SEP 08, 2022 9:00 AM PDT

Keynote Presentation: Strategies for Epidemics Containment in the Context of the Anthropocene's Planet Degradation with Live Q&A



The evolution of the planetary situation is presently knowing multiple rapid and severe complications impacting both geophysical as well as all the life aspects. Multiple parameters undergo radical changes: climate change, large losses of biodiversity (respectively 70%, 80%, 50% of vertebrates, insects and birds disappeared in less than 40 years, and all the rest being in an accelerated extinction phase). In addition, due to the extraction of fossil resources, mega-fires and dams we see the disappearance of natural habitats (wetlands, mangroves, glaciers, polar ice caps, rivers, lakes, rising of water temperatures), forests. These data are all correlated with an uncontrolled demography growth, mainly since the 20th century, reaching eight billion humans (consumers/polluters) this year as compared with only a single billion humans in 1800. Indeed, due to an accelerated growth of discoveries these last decades and globalization, the humanity has known an easier access to natural resources for a better comfort of life for much less efforts than by the past. Moreover, since the Second World War, the use of antibiotics, the development of multiple vaccines and therapeutic strategies has contributed to an unprecedent demographic growth. This is a paradox, where the medical progress, in a total absence of population control, indirectly contributes to accelerate the planet degradation.

The drastic reduction of wild habitats (previously not-visited by humans) induces a high concentration of hosts of infectious agents (SARS-CoV-2, Monkeypox, Tick-borne agents, etc.), favoring their spread into highly-dense promiscuous new populations. To provide a high-quality public health medicine in the present unfavorable context, we need to rethink several aspects, including the population control and its behavior and two mandatory actions: (i) measures to rapidly reverse the environmental situations mentioned above, but also (ii) set up a more efficient preparedness surveillance using ultra-sensitive and ultra-rapid detection of pathogens to adopt early and optimized counter-measures, to contain epidemics. Here, I will provide integrative ways to think about the crucial Gordian knot question on “human health and health of the planet”, and propose complementary technologies that could meet unmet medical needs.

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