Data, disease and diplomacy: GISAID’s innovative contributionto global health

Elbe, Stefan and Buckland-Merrett, Gemma (2017) Data, disease and diplomacy: GISAID’s innovative contributionto global health. Global Challenges, 1 (1). pp. 33-46. ISSN 2056-6646

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The international sharing of virus data is critical for protecting populations against le-thal infectious disease outbreaks. Scientists must rapidly share information to assessthe nature of the threat and develop new medical countermeasures. Governmentsneed the data to trace the extent of the outbreak, initiate public health responses,and coordinate access to medicines and vaccines. Recent outbreaks suggest, however,that the sharing of such data cannot be taken for granted – making the timely inter-national exchange of virus data a vital global challenge. This article undertakes thefirst analysis of the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data as an innovativepolicy effort to promote the international sharing of genetic and associated influenzavirus data. Based on more than 20 semi-structured interviews conducted with key in-formants in the international community, coupled with analysis of a wide range ofprimary and secondary sources, the article finds that the Global Initiative on SharingAll Influenza Data contributes to global health in at least five ways: (1) collating themost complete repository of high-quality influenza data in the world; (2) facilitatingthe rapid sharing of potentially pandemic virus information during recent outbreaks;(3) supporting the World Health Organization’s biannual seasonal flu vaccine strainselection process; (4) developing informal mechanisms for conflict resolution aroundthe sharing of virus data; and (5) building greater trust with several countries key toglobal pandemic preparedness.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Global Health Policy
Depositing User: Stefan Elbe
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 16:53
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 06:38

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