Infectious disease ranks among the gravest threats to human health, alongside global warming and terrorism. New disease strains are naturally continuously emerging and resulting outbreaks can spread rapidly, with the potential to cause enormous losses to health and livelihood.
Worldwide, however, many infections remain undetected. Due to poor diagnostic tools, infection is often undiagnosed and therefore untreated, or diagnosed at a late stage when treatment is less effective. This results in on-going transmission of serious infections and delays in the identification of emerging threats, which may lead to major human and economic consequences for millions of people.
The best strategic approach to control any outbreak is to identify the source of infection at an early stage and halt its spread, or prevent the outbreak altogether. To do this, we rely on very early detection.