PODD Pre-spillover Disease Detection
Detects lethal viruses before they "spillover" and spread to humans, stopping potential human pandemics.
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SARS, MERS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, HIV, COVID-19 - all of these viruses are zoonotic. They “spillover” from animals to humans. From a single spillover event (COVID-19), the Thai economy has contracted over 5%, a $60 billion tourism industry was brought to its knees, and one of the most unequal societies in Southeast Asia is only getting worse. The poor and vulnerable, not to mention the 20 million informal workers without safety nets, are suffering.
In Thailand, many homes – even in urban areas - have small populations of farm animals. Livestock owners are not veterinarians, but they know when animals are sick, and they know that one sick pig can easily equal twenty sick animals. However, they might not know that twenty sick animals can turn into 5 million people infected in a deadly pandemic. And they’re not likely to share that they have a sick pig with local epidemiologists or community officials.
PODD stands for Participatory One Health Disease Detection and is pronounced "paw dee dee" which means “look closely and you will see” in Thai. It is a pre-spillover participatory community disease detection surveillance platform.
PODD supplies farmers, livestock owners, and local community members a mobile application compatible with any smartphone or tablet with which they take photos and report sick animals to local health officials. Reports trigger response teams dispatched to investigate and deal with potential spread.
PODD has already successfully detected nearly 100 pre-spillover events in Thailand. They currently have over 10,000 local volunteers participating in personal disease surveillance and over 600 local government officials handling PODD cases.
PODD is community-owned, significantly faster than a national response strategy, and plans to expand throughout Thailand and into neighboring Southeast Asian countries within the next year.
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