Epidemiologists from the European project CORONADX have evaluated the primary 21st century epidemics. Up to 75% of these outbreaks originated from animals after a cross-species leap
16 Jun 2021
In a recent report released under the EU project CORONADX, epidemiologists from the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy, in collaboration with the University of Pavia, analysed the most important epidemics of the 21st century such as SARS, MERS, Avian flu, Swine flu, Zika, Ebola and the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers collected data on the origin, natural history, and on the epidemiological, clinical and diagnostic features of those public health threats. They also looked at the challenges posed for healthcare systems worldwide and public health preventive and response measures.
These epidemic events have been caused and exacerbated by common root causes: most of them are zoonotic, meaning that they originated from the animal world. Hence the need of globally coordinated policies to avoid cross-species transmission of viruses by controlling zoonotic pathogens at an early stage, promoting safe farming practices, and ensuring animals’ wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic found many countries unprepared, relying on outdated influenza-based pandemic preparedness plans. The CORONADX study calls for a coordinated response from the European Union, with proper training for professionals, digital tools to prevent and manage sanitary crisis, and reliable and rapid diagnostic tests.
In line with the above recommendations, the project is developing quick tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on-site, without the need to transport the samples to a laboratory. Among the EU projects focusing on diagnostics to deal with the sanitary crisis, Coronadx has the biggest consortium, with eight partners from Europe and China.
Read more on the CORONADX project at: https://coronadx-project.eu/