Pathogens are the cause of infectious diseases, but the environment can play an important role in influencing the conditions under which pathogens spread and cause harm. Understanding the complex interplay among people, pathogens, and the environment - broadly encompassing the chemical, biological, physical, and social surroundings - can lead to a more complete picture of where and how infectious diseases emerge, how they spread, and how to respond to outbreaks.
The virtual workshop Pivotal Interfaces of Environmental Health and Infectious Disease Research to Inform Responses to Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Pandemics was held on June 8-9, 2021. This workshop provided a venue for experts in infectious diseases, environmental health, and data science from government, academia, and the private sector to examine current knowledge about the environment-infectious disease interface and to explore how this knowledge can be used to inform public health decisions. Key workshop topics included how advances in environmental exposure assessments can be applied to identify, predict, and monitor critical infectious disease exposure pathways, and how climate and environmental modeling techniques can be applied to better understand the biology and transmission dynamics of pathogens and provide early warning of emerging threats. In addition, workshop sessions explored critical data gaps at the environment-infectious disease interface and provided insight on how new and emerging techniques can be applied to address those data gaps, especially through the integration of tools used in environmental health and infectious disease research. This publication summarizes the presentation and discussion of the workshop.
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