CDC : Better Next Epidemic Forecast

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly lunched its Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, last Tuesday “to better forecast information about what is likely to happen next in this public health emergency and in future outbreaks”, writes The Washington Post.

We think of ourselves like the National Weather Service, but for infectious diseases.

– Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist and associate director for science at the initiative, CDC (source: The Washington Post).

According to the Post, about 100 researchers will analyze the technical data and share their finding to the policy makers & public how the virus is behaving and who is at risk.

“We would love to be able for people to look to us to say, ‘I’m about to commute on the Red Line. … Should I bring a mask based on what’s happening with respiratory disease in my community? Should I have my birthday party outside or inside?’ Those kinds of decisions, I think, are where we would like to move toward,” Rivers told the Post.

Quoting Dylan George, epidemiologist and director of operations for the new center, call with reporters, CNN writes “Data-driven weather forecasts help leaders know when to deploy resources to respond to hurricanes and individuals decide whether they need to bring an umbrella with them when they go out. Similarly, the CDC’s new disease forecasting center aims to guide decisions about broad public health needs like developing vaccines or deploying antivirals, and helping individuals decide whether it’s safe for them to go to the movie theater.”

Dr. Ashish Jha, newly apointed White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator , told CNN “The response from our leadership — our public health leadership — has been to scramble, hold together evidence, try to make the best decisions we can. And I would argue we’ve done a pretty good job. But it’s also been really clear, this is no way to run a response to a pandemic.”

At the conclusion of this collective effort, we will develop new systems and processes to deliver our science and program to the American people, along with a plan for how CDC should be structured to facilitate the public health work we do.

– CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky wrote to CDC staff (source: CNN)

Dr. Walensky reportedly added that health equity often isn’t prioritized because “sometimes the inequities are simply invisible, but the new center will make it a priority to identify and help highlight those gaps.”

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of April 20, 9 p.m.) 719,789,345 doses have been distributed and 570,485,199 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data a total of 9,714,187 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of April 20) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,441,279 with 12,479 deaths.