Congratulations to China CDC on the launch of the China CDC Weekly. Through timely, accurate reporting on public health surveillance, epidemiologic investigations, and emergency responses, and by sharing lessons learned and evidence-based recommendations for public health practice, this new publication will contribute to improving public health.
China is an active and strategic partner in global health security. As the home of one fifth of the world’s population, the health of China is a key contributor to the health of the world. In addition, China’s large population of livestock (1) creates risk of transmission of infectious diseases such as avian influenza; successful control of this and other zoonotic diseases is vitally important to China and the rest of the world. Finally, the rapid growth of China’s international travel and trade—by land to its 14 neighboring countries and by air and sea to the rest of the world—makes timely detection, reporting, and control of communicable diseases critical for preventing the spread of such disease both into and out of China. Thus, China’s progress in improving its own public health capacity along with its contributions to public health preparedness in other countries will play a significant, growing role in helping to ensure a world safe from infectious and other health threats.
The US and China have maintained a close partnership in public health for over four decades, and the China CDC Weekly marks an exciting new development in this relationship. The China CDC Weekly is modeled after the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR, which has been published by CDC since 1961 (2) and has consistently published important public health findings and recommendations relevant to the US and globally. Included among these have been many firsts, such as the first cases of what was later determined to be AIDS in 1981; the first cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in 1993; the first cases of pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 and many more. Known for its clear, succinct writing style and with a reputation for accuracy, credibility, timeliness, relevance, and usefulness, MMWR, or “the voice of CDC” as it has been called, has evolved to be one of the leading sources of public health information and recommendations in the world (2).
We expect the new China CDC Weekly to join the ranks of important public health publications that promote a culture of rapid data sharing and transparency needed to quickly address public health problems. Moreover, we hope the MMWR and China CDC Weekly will develop a tradition of joint publication of articles relevant to the US, China, and the world, expanding rapid access to public health data and information to new audiences. The article, “Progress Toward Measles Elimination in the People’s Republic of China, January 2013–June 2019
”, being jointly published this week in both publications can start such a tradition by focusing on a resurgent public health problem—measles—and sharing China’s progress towards its elimination (3).
Health challenges are notoriously complex and at times can seem insurmountable. They can often be solved, however, through diligent surveillance and epidemiologic investigation, application of innovative and evidence-based interventions, timely and transparent data sharing, and maintenance of strong and effective partnerships. We look forward to the public health benefits that will follow from scientific findings soon to be shared rapidly and widely in the China CDC Weekly. This is cause for congratulations, appreciation, and celebration.
Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.