University of Nebraska Medical Center

Health Emergencies

The Global Center for Health Security is the premier U.S. institution for management of high-consequence infections. Explore current and past health emergencies below. 

Current Health Emergencies | Past Health Emergencies 


UNMC’s Global Center for Health Security leadership team meets biweekly with local and state public health representatives to review and discuss new COVID-19 developments and other infectious disease challenges. James V. Lawler, MD, MPH, FIDSA, provides an overview of new data, developments, and updates on a local, state, national, and international level. These updates have been recorded and are available below for informational purposes. Watch the recordings below.

Statewide Briefings

Date Subject
4/16/24 Influenza A Virus 101 | HPAI H5N1 
4/2/24 H5N1 (Avian Flu) in Dairy Cows 
3/19/24 Mpox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 
3/5/24 New CDC Booster Guidance | Measles 
2/20/24 CDC plans to loosen COVID guidance 
2/6/24 TJC IPC Standards (Presentation by Angie Vasa)
1/23/24 Study: "New dose-response model and SARS-CoV-2 quanta emission rates for calculating the long-range airborne infection risk"
1/9/24  Studies: "Real-World Effectiveness of BNT162b2 Against Infection and Severe Diseases in Children" | "Adolescents and Winter Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Study: estimates of epidemiological characteristics, 21 December 2023"
1/2/24 Study: "Developmental impairment in children exposed during pregnancy to maternal SARS-COV2: A Brazilian cohort study", plus COVID-19 hospital admissions and wasterwater update 
12/12/23 Updates on Respiratory Viruses: COVID-19 with a focus on the JN.1 variant, Influenza, and RSV. 
11/28/23 Hodgepodge: Upsurge of respiratory illnesses among Children in Northern China, Mysterious respiratory illness affecting dogs, Recent data of respiratory illness activity, and Long COVID in the US 
11/14/23 Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Lockdowns & More 
10/31/23 New COVID-19 Strain: JN.1 
10/17/23 Recent Data & Outlook on the Tripledemic: COVID-19, RSV, and Influenza
10/3/23 Breakdown of Data of Recent National Statistics Report- Mortality by COVID Vaccination Status 
9/19/23 Updates on COVID-19 boosters, Prevalence of COVID symptoms, and Long Covid. 
9/5/23 Study: COVID-19 & Vaccination in An Incarcerated Population | COVID-19 Updates 
8/22/23 BA.2.86 COVID Variant & Recent Wastewater Testing 
8/8/23 Current COVID-19 Variants & Trends 
7/25/23 COVID-19 Updates & Fall Outlook and Dr. Lawler's recent "Lessons Learned" 
7/11/23 Participation in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) and Findings from the N3C Rural Health Domain Team (Presentation by Jerrod Anzalone, MS)
6/27/23 Reinforcing lessons learned from COVID-19 
6/13/23 China's COVID waves, U.S. waste water, and the effects of long COVID in children
5/30/23 State of public data on COVID-19 & Marburg virus disease (Presentation by David Brett-Major, MD, PhD)
5/23/23 State of post COVID-19 syndromes in kids (Presentation by Arthur Chang, MD) 
5/16/23 Risk of death after vaccination or infection & changes in U.S. life expectancy
5/9/23 Reports: NBA & COVID | Long COVID in the UK 
5/2/23 Kids & COVID-19: A Wake Up Call? 
4/25/23 Vilobelimab Therapy for COVID-19 
4/18/23 COVID-19 & POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) 
4/11/23 Paxlovid treatment studies
4/4/23 COVID-19 Immunity |  The Rise of XBB 1.16 in India
3/28/23 New phase of the pandemic: Low levels of COVID-19 testing 
3/21/23 COVID-19 Vaccine studies
3/14/23 Studies surrounding the origin of COVID-19
3/7/23 COVID-19 Updates & Studies 
2/28/23 World tour: Updates on health emergencies  (Presentation by Lauren Sauer, MSc) 
2/21/23 Evolution of COVID-19 in free-ranging white tailed deer  (Presentation by Joseph Fauver, PhD) 
