Virus Outbreaks in a Changing World
Is the outbreak of the Corona virus part of an increasing set of global virus outbreaks? Did virus outbreaks really increase since the last years? Why is this? Should we be worried? What can we do to prevent and respond to such outbreaks?
Ebola. SARS. Mexican Flu. Zika. Corona. Virus outbreaks have occurred in the past decades and have confronted us with the fragility and danger of being a human being in a fast-changing world.
A growing number of people live in cities and travel around the world. Global climate change is threatening ecosystems. Public health systems are still unstable in many areas of the world. In a recent publication in Nature, a team of international scientists connected these developments to the increased occurrence and complexity of new viruses and epidemics. The team called for a new, and more interdisciplinary approach regarding epidemics that includes not only crisis response but also preparation and recovery.
A key player in this publication and in the international community of scientists at the forefront of epidemics prevention and response, is Professor Dr. Marion Koopmans.
She is the director of the Erasmus Medical Center’s department of Viroscience, and director of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s collaborating center for emerging infectious diseases at Erasmus MC. At the Netherlands Center for One Health, she directs the “Emerging infectious diseases” taskforce. In 2018, she won the Stevin premium, a prestigious prize awarded for outstanding research with a strong societal value. In 2019, she became a member of the KNAW.