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Home Industry News New UK team of health experts to help tackle disease outbreaks

New UK team of health experts to help tackle disease outbreaks

2nd November 2016

The government has launched a new UK Public Health Rapid Support Team to help handle disease outbreaks around the world.

Consisting of clinicians, scientists and academics, the team can be deployed to tackle disease outbreaks anywhere in the world within 48 hours, responding to urgent requests from countries to tackle disease outbreaks at the source.

When not responding to an outbreak, the team will research how best to deal with emergencies, while training public health reservists and working with counterparts in poorer countries to develop local response teams.

Around 20 million pounds will be made available from the UK development assistance budget to fund the team over five years, with Public Health England and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to jointly run the project.

This initiative is being launched as a response to the recent Ebola crisis, which highlighted the need for a system to rapidly respond to such outbreaks before they can develop into a global emergency.

Public health minister Nicola Blackwood said: "The ability to deploy emergency support to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks within 48 hours will save lives, prevent further outbreaks and cement the UK's position as a leader in global health security."

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