On the one-hundred-year anniversary of the 1918 Great Influenza Pandemic, it is instructive to look back to understand the impact of high consequence emerging infectious diseases. Today, we are witnessing the rise of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, and as we look forward, we need to understand why they are occurring with alarming frequency and how these high consequence infectious diseases are impacting global security. Lessons learned must be applied to new policy approaches that are urgently needed to prevent outbreaks from becoming regional epidemics, pandemics, and humanitarian crises. High consequence emerging infectious diseases are a neglected national security issue requiring the application of One Health concepts and building upon the global health security agenda framework. Renewed leadership, strategy, and innovation for global health security are needed to transition us from a posture of reactionary, costly response to one of prevention, improved preparedness, and international security.
Dr. Parker is an Associate Dean at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and the Campus Director for Global One Health at Texas A&M University. He holds joint appointments at the Bush School of Government Service as Director of the Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program and as strategic advisor for the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases. Dr. Parker is a former Commander and Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and has held senior executive level positions at the Department of Homeland Security, served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS, and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense at DoD.