It is our pleasure to announce the Seventh International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance, IMED 2018, to be held in Vienna, Austria from 9–12 November 2018.  IMED 2018 will once again bring leading scientists, clinicians and policy makers to Vienna to present new knowledge and breakthroughs and discuss how to discover, detect, monitor, understand, prevent, and respond to outbreaks of emerging pathogens. 

Since the last IMED in 2016, newly emerged diseases and outbreaks of familiar ones have continued to challenge us. While not a new pathogen, the explosive emergence of Zika virus in the Americas and the recognition of congenital anomalies complicating infection during pregnancy led to an international public health emergency.  Eruptions of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry, wild birds and humans continue to occur. Diseases at the human-wildlife interface ranging from rabies to plague to Ebola continue to draw our attention. Growing antimicrobial resistance by pathogens to all types of therapeutic agents raises fundamental obstacles to our ability to respond to outbreaks and pandemics. The international spread of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and even the genetic elements underlying them makes this a global problem. Cholera and yellow fever, diseases thought to be well controlled, have resurged with a vengeance.  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. Migration 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, veterinary, and environmental 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. Representatives of the international One Health “tripartite”—WHO, FAO and OIE—have been invited to participate in developing IMED’s program.

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, 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 2018. 

The Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (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. Our target audience includes physicians, veterinarians and other health care workers and scientists, public health leaders, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, journalists, and other interested persons including the entire ProMED community.


Co-Chairs, Scientific Program Committee
ISID, Boston, USA