Pandemic literacy and viral zoonotic spillover risk at the frontline of disease emergence in Southeast Asia to improve pandemic preparedness
The PANDASIA project addresses the call by providing a framework that will increase our understanding of the biology of viruses with emerging infectious disease potential and their interaction with humans, animals and the environment and translating this understanding into proactive preventative actions. Such research is crucial for providing evidence-based knowledge and tools for better integrative public health measures for local and national actors. We will develop models to identify and predict drivers of disease emergence, which will be evaluated with real world data, refined and used to develop health and pandemic literacy intervention strategies that reduce risk of future viral emergence, thereby reducing the burden of zoonotic spillover to human health. Since pandemics arise at a local level it is important to engage with local communities and health, environment and agriculture authorities to improve their health and pandemic literacy to ensure adequate preparedness and vigilance for future spillover events and human, animal and environmental health threats. Understanding spillover dynamics and threats at local levels in emerging disease hotspot areas, such as Southeast Asia, is important for the European Union to improve preparedness and the ability to respond quickly to health emergencies and cross-border threats. The identified drivers are likely generalizable to other emerging infectious disease hotspots in the region and if successfully implemented in SE Asia could be adapted to other hotspot regions, such as in South America and Africa.