New & Resurgent Infectious Diseases Can Have Far-reaching Economic Repercussions

DAVID E. BLOOM is the Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, DANIEL CADARETTE is a research assistant, and JP SEVILLA is a research associate, all at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.By David E. Bloom, Daniel Cadarette and JP SevillaWASHINGTON DC, Jul 3 2018 (IPS)Infectious diseases and associated mortality have abated, but they remain a significant threat throughout the world.We continue to fight both old pathogens, such as the plague, that have troubled humanity for millennia and new pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), that have mutated or spilled over from animal reservoirs. Some infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria, are endemic to many areas, imposing substantial but steady burdens. Others, such as influenza, fluctuate in pervasiveness and intensity, wreaking havoc in developing and developed economies alike when an outbreak (a sharp increase in prevalence in a relatively limited area or population), an epidemic (a sharp increase covering a larger area or population), or a pandemic (an epidemic covering multiple countries or continents) occurs.The health risks of outbreaks and epidemics—and the fear and panic that accompany them—map to various economic risks.First, and perhaps most obviously, there are the costs to the health system, both public and private, of medical treatment of the infected and of outbreak control. A sizable outbreak can overwhelm the health system, limit...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Active Citizens Development & Aid Economy & Trade Global Headlines Health TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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