Quantcast
Connect with us

The risk of a frightening global pandemic threatens millions — and we’re far from prepared to deal with it

Published

on

If a lethal, respiratory-borne infection spreads around the world, the death toll could be in the range of 50 to 80 million people.

That’s the conclusion of an annual report authored by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board on behalf of the World Bank and World Health Organization, according to Vox’s Sigal Samuel.

The problem is that for all our modern medical knowledge, human technology has made it easier than ever for pandemics to spread before we even know we’re in trouble.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Scientific advances have made it possible for disease-causing microorganisms to be engineered or recreated in labs, or to escape labs when explosions and other accidents occur,” wrote Samuel. “Our robust transportation infrastructure makes it easy for travelers to pick up a disease in one country, fly across an ocean, and spread the disease to another country within hours. Increased urbanization and population growth also exacerbate the spread of disease.”

“And then there’s climate change, which causes natural disasters that strain national health systems, weakening their ability to efficiently respond to outbreaks,” continued Samuel. “Global warming is also expanding mosquito habitats, which means we’ll likely be seeing more mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika, dengue, and yellow fever — including in the US and Europe.”

The problem, Samuel continued, is that while experts are aware of this risk, “we’ve got a habit of paying attention to pandemics only when they’re actually upon us.”

“If, tomorrow, we had a global influenza pandemic akin to the scale and virulence of the one that struck a century ago — in 1918, the Spanish flu killed around 50 million people — it would cost our modern economy an estimated $3 trillion,” wrote Samuel. “And, the report notes, ‘If a similar contagion occurred today with a population four times larger and travel times anywhere in the world less than 36 hours, 50-80 million people could perish.'”

The solutions, according to the report, are for nations to increase funding and donations to low-income countries, share genome sequences, build trust with local populations, and involve women — who remain the primary caregivers in much of the world — in policymaking.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Dead wrong’: House Dems release scathing rebuttal to White House’s widely panned legal brief

Published

on

The Trump White House's latest defense of the president ahead of his impending impeachment trial has been widely panned, and has even sparked speculation that Trump himself had a hand in writing it due to its low-grade legal analysis.

A legal brief filed by President Donald Trump's lawyers late last week called impeachment proceedings "constitutionally invalid," even though impeachment is literally a part of the Constitution, and also accused Democrats of engaging in a "brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election," even though Vice President Mike Pence would take over in the event that Trump was removed by the Senate.

Continue Reading

Activism

White nationalist speaker heckled for denying Holocaust at Virginia gun march: ‘You are literally a neo-Nazi’

Published

on

A white nationalist speaker who has been affiliated with neo-Nazi rhetoric was caught on video denying the Holocaust at a pro-Second Amendment march in Richmond, Virginia.

The remarks were made by former Proud Boy Jovanni Valle, who goes by the name Jovi Val. Video clips of Valle's speech were shared on Twitter by writer Robert Evans.

"You wear a swastika and walk down the street," a man can be heard telling Valle. "You took it off and now you are like, oh no. You are denying the existence of the Holocaust."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Not supposed to be that way!’ Bitter Trump whines about Senate possibly letting John Bolton testify

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Monday whined about the Senate potentially letting former national security adviser John Bolton testify during his impeachment trial.

"They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House," the president wrote on Twitter. "They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!"

In reality, the House impeachment investigators tried to get Bolton to testify during their inquiry, but he refused to appear unless he got legal clearance to do so. However, Bolton has now offered to testify before the Senate even though he did not comply with House requests to do the same.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image