United Nations hosts climate and health scientists to plenary on vision for future pandemic preparedness

AS the United States concludes COVID-19 emergency declaration – despite facing 500 deaths a day – a group of scientists and academics is meeting to present to the United Nations, calling for an early warning system for future outbreaks.

NEW YORK, February 6, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — As part of the 77th plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, the UN will hear briefings from leading scientists and academics on sustainable global solutions on the “water economy,”” Climate, Conflict and Cooperation” and “Early Warning for Pandemic Preparedness”.

Amid the widespread dismantling of many infectious disease surveillance systems established during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pandemic Preparedness Group is highlighting ongoing and emerging threats. These threats include the risk posed by SARS-CoV-2, as well as the risk posed by new infections, zoonotic spillover, and rising rates of drug-resistant pathogens.

Climate change, land use, and increased international travel are further contributing to rising global infectious disease threats. According to the speakers, there is a clear need for a new global pandemic early warning system with new approaches to sharing data between nations. This system must be informed about climate change and incorporate genomics, epidemiology, satellite and social media data to drive analysis and predictive models that signal emerging threats.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for distributed genomics technologies, rapid analysis and data sharing,” said Dr. Chris Massone, professor at Weill Cornell Medicine and cofounder of Biotia. “This is especially powerful when applied to infectious diseases, as localized threats can become global.” Dr. Mason is also the founder of MetaSUB, a consortium of researchers using genomics to characterize the urban microbiome of more than 60 cities around the world.

“This must be an international effort,” added Dr. Niam O’Hara, CEO and co-founder of Biotia. “Pathogens cross borders, so collaboration and data should also move seamlessly internationally between scientists, clinicians, and policymakers. Building global collaboration, resources, and technology to support these efforts is essential.”

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Biotia recently provided funding for researchers working on biosurveillance in eight countries on four continents.

The group of scientists present includes Dr. Golden James by the Rockefeller Foundation (USA); Dr. Niam O’Hara from SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and Biotia (USA); Dr. Rafael Maciel-de-Freitas by the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Brazil, Germany); Dr. Soojin Jang from the Institut Pasteur (Korea); and Dr. Charles Vörösmarty of City University of New York (WE).

The event will be webcast with the pandemic preparedness session on Tuesday starting at 3pm EST at https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1p/k1p7keefgv.

About Biozia

Biotia is a health technology company headquartered in New York, New York, which leverages sequencing-based technology and proprietary AI-powered software to quickly and accurately identify microorganisms and antimicrobial resistance. Their mission is to fight infectious disease by distributing the leading reference library of microbes worldwide. As a spin-out company of Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, Biotia has a New York state CLIA Laboratory for Infectious Disease Diagnostic Testing affiliated with SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. Connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Contact with the media

Lathum NelsonBiotia, (385) 743-1724, [email protected]


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