Awaited for nearly a month, the list of nineteen members of the new Health Risk Monitoring and Anticipation Committee (Covars) was published on Thursday, September 29, in the Official newspaper. This list “was almost ready at the end of Augustindicates to World the immunologist Brigitte Autran, appointed president of this body on August 17. But it was necessary to wait for the end of the administrative procedures, in particular the verification of the links of interest of the future members by the High Authority for the transparency of public life. »
Thursday at 11 a.m., the new committee was to be installed by the Minister of Health, François Braun, and the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Sylvie Retailleau. Created by decree on 1er August, it takes over from the two consultative bodies set up by the government on the occasion of the Covid-19 pandemic: the Covid-19 Scientific Council and the Vaccine Strategy Steering Committee, whose functions have taken over. end on July 31 with the repeal of the state of health emergency regime.
The missions of the new committee, expanded, “concern all infectious diseases likely to constitute a public health risk”, explained to World Brigitte Autran, end of August. He should ” Especially ” to lean on “zoonoses, these infections transmitted to our species by animals or vice versa”. In fact, what strikes first, in the list of its members, is the large number of experts in the “global health” approach, which aims to prevent the appearance of zoonoses thanks to a better understanding of the links between human health, animal health and ecosystem health.
The expertise of a demographer
At least five Covars members have such expertise. Patrick Giraudoux, from the University of Franche-Comté, is a specialist in wildlife ecology and ecosystem health. Virologist Xavier de Lamballerie studies the emergence of viral pathologies at Aix-Marseille University. Didier Fontenille, he is interested in the biology and control of mosquitoes that transmit diseases, at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) in Montpellier.
Two veterinarians are also developing this approach. Roger Le Grand has created an institute dedicated to innovative therapies for human infectious diseases within the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies. And Thierry Lefrançois (already a member of the scientific council) is interested in the diagnosis, epidemiology and control of tropical animal diseases at the Center for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development, in Montpellier.
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