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Global Surveillance Networks and International Health Regulations in the Early Detection and Control of Epidemics

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Abstract

An elaborate global health system has been developed around the world as a bulwark against infectious disease threats. The system consists of various networks of formal and informal organizations serving different stakeholders. This network has different purposes, methods, resources and accountability; it consists of public institutions operating in different fields of influence (at local, national, regional or global level), profit-oriented and non-profit private sector organizations. The current global health system has done important work to protect and improve human health. However, the world continues to face long-standing and emerging or re-emerging infectious disease threats. These threats vary greatly in severity and probability of risk, and each requires separate struggle dynamics. In addition, as with morbidity and mortality rates, these infections have many complex social and economic effects and consequences that differ. It is discussed whether the global health system with its current situation can provide effective protection against a number of communicable disease threats. Due to the recent emerging threats of Ebola, Zika, dengue fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), COVID-19, and influenza epidemics, and the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, this system is being put to the test. Weak health systems, urbanization, globalization, climate change, civil wars and conflicts, and the changing nature of pathogen transmission between human and animal populations, uncontrolled population growth in some risk areas aggravate current concerns. "Human-induced outbreaks resulting from laboratory accidents" or deliberate biological attacks are considered as other potential risks, making international cooperation and coordination important. International epidemiological surveillance systems and international health regulation coverage are expanding their scope as early intervention practices and tools that are critical in preventing infectious diseases from reaching epidemic levels and minimizing global risks. Also, the effectiveness of early warning surveillance systems is being improved with the use of new technologies.

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