The Osterholm Quotes

"We cannot ensure domestic preparedness without ensuring that global infectious disease threats are contained at the source before they reach the United States."
“If anything that happens to disrupt the supply [of 30 crucial medical items produced offshore], we wouldn’t have any of it. We would suddenly see a tremendous amount of collateral damage. The [pandemic] flu will accentuate all of the other health problems that we have."
"This administration does not have a team in place to deal with [the next pandemic], in my estimation. This is going to take a big team."
"These things cycle and so Zika may have a reduced number of cases but as we see with other viruses, it's going to come back and there is still a very large part of the world that is vulnerable."
"I am absolutely certain that we are going to see [a coronavirus] making its way to the Horn of Africa and it is going to get into the camels there; all the camel traffic is basically from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. Once MERS or a MERS-like virus infects 7 million camels in Somalia, we're going to see an outbreak take off and it will be devastating."
"In 2012, when I published a paper on the limited effectiveness of flu vaccines and said how their availability will always be very limited during a pandemic, there were people who compared me to Andrew Wakefield and the measles vaccine and that I was somehow undermining the whole system. . . . That concept is now actually a norm because people no longer disagree with the fact that we have challenges with our current flu vaccines"
"I still worry more about pandemic influenza than anything else because it could happen tomorrow."
"I think that this [Ebola vaccine] public-private partnership is somewhat broken. If we were really looking to prevent Ebola, we would have an African-prepared environment for Ebola. Every healthcare worker in any area of Africa that might experience a spillover would be vaccinated or offered a vaccine."
"Just like antimicrobial resistance, a vaccine to prevent pandemic influenza is majorly underfunded because both of these are not a crisis that we can yet see or feel. I think that’s the mindset we have to get away from. It would be like trying to secure all of your military equipment and all your troops the week after the war is declared."
"The mutation that potentially caused this health outcome in humans is occurring in a [Zika] virus where additional mutations could still occur, which could bring us other new health challenges,"
"What this study really means is that if you have an area with a Zika outbreak in 2013 or 2014, the Zika you see in 2017 could be a different virus. The speed at which mutation changes in the virus occur completely change the public health impact of the virus."
"We know that Zika did not cause microcephaly or neurological problems until 2014 or so. So the only conclusion is either people changed or the virus changed."
"[Flu vaccine effectiveness is] much more complicated than we thought. I know less about influenza today than I did 10 years ago."
"10% to 60% protection is better than nothing. But it's a terribly inadequate vaccine for a serious public health threat."
"Most Americans aren’t aware that public health agencies and health care organizations are constantly monitoring vaccine safety, never resting on previously conducted studies as proof of safety."
The study published [Sep 13] is a compelling example of how the public health and medical communities value vaccine safety as a top priority. Unfortunately, it will take more research to definitively determine if the connection between flu vaccine and miscarriage is real and, if so, what changes are needed for recommendations about getting vaccinated against the flu.
"We had people sand bagging [after a flood in 1997]. And the next day their arm would hurt so much [because of tetanus shots] they almost couldn’t sand bag.”
"As we looked at this more closely, in fact, even though punctures surely can occur, there’s absolutely no evidence that people are at more risk [of tetanus during flooding]."
"We must continue to invest in vaccines and strengthen the systems that protect our communities. We must also commit to reporting the most accurate numbers, even if it is politically challenging and the numbers are not the most convenient ones."
"Countries like Nigeria deserve our highest praise for reporting the most accurate estimates of [vaccine] coverage, not the highest possible number."
"On a really difficult high school science exam, an 86 per cent score might be considered pretty good. In the field of global health and security, 86 per cent of people protected is just not good enough."
"What this paper really calls for is a full-fledged effort in our research studies to understand when is it necessary to complete a certain course of antibiotics and when is it not — in fact, when it might even be advisable to do a short course."
"Today, as we recognize antibiotics for the very precious commodity that they are, we really need to go back and rethink what it means to be treated with antibiotics and how we can most effectively use them."
"This has been the storm coming for years. . . . We've known about it, but unfortunately, we're not ready."
“We aren’t much better prepared for Ebola today than we were during the crisis in West Africa, so you have to wonder. If we aren’t preparing for the outbreaks we know will happen in the near future, what good does it do to know about spillover events?”


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