedness and Readiness for Pandemics by Judith Molka-Danielsen and Susan Balandin
11: An Exploration of the Lived Experience of African Journalists during the 2014 Ebola Crisis by Anne Edimo, Blanche Morel, and David M. Secko
12: Coordination of Global Efforts in Combatting Infectious Disease by Danny Sheath, Nefti-Eboni Bempong, and Antoine Flahault
13: Health Information Technology and Infectious Disease: Learning from the Past by Stephanie H. Hoelscher and Dwayne Hoelscher
14: The Meaning of the Italian Fight against COVID-19: Protecting Fragile People and Defending the Social Values of Universal Public Health and Voluntary Activities through National Digital Solutions Francesco Gabbrielli and Luigi Bertinato
15: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to Fight Effectively against Pandemics by Simon Richir, Abdelmajid Kadri, and Nicolas Ribeyre
16: Biosecurity and the Police by John P. Sullivan
17: The Impact of Pandemics on National and International Security by Stephen G. Waller, MD
18: Quarantine: A Brief History of Infectious Pandemic Diseases in Canada Candace J Gibson
Dr. Dag K.J.E. von Lubitz is a mondialist and conceptualist with an academic career at the leading universities and research institutions of Europe and the US. Author of over 220 papers, book chapters, and books, and the laureate of several major national and international awards for achievement in science and human affairs. Currently an adjunct research professor at Central Michigan University (CMU). First to bring the concept of Teams of Leaders into the civilian world, Dr. von Lubitz works in the US and EU focusing on global healthcare, crisis decision-making and leadership, and on homeland defence and security issues.
Professor Candace J. Gibson earned her PhD in biochemistry from MIT and went on to a highly successful research career in neuroscience. Dr. Gibson is also recognized as one of the pioneers of Canadian e-learning, e-health, and health informatics education receiving the AFMC-Canada Health Infoway e-Health award in 2013 and Tribute to Excellence from the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) in 2016. Dr. Gibson has authored more than 100 publications in experimental neuroscience, health informatics, and health information management. After several senior academic appointments Dr. Gibson retired as the Vice Dean (A), Basic Medical Sciences, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, Canada.