2/14/23 Marburg virus disease outbreak in Equatorial Guinea (Plus Covid Updates) 
2/7/23 All eyes on the Avian Flu (Plus Covid Updates)
1/31/23 COVID-19: Vaccine safety & effectiveness of bivalent vaccines
1/24/23 SARS-CoV-2 Variant Update (Presentation by Dr. Joseph Fauver)
1/17/23 Presence and locations of SARS-CoV-2 at autopsy
1/10/23 Bivalent vaccines vs. BQ & XBB
1/3/23 2023: New year--new dominant variant?
12/27/22 2022: A Year in Review
12/20/22 You Again 
12/13/22 What's in store for us this winter?  (Presentation by Dr. Joseph Fauver)
12/6/22 Groundhog Day
11/29/22 Triple threat
11/22/22 *No update
11/15/22 The ongoing toll of COVID-19
11/8/22 *No update
11/1/22 The winter of our discontent
10/25/22 Preventable Nebraskan deaths (Presentation by Dr. David Brett-Major)
10/18/22 Smokescreens and the actual facts
10/11/22 Navigating the Nile
10/4/22 COVID-19: Long Road Home
9/27/22 They can't hear you
9/20/22 It is not over yet
9/13/22 You can't have it: The failure to distribute effective antivirals
9/6/22 Flu
8/30/22 How did we get here? 
8/23/22 Weird Science 
8/9/22 Transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2
8/2/22 Seroprevalence in children
7/26/22 Recent observations of long COVID & of BA.5 
7/19/22 Why does vaccine protection vary? What might fall bring?
7/12/22 Variants rising faster
7/5/22 Global impact of COVID-19 vaccine on mortality
6/28/22 Let 'er rip: A failed strategy that continues to fail
6/21/22 Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine update  (Presentation by Dr. Alice Sato) 
6/14/22 REACT-1 Study
6/7/22 Post-COVID-19 conditions & prevention via vaccination (Presentation by Dr. Mark Rupp)
5/31/22 Global Monkeypox Update (Presentation by Lauren Sauer)
5/31/22 COVID-19 Update (Presentation by Dr. David Brett-Major)
5/24/22 1,000,000
5/17/22 Nebraska's COVID-19 deaths: How many were preventable? (Presentation by Dr. David Brett-Major)
5/10/22 South Africa and U.S. case trends
5/3/22 Newest variants of concern: BA.4 & BA.5 
4/26/22 Reviewing the facts: What we know about COVID-19
4/19/22 Pandemics are a team sport
4/12/22 Vaccine v. Snake Oil (aka "natural" immunity)
3/29/22 The BA.2 waiting game--will we surge or plunge?
3/22/22 BA.2: Around the world in 80 days
3/15/22 Beware the Ides of March: COVID surging in Hong Kong, China, and Western Europe; new data on the threat of BA.2 variant
3/8/22 Decoupling factor analysis
3/1/22 Hong Kong's Omicron wave swells & social media's sea of misinformation briefly recedes
2/22/22 Reinforced lessons: Mental health, vaccine reactions, and enclosed spaces/singing
2/18/22 Looking forward: Additional boosters, variants, and hospitalizations
2/15/22 Louder than a bomb: COVID-19 virions
2/11/22 The role of trust in pandemic response and infection fatality rates
2/8/22 The absurdity of removing masks in schools
2/4/22 Lies, damned lies, and statistics
2/1/22 Excess mortality during COVID-19 pandemic
1/28/22 Current Omicron status: Realizing the statistical peril before it's too late
1/25/22 Debunking myths on COVID risks & transmission among children, long COVID risks, herd immunity, and more.
1/21/22 Long COVID effects and length of recovery frequently underestimated
1/18/22 Vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women and children ages 5-18
1/14/22 Predictions of Nebraska's Omicron cases and peak 
1/11/22 The Omicron battle: No retreat, no surrender 
1/7/22 Projected Nebraska Omicron hospitalizations 
1/4/22 Principles of exponential growth: Why COVID is rapidly spreading despite vaccinations
12/28/21 U.S.: Delta recedes and Omicron emerges causing increase of pediatric hospitalizations
12/21/21 Harbingers: South Africa, the UK, and Denmark
12/17/21 Delta, Omicron, and the upcoming influenza season
