07/04/2020

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COVID-19: the EU is ready to respond – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Throughout the EU, quite a few men and women are apprehensive about the novel coronavirus and its rapid distribute. The EU project Put together, which began in 2014, is responding to COVID-19 by rapidly evaluating Europe’s preparedness and deploying critical medical investigate.


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The novel coronavirus, which to start with erupted at the finish of 2019 in mainland China and is now spreading in excess of much more than one hundred nations around the world, is obtaining a important effects. The virus triggers a respiratory condition referred to as COVID-19 which passes rapidly from man or woman to man or woman and may be much more severe than seasonal influenza. In Europe, a rapid reaction is important to limit its influence.

In 2014, the EU-funded Put together project established up a system for European preparedness from rising epidemics. It has been created to assure that medical investigate is established in motion to analyze the quite a few uncertainties created by a new condition, which has the possible to threaten the health and security of European citizens.

‘When faced with a new infectious condition like COVID-19, medical experts and community health authorities confront quite a few uncertainties. We have to have to know how it spreads, who is most at danger, how severe the condition is, and how people are very best identified and taken care of,’ claims Professor Peter Horby of the College of Oxford and a member of PREPARE’s Outbreak Manner Committee (OMC).

Scientific investigate and trials are vital to locating answers. Nonetheless, this step often does not take place during the to start with levels of an outbreak, which means that researchers overlook alternatives to boost the reaction to the new condition. Put together bridges this gap by staying capable to promptly place medical investigate into action in a bid to help save life and progress medical knowledge.

Be ready

Put together operates in 4 distinctive modes: mode occurs when there is no precise danger and investigate into generic preparedness functions can take place. Manner one – ‘prepare’ – is activated when a precise condition provides a confined danger to Europe. Manner two – ‘mobilisation’ – is deployed when there is a possible danger to Europe. Finally, Manner three – ‘response’ is reserved for an instant danger.

When a precise condition emerges, these kinds of as that triggering COVID-19, the project’s OMC closely monitors the predicament and coordinates the suitable European reaction. The OMC contains 4 major professors in the subject of rising infectious diseases.

During Manner , when there is no epidemic, Put together carries out medical investigate, including the MERMAIDS-ARI observational analyze with people who have symptoms of acute respiratory bacterial infections, and the REMAP-CAP intervention analyze tests distinctive cure solutions in people with severe lung bacterial infections.

The project has also evaluated the willingness of European citizens to take section in investigate and trials in the function of an epidemic or pandemic. This analysis confirmed robust community support for pandemic-related medical investigate initiatives.  

‘Extensive medical and laboratory function has been carried out to fully grasp the enhancement of severe condition in a significant observational analyze of people infected with prevalent respiratory viruses, including the 4 identified seasonal human coronaviruses. This offers a unique facts repository and biobank for comparative immunology and pathogenesis reports for COVID-19,’ claims Professor Menno de Jong of the College of Amsterdam and deputy project coordinator.

Be ready

On 22 January, Put together entered mode one in reaction to the novel Coronavirus outbreak. During this period, the project assessed Europe’s readiness by identifying knowledge and source gaps and making ready medical protocols. PREPARE’s partners also formulated initial protocols for detecting the virus and collaborated with other medical investigate networks.

On 6 February 2020, Put together raised its reaction to mode two. Under this mode, it despatched surveys to 270 of its diagnostic laboratories, spanning forty two European nations, to assess their capacities to detect the virus. If the number of circumstances in Europe rises, a network of hospitals and main-care web sites across the EU are all set to have out even more investigate into COVID-19.

PREPARE’s OMC has now moved to a Manner three reaction offered that sustained transmission of the condition has been detected amongst the European population. ‘If the present-day epidemic is not contained, and we have to have to put together for a pandemic situation, our networks are all set to do the required reports and trials. We will have out these trials under Recover, a new project funded by the European Union as a reaction to the instant danger of the novel coronavirus global outbreak,’ says Professor Herman Goossens of the College of Antwerp (Belgium), project coordinator of Put together and Recover.

Put together is related to other global EU-funded medical investigate networks including ALERRT and PANDORA in sub Saharan Africa, and ZikaPLAN, ZIKAlliance and ZIKAction in Latin The usa.