Table 1

Responses to open-ended questions on EIDs

Nightmare scenario
  • Escape of a genetically engineered highly pathogenic transmissible agent.

  • Rapid global spread of a hypervirulent respiratory virus.

  • High pathogenicity virus spread by ubiquitous day-biting mosquitoes.

  • High pathogenicity virus with a long presymptomatic period or absence of symptoms in some infectious individuals (‘silent man’) or prolonged viral shedding post recovery.

Priorities for future research/policy
  • Improving basic EID literacy (professionals, politicians and public)

  • Enhanced EID surveillance and risk mapping.

  • Defining the mechanisms of pathogen host species ‘jumping’.

  • Understanding social mobility and community network structures.

  • Eco-friendly infection control conscious city planning.

  • Protecting frontline staff.

  • Immunisation strategies for disease prevention and outbreak response.

  • Developing rapid accurate diagnostics and effective treatment.

  • Minimising adverse economic impacts.

  • Advanced scenario planning to guide action in an emergency.

Most important research question
  • What are all the infectious agents that exist in nature and their respective spill-over risk to humans?

  • How to accurately value ecosystem services and the societal cost of human-induced ecosystem disturbance?

Issues that require public consultation
  • Accepted levels of public surveillance, including strategies for early outbreak detection and transmission chain tracking.

  • Justification for escalating degrees of intervention.

  • How to keep the public informed during a crisis.

  • Compensation for those affected by disease containment strategies.

  • Balancing individual and community risks/benefits in decision-making.

  • Balancing the best interests of current and future generations.

  • EID, Emerging Infectious Disease.