How best to prepare for epidemics? Strengthen primary care, by Ashwin Vasan

Saúde Global

A worker at the Wynwood Community Service Center hands a local resident a can of insect repellent Aug. 4, 2016, in Miami. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

The Conversation –  In global public health, 2016 was a year defined by the end of two important emergencies: Ebola and Zika.

But that doesn’t mean the risk either of these viruses pose has gone away. Zika transmission continues despite the World Health Organization declaring it is no longer a public health emergency in November. And some have characterized Ebola’s resurgence in 2017 as “a certainty.” We have to be prepared for these viruses to return, causing future epidemics.

With Zika and Ebola, much of the attention has focused on the need for more effective vaccines, faster deployment of staff and resources in response and better diagnostics. And all of these are vitally important.

But relatively little attention is paid to…

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