Infectious Disease Crises, which is available here with free enrollment from the National Academies Press. This Commission was sponsored with a coalition of philanthropic and government groups. In included 17 members from 12 countries, who also got reactions from an oversight group and invited comments at public meetings. 4.5 billion per year to build up the world’s response system to pandemics. Per yr within the next century 60 billion. 3 trillion. Some might see this as an exaggeration, but it might also be an underestimate.
Aggregate cumulative GDP losses for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia in 2014 and 2015 are estimated to amount to more than ten percent of GDP. Per year 60 billion. Indeed, the financial impact of infectious diseases is apparently increasing as greater human and economic connectedness-whether through transnational supply chains, increased travel, or ubiquitous usage of communication technologies and media-fuel contagion, both of the virus itself and of fear. Most of the economic impact of pandemics stems not from mortality but from behavioral change, as people seek to avoid contamination. This behavioral change is driven by fear, which is powered by a powerful mix of ignorance and consciousness.
40 billion. At the maximum of SARS, Hong Kong noticed a 66 percent decrease in airport terminal arrivals and a 50 percent reduction in cinema admissions. We should not become fixated on the probability of a “once-in-a-100-years” pandemic of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic of intensity. Much less virulent pandemics can cause significant loss of life and financial impact still.
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The influenza pandemics of 1958 and 1968, while much less lethal than the one in 1918-1919, are approximated to have cost 3.1 percent and 0.7 percent of global GDP, respectively. Potential pandemics, that is epidemics or outbreaks that could become pandemics if not effectively contained, can have tremendous impact also. What’s the proposed solution? 4.5 billion per year-a small fraction of what we spend on other risks to humankind. Robust public health infrastructure and features are the foundation of resilient health systems and the first type of defense against infectious disease outbreaks that could become pandemics.
Yet too many countries have didn’t build the required capabilities and infrastructure. Although reinforcing the first line of defense at the country level is the building blocks of a more effective global construction for countering the threat of infectious diseases, strengthening international features, and coordination is the next most vital component.
Pandemics know no edges, so international co-operation is essential. Global health security is a worldwide public good requiring collective action. The Commission believes that an empowered WHO must take the business lead in the global system to identify, prevent, and respond to potential pandemics. There is absolutely no realistic choice. However, we believe that the WHO must make significant changes in order to try out this role effectively. It requires more ability and more resources, and it must show more leadership.
This means accelerating R&D in a coordinated manner across the whole range of relevant medical products, including vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, personal defensive equipment, and devices. The statement also highlights that spending in these areas will probably have considerable benefits even if a pandemic will not occur. I would quibble with some of the details of the suggestions probably. For example, I believe the report may underestimate the down sides of having the World Health Organization have a leading role in this effort, and a different institutional platform may be needed. But that said, the full case for performing to limit pandemics seems ironclad.
All too often, we are most willing to purchase disaster prevention right after a severe disaster has occurred, immediately after an outbreak of disease or famine or natural disaster, when remembrances are fresh still. It wold be nice if the pandemics we have already suffered, as well as cautionary stories of SARS, Ebola, the Zika virus and more could lead to actions before the next pandemic looms.
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