12/14/21 Omicron: Why its transmissibility is more worrisome than its lethality.  
12/10/21 Post-Acute COVID Syndrome (Presentation by Dr. Andy Vasey)
12/7/21 Early Omicron data from South Africa & the UK
11/30/21 Omicron: Known facts and next-step suggestions
11/19/21 Top ten states with highest mortality rates
11/16/21 COVID-19 and influenza vaccines--reasons to get both!  (Presentation by Dr. Mark Rupp)
11/12/21 COVID-19 Pandemic Comparison
11/9/21 Latest COVID-19 case counts
11/5/21 Portugal's Success against COVID-19
11/2/21 VAERS: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (always subject to bias)
10/29/21 Studies: COVID-19 Vaccination and Non-COVID-19 Mortality Risk, first responders' risk of COVID-19 Infection, and SSRI use to treat COVID-19
10/26/21 Study results of children's vaccinations
10/22/21 Mixing and matching vaccines for boosters
10/19/21 COVID-19 was a leading cause of (unnecessary) deaths in Sept. '21
10/15/21 Vaccine vs. natural immunity and an update about the Moderna booster (presentation by Dr. Mark Rupp)
10/12/21 Pediatric Update (presentation by Dr. Russell McCulloh)
10/8/21 Europe, the U.S. and beyond--data trends and global vaccinations
10/5/21 Pandemic fatigue on health care workers
10/1/21 Distinctions between states with high versus low vaccination rates
9/28/21 COVID-19's potential effect on the central nervous system
9/24/21 Exactly how does a vaccine get approved in the U.S.?
9/21/21 Preventable deaths...and preventive measures (presentation by Dr. David Brett-Major)
9/17/21 Experimental therapies and associated risks
9/14/21 It's not over
9/10/21 Review: Path Out of the Pandemic
9/7/21 The failure of "focused protection" as a strategy against COVID-19
8/31/21 The truth about vaccine vs. natural immunity, COVID-19 transmission in schools, and long-term health risks to children
8/24/21 Vaccination and pregnancy
8/17/21 Current U.S. COVID-19 hot spots
8/10/21 Common COVID-19 Myths Busted
8/3/21 Southern states suffering from a large Delta variant surge
7/27/21 Hospitalizations due to Delta variant increase nationwide.
7/20/21 Mirroring the UK's Delta variant transmission in the U.S.
7/13/21 The Delta Variant and children
7/6/21 Delta Variant doubling cases and hospitalizations in some states
6/29/21 The Delta Variant in the UK
6/22/21 Global vaccine status (presentation by Lauren Sauer)
6/15/21 Pediatrics and COVID-19 (presentation by Dr. Kari Simonsen)
6/8/21 Global & national cases rates, COVAX, and immunocompromised issues (presentation by Dr. David Brett-Major)
5/25/21 Global variant trends and early indications of vaccine efficacy
5/21/21 Current variant trends
5/18/21 Observations of Washington state's vaccination rates and test positivity rates
5/14/21 CDC guidelines, current case counts, and vaccination status update 
5/11/21 Subcutaneous monoclonal antibodies' efficacy against variants
5/4/21 Canada's variant spike and the lessons learned
4/27/21 Additional evidence of increased risk associated with singing
4/23/21 How bots, trolls, and cyborgs threaten our health security
4/20/21 Hong Kong hospital outbreak and 2020 deaths attributed to COVID-19
4/16/21 India experiences dramatic rise in positive cases
4/13/21 Subcutaneous monoclonal antibodies, vaccine vs. variants, and C-19 prison outbreak
4/9/21 Johnson & Johnson and Astra-Zeneca vaccine side effects
4/6/21 P.1 variant spreads across Brazil
3/30/21 MRNA vaccine efficacy, vaccine in pregnant/lactating women, and the surge in Brazil
3/26/21 Vaccine and monoclonal antibody efficacy against variants
3/23/21 Variant trends
3/19/21 Recent global trends--increasing activity
3/16/21 Seroprevalence studies, obesity risk ratios, and monoclonal antibody products' effectiveness against specific variants
3/12/21 Top three myths debunked: Downslope, herd immunity, and open schools
