EDITORIAL

Health security's blind spot

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Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1075
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat4714

Summary

The severity of this year's influenza virus is a reminder of the daunting task facing the global health community as it struggles to prevent infectious diseases from sparking deadly epidemics. Today, yellow fever and cholera continue to spread in Africa, while Brazil is in the midst of a major yellow fever outbreak. It was only recently that Zika virus and Ebola virus epidemics were in the headlines. The world needs to harness every resource and tool in the battle to catch outbreaks before they catch us. Prevention is always the first line of defense, and nations must maintain vigilant surveillance—and yet, effective and affordable, quick and definitive diagnostics are absent in the countries where they are most needed. This represents one of our most serious global health security blind spots.