Risk based approach will optimize socioeconomic recovery

Could have public health crisis of greater magnitude than that due to COVID-19

In a recent editorial, the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. James J James statess that there are currently two potential public health crises in the US. The first, COVID-19, we are all too aware of and are currently in the throes of attempting to control it through containment and mitigation. We are currently focusing on extreme containment measures, which cannot work as the transmission has already occurred nationwide. Data from South Korea and Italy indicate such measures may not even be necessary or very effective.

The side effect of these extreme measures is severe socio-economic damage realized through negative impacts on income, employment, and education, the recognized critical social determinants of health necessary for physical, mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing. This will unleash a second public crisis which , history shows, will have far greater negative impacts on overall morbidity and mortality than that which we are currently seeing from COVID-19.

To contain and mitigate both crises, we need national and state level strategies based on what we know of the epidemiological and clinical aspects of this disease. These strategies need to be targeted across individual and community risk determined by known risk factors such as age, population density, and transmission characteristics. This will enable us to begin recovery and transition back to a healthy economy while taking the necessary measures to address COVID-19.

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About the Journal

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness is the first comprehensive and authoritative journal emphasizing public health preparedness and disaster response for all health care and public health professionals globally. The journal seeks to translate science into practice and integrate medical and public health perspectives. DMPHP is an official journal of the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, and is produced by Cambridge University Press.

About the Society

The Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health aims to evolve a discipline around disaster medicine and public health. The society’s goal is to improve global health security, with the involvement and development of global health professionals and others who are involved in responding to and or managing significant events. The mission of the SDMPH is to advance and promote excellence in education, training and research in disaster medicine and public health for all potential health system responders based on sound educational principles, scientific evidence and best clinical and public health practices.

Media Contact
Don Donahue
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Related Journal Article

https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/724458D7503173B16E334BE5B8C19469/S1935789320000841a.pdf/covid19_from_epidemic_to_pandemic.pdf
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2020.84

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