WelcomeIt is our pleasure to announce the sixth International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance, IMED 2016 to be held in Vienna, Austria from 4–7 November 2016. For those whose work deals with threats from infectious agents, IMED 2016 will once again bring leading scientists, clinicians and policy makers to Vienna to present new knowledge and breakthroughs and discuss how to discover, detect, understand, prevent and respond to outbreaks of emerging pathogens.
Since the last IMED in 2014, newly emerged diseases and outbreaks of familiar ones have continued to challenge us. The West African Ebola outbreak presented an unparalleled crisis of global proportions and there are many lessons yet to be learned from it. MERS coronavirus continued to challenge the Middle East, spreading dangerously in the healthcare setting, and showed its global threat with a major outbreak in the Republic of Korea. Eruptions of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry, wild birds and humans continue to occur. Zika virus appeared for the first time in the Americas, spreading widely in this region with plentiful competent vectors. A frightening role in fetal malformation has emerged. Diseases at the human-wildlife interface ranging from rabies to plague to Nipah continue to draw our attention. Growing resistance by pathogens to all types of therapeutic agents raises fundamental obstacles to our ability to respond to outbreaks and pandemics. We have witnessed the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict and the threat of intentional use of biological agents for nefarious purposes remains as real as ever. The European migrant crisis has raised questions regarding the re-emergence of infectious diseases and the monitoring and screening of migrants arriving in Europe and elsewhere.
Since its inception, IMED has been a summit that unifies our approach to pathogens in the broadest ecological context. Drawing together human and veterinary health specialists, IMED serves as a true One Health forum where those working in diverse specialties and diverse regions can meet, discuss, present and challenge one another with findings and new ideas. While pathogens emerge and mutate, our methodology for detection, surveillance, prevention, control, and treatment also continue to evolve. New approaches to vaccination and isolation the uses of novel data sources and genomics, novel laboratory methods, rapid point-of-care diagnostics, risk communication, political and societal responses to outbreaks have all seen innovation and change that will be explored at IMED 2016.
ProMED and the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID), along with all of our co-sponsors and participating organizations, look forward to welcoming you to Vienna. Target Audience: Physicians, veterinarians and other health care workers and scientists, public health leaders, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, journalists, other interested persons including the entire ProMED-mail community.
Larry MADOFF & Britta LASSMANN
Co-Chairs, Scientific Program Committee
ISID, Boston, USA