Beijing time on March 24, “Wired” article said that although the technology content is not high, financial constraints, ProMED as early as December 30, 2019 issued a new coronavirus warning information. Here’s a summary of the article: At 8:30 p.m. on December 30, 2019, epidemiologist Marjorie Pollack is busy at her home in Coble Hill, Brooklyn, New York. She works part-time as deputy editor of ProMED, an infectious disease alert email list.
She received an e-mail in her mailbox. A reliable “informant” at ProMED sent a message asking her to learn about a message of concern: hours earlier, the Wuhan Health and Reform Commission issued an “emergency notice about unexplained pneumonia.”
ProMED receives such messages every day. The tech-small mailing list relies on readers around the world, often from social media, health officials, and small media reports, to provide information to about 50 part-time employees. Almost all of ProMED’s employees are medical, public health, or researchers, and they have a rigorous set of evidentiary standards and only release information corroborated by at least one other channel.
Pollack immediately took action and informed the other members of the ProMED. Within hours, they confirmed the news, and a report by a Chinese financial news website confirmed that the Wuhan Health and Health Commission had indeed issued the notice and disclosed more details. ProMED staff then wrote a message and posted it on its network a minute before 24:00 on December 30.
Even when he hit the keyboard, Pollack felt a cool back, “and I said to myself, SARS may be making a comeback.” “
Pollack felt right. The Wuhan Health and Care Commission’s notice is the first warning of a new coronavirus around the world. In February 2003, ProMED issued a message alerting sars virus to the virus. It was also the first to issue an alert for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) that appeared in September 2012. Zika and the Ebola virus have also escaped proMED.
ProMED has received little investment, and the obscure ProMED outside public health has been an “early warning system” for humans to fight infectious diseases.
ProMED means “Program for The Emerging Diseases” (The New Infectious Disease Control Project), which started in 1994 with entomologist and virologist John Payne Woodall’s personal project. Other co-founders of ProMED include Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s School of Public Health, and Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a former professor of microbiology at the State University of New York.
Woodall has worked on several continents for nearly every organization that promoted global public health after World War II, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Perhaps related to the background of his work on multiple continents, Woodall believes that ordinary people’s reports of public health events, now known by the World Health Organization as “epidemic intelligence from public sources,” are useful and useful complement to official data collected by government agencies and non-governmental organizations. He also believes in the power of the Internet to pass this information on to people without government intervention. Almost at the beginning of the Internet, he founded ProMED.
When it started, ProMED had only 40 supporters and readers. In 1999, ProMED was supported by the International Society for Infectious Diseases, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit. It currently has about 83,000 email subscribers, and has a lot of followers on Facebook and Twitter. The ProMED pyramid structure, made up of correspondents, text editors, moderators and editors, is located in 34 countries and territories and has never been down.
“Traditional public health systems are very good at certain things, such as collecting case reports, personal laboratory data, and integrating these data, and investigating cases,” said Larry Madoff, editor-in-chief of ProMED and medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Infectious Diseases and Experimental Sciences Division. But it also has its drawbacks: it is particularly not good at detecting public health events quickly.
“Our program is better at alerting public health events very quickly, and our reports are almost in sync with the events and are not affected by attempts to underreport or underreport,” he said. “
The release of SARS alert information demonstrates The ability of ProMED to disseminate information on public health events. ProMED’s SARS alert in 2003 not only alerted the world to a public health event, but also permanently changed the way global public health events were managed. In SARS, according to WHO rules, government departments only report four infectious diseases: yellow fever, cholera, plague and smallpox. Under the new rules, the World Health Organization could intervene in public health events based on information from non-governmental organizations, such as ProMED.
This has undoubtedly increased the impact of ProMED, and global infectious disease experts are happy to have information on the one hand, while on the other hand, they are happy to provide it with information. After ProMED first issued a new coronavirus alert, Peter Daszak, president of ecoHealth Alliance, a non-profit, interrupted Pollack’s dinner to detail the information his subordinates had received from China. Early laboratory studies have shown that the new coronavirus is as esotical as SARS viruses up to 80%.
“If ProMED doesn’t exist, we’ll launch this service right away,” said Matthew Watson, a biosecurity expert and senior analyst at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health And Safety. It keeps an eye on almost every new coronavirus, and its ability to detect unexplained diseases is quite powerful. “
While it is very effective in detecting new infectious diseases, ProMED is a “clear water door”. While health aI startups have attracted huge amounts of venture capital (a commercial AI project “early warning” of new coronaviruses a day later than ProMEDE), ProMED has been struggling. Mr Madoff estimates that many ProMED moderators are paid “thousands of dollars” in total. ProMED is funded by government departments and charities, as well as in collaboration with academic research projects such as HealthMap at Harvard University. Each member has been obliged to work for ProMED.
“It would be challenging to get funding if operating costs included only meager salaries and communications costs, ” mr Pollack said. We took advantage of all the help we could get. “
Pollack updated the news about the new coronavirus for the 96th time since the first new coronavirus was released 81 days ago. The updated message sits in thousands of words, including confirmed cases, relevant medical papers, public health system notifications, and more.
“I feel like we’re sitting on an out-of-control train,” Pollack wrote in the latest update. (Author/Frost Leaf)