Author: Prossy Namyalo is a Ph.D. Candidate of Health Services Research (Health Policy Specialization) and Global Health Specialization at Institute of Health Policy…
As the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the COVID 19 pandemic officially over, it’s obvious that the next question is what do we do with all the data we’ve collected and all the strategies we’ve had to implement over the past few years.
The answer would be; There is so much to do and so much more we don’t understand yet. There are many aspects of viral evolution, viral host genetics and country specific case severity we’ve still not been able to account for. Answering these would give us a better foundation and preparedness when the next viral pandemic hits. In essence, we would anticipate variation of disease susceptibility, variants emergence and adopt more efficient testing strategies based on the know-how accumulated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
What strikes me as the most important aspect yet to be fully understood is host viral interactions. How the host is contributing to viral entry and leading to disease progression and how different hosts respond to the virus. In our efforts to prepare for the next viral pandemic, striving to gain insights into this aspect would be essential. Though this subject seems a hurdle, breaking it down into host mechanisms involved in viral entry, viral integration and host immune response could demystify this task and provide us with the adequate tools to fight the next viral pandemic.
Utilizing SARS-COV-2 as a model for understanding viral pandemic dynamics may be just what we need to get ready.
Maame Ekua Acquah is a second year PhD student at the University of Ghana at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Biology(BCMB); Her research is funded by the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) and British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC).
Dr Lydia Mosi is a Senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, BCMB Department and WACCBIP.
Dr Charles A. Narh is a Research Fellow at Deakin University and adjunct Research Fellow at University of Ghana