In the modern world, the spread of diseases like MERS, SARS, avian flu, Ebola, and Zika virus seems almost unavoidable.
But to stop outbreaks spiralling out of control into global disasters, researchers, doctors and public health professionals need to know what’s happening and where in real time.
That’s where ProMED comes in. PROMED is an online early warning system for emerging diseases that can be used by anyone in the world.
People in the field report on disease outbreaks that are happening close to them, so that information about new threats can be rapidly disseminated online, and people at all levels can start to take the steps that could ultimately save lives.
Ben spoke to the editor of ProMed, Dr Larry Madoff, about how the system is used, why disease outbreaks seem to be happening more frequently, and what we can do to stop them.