The Osterholm Quotes

"The good news is that this is a report that can move us to the next level. But it will mean little if it does not translate into action."
"Do we need to make these buildings much more airtight and the air be filtered? That in fact could be a possibility."
"I don't understand why they have not prioritized developing a camel vaccine to stop transmission from young camels to humans."
"If MERS shows up in the inner cities of one of the developing world megacities, like Lagos or Kinshasa, we will be in real trouble. We know there will be future outbreaks if MERS isn't stopped in the Middle East, but we are not very close to doing that now."
“The willingness and or the ability to share detailed scientific information about an outbreak is often based on the culture in which that outbreak occurs. . . . But I think that here [in the Middle East] that has become an acute problem."
"What I fear is once we get through Korea people will say 'See, we can control this. Don’t worry.' And they’re going to miss the point that we may not be so lucky next time."
"If there is any disease that’s incredibly humbling, it’s influenza. Every time you think you know it, you are reminded that Mother Nature is in charge."
"Clearly there's at least one — maybe two — super-spreading events going on."
"Obviously it's a very serious situation, but right now it's a hospital-related outbreak. If you've visited these health-care facilities or have contacts in these facilities, this is a concern, but for the vast majority of people, this is not a public health concern."
"A highly infectious case, combined with poor infection control, can easily lead to this kind of cluster. This could happen just as well in New York or Berlin."
"Closing the schools is totally unnecessary. The real focus has to be preventing transmission in health-care settings."
"When you [put] someone who's infectious with a respiratory illness in a setting where there are other sick people, unless you are able to completely control where the air goes from that [infected] person, you're likely to infect other people who are also sick and more likely to be vulnerable to the virus."
"The fact that MERS has spread around the world is not surprising. The question is, 'Where is it going to spread to next?' "
"I think we're all aware of the fact that we're seeing this in much more real time than we have those [MERS outbreaks] on the Arabian Peninsula."
"Once it gets into an area, it has just not gone away."
"In the Midwest, we've always said our biosecurity efforts were sufficient to deal with [high-path avian flu] … but we've never really been challenged. Obviously, the biosecurity systems we have are not adequate."
"Influenza viruses have been thought in the past to be transmitted by birds to birds in close contact and it was only that kind of transmission we needed to be concerned about. . . . Now we surely have a very dynamic situation in the Midwest . . . where we no longer can assume it's just migratory birds."
"We have no real preparedness, and we're seeing that right now with avian influenza."
"All the old dogma about high-path influenza transmission has just gone out the window. . . . We're in totally uncharted territory."
"It [H5N2 avian flu] could be just acting like any other highly pathogenic virus we see, with wind-driven virus transmission. It just hasn't been stopped by the current level of biosecurity."
"We've only been able to culture viruses for 80 years. But if you look at the sampling that's been done from the 1950s onward, there are more flu viruses in animals than we've seen in the past."
"We have immense challenges before us. . . . I liken it to a swimmer in a calm lake who can cover 12 miles in 6 hours. Put that same swimmer in a river heading upstream against a 4-mph current. . . . After 3 hours he ends up 6 miles downstream from where he started. . . . We are not swimming in a calm lake. "
"We know the circumference of the world hasn't changed. . . . On the other hand, the world is much larger and smaller at the same time. It's larger in terms of population . . . it's smaller in that modern transportation has made oceans, mountain ranges, and international borders irrelevant to the spread of infectious agents."
"We're now stretched so thin with the available resources to even respond to the number of birds that are infected in the poultry industry that I'm not sure we're getting the kind of information we need right now to understand this situation."
"We have a lot of work to do to figure out really what it is that we know and don't know, and be humble enough to accept that we don't know. What motivated people not to get vaccinated, and who are they?"


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