Forecasting emerging health threats, closer look at CDC’s new center

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be launching a Disease Forecasting Center.

What does that mean? To sum it up, a group of experts will be analyzing data to predict any threats of disease, expand data sharing with public health programs to combat the threat, and communicate more effectively with key decision-makers across government and private sectors.

This is a first for our country – a government-wide public health forecasting center. CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. said, “We are excited to have the expertise and ability to model and forecast public health concerns and share information in real-time to activate governmental, private sector, and public actions in anticipation of threats both domestically and abroad.”

The center will also serve as a hub for innovation and research on disease modeling, including finding new ways to fight against pandemics.

Dylan George, PhD, who is part of the leadership team, said, “Pandemics threaten our families and communities at speed and scale – our response needs to move at speed and scale, too.  The Center will provide critical information to communities so we can respond efficiently and effectively.  The U.S. desperately needs this capability, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help build it.”

The CDC said the center will address a critical need to improve the U.S. government’s ability to forecast and model emerging health threats, while building on existing modeling activities, expanding collaboration through interoperability, accessibility and increased emphasis on policy-maker decision support and communication to the public.

The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics initial funding has come from the American Rescue Plan. The Biden Administration’s efforts to “provide direct relief to Americans, contain COVID-19, and rescue the economy.”

Read more about the center at this link.

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