The spread of infectious diseases has received much public attention in recent years. The sudden reappearance and outbreak of the Ebola virus disease devastated West Africa in 2014, resulting in over 11,000 deaths. MERS-CoV, which has affected Middle East countries since 2012, made its way across continents to South Korea in 2015. Numerous cases of microcephaly from Zika viral infections have been reported from Latin America and South-East Asia since 2015, while other diseases such as yellow fever, Lassa fever and cholera have reemerged.
Infectious diseases cause immense economic and social damages, and the risk of epidemics will only increase in the progressively interconnected global society without a globally coordinated network dedicated to preventing and interrupting transmission of such diseases.
While numerous funds and initiatives have been established worldwide to research pathogens and respond to outbreaks, these efforts have so far been operating in a discrete fashion. Cooperation and knowledge-sharing across borders, sectors, and affiliations is vital if we are to respond effectively to the persistent threats of infectious diseases including newly identified ones.
In this context, the Global Center for Infectious Diseases (GCID) seeks to strengthen the global capacity to Predict, Prevent, and Prepare for the outbreaks of infectious diseases. It strives to achieve these aims by facilitating partnerships among research institutes and other entities tackling disease prevention and control. Through the formation of a collaborative network, GCID ultimately endeavors to enhance the pooling of necessary expertise and resources, benefiting public health at the global level.
We welcome contribution and participation by all interested parties. Thank you for your interest in GCID.
Dr. Eung-Soo Hwang
Global Center for Infectious Diseases
Seoul National University College of Medicine