A Pandemics Effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out, “A global infectious disease outbreak can have a catastrophic impact on the U.S. economy — even if the disease never reaches the U.S.” [7]. For example, the Ebola outbreak which devastated parts of West Africa in 2014-2016 was partly responsible for the $1 billion plus loss sustained by U.S. companies exporting goods to the area [10]. There must be a transformation in the national security owing to the far-reaching impacts of disease outbreaks. Traditionally, national security has been narrowly defined as the preservation of the state from physical threats. Still, emerging diseases and their pandemic potential pose perhaps an even greater national security threat, particularly in this era of globalization when disease can spread more rapidly than in previous eras. Thirty four percent of all deaths worldwide are now attributable to infectious disease, while war only accounts for 0.64 percent of those deaths. Moreover, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 killed approximately 500,000 Americans, more than all wars fought in the 20th century. Improving detection through biosurveillance is the key to stopping epidemics and the United States must increase its funding and focus on improving both domestic and global biosurvellance capability [2].

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