3/5/21 Infection in children based on seroprevalence data
3/2/21 Plateauing case counts and other indicators the U.S. is following U.K. variant trends
2/26/21 Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single-dose vaccine 
2/23/21 CHARM Study Q&A, vaccine prioritization, and vaccine efficacy after first and second doses.
2/19/21 CHARM Study: Marine Corps recruits in basic training at Parris Island 
2/16/21 Modeling of transmission modes aboard the Diamond Princess and new school guidance from the CDC 
2/12/21 What happens when you can actually do good contact tracing?
2/9/21 Variants and vaccines
2/5/21 Double masks and KN95s (presentation by Dr. John Lowe)
2/2/21 Incomplete study data on school transmission levels and variant sequencing
1/29/21 Race to vaccinate against variants
1/26/21 Mitigation policies & mortality; quarantined college athletes 
1/22/21 New executive orders, antigen tests, and ICU mortality
1/19/21 Variants: modeling, transmission, and mutation challenges
1/15/21 Transmission in children and in-person learning
1/12/21 Nebraska plateaus, college counties, and the importance of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions to mitigate transmission
1/8/21 Status report, high-titer plasma therapy, and seroprevalence surveys
1/5/21 UK and South Africa Variants in the U.S. 
12/29/20 UK Variant's transmission and reinfection of health care workers
12/22/20 UK SARS-CoV-2 Variant (B.1.1.7.)  
12/18/20 Review of mortality rates and vaccine data
12/15/20 Household transmission and restaurant transmission study
12/11/20 Post-Thanksgiving plateau and Pfizer vaccine on the horizon
12/8/20 Transmission among Marine recruits during quarantine
12/4/20 Current case counts and upcoming vaccines
12/1/20 Nebraska's high level of transmission despite dip in cases
11/24/20 No room for complacency during a pandemic
11/20/20 Nebraska ranks 10th in the world, vaccine update, and implemented interventions in Iowa prove effective
11/17/20 Epidemiological study findings on restaurants/bar risks
11/13/20 Nonpharmaceutical interventions and restoring freedoms
11/10/20 Rural Midwest and Monoclonal Antibody trial
11/6/20 Pandemic doubling time
11/3/20 COVID-19 trends across the U.S.
10/30/20 Europe, Belgium, and Nebraska.
10/27/20 Where we are, how we got here, and our escape route.
10/23/20 Nebraska's positivity and deaths are increasing. What's changed?

Current Health Emergencies

Outbreaks to Watch

Stay up to date with the latest about emerging pathogens and outbreaks, including Measles, Nipah Virus, and Dengue Fever.


Explore our COVID-19 page for recent news, resources, manuals, and playbooks. Biweekly overviews of new data and developments presented by James V. Lawler, MD, MPH, FIDSA can now be found on the this page (Health Emergencies).


Learn more about the current 2024 measles outbreak around the globe.

Avian Flu- HPAI H5N1

Explore this page for more information, news, resources, and updates about HPAI H5N1, as we monitor the worldwide spread of this virus. This page includes the unofficial HPAI H5N1 map.


Explore this page for more information, news, resources, guides, and updates about Mpox, as we monitor the spread of this virus in the US and DRC.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

Explore for the lates information, news, updates, and resources about Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Past Health Emergencies

Marburg virus disease

The WHO announced on February 13, 2023 that Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease (MVD). The virus also spread to Tanzania. As of May 2023 (E.G.) and June 2023 (Tanzania), the outbreak was declared over.

Ebola-Sudan virus disease

The Ebola-Sudan virus disease (SVD) outbreak in Uganda was confirmed by health authorities on September 20, 2022. The outbreak was declared over on July 4, 2023.