An Economic and Policy Framework for Pandemic Control and Prevention
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Pandemics have a long history in our global population, from the Justinian Plague of AD541-2 through the Black Death of the middle ages to the 1918 flu and a series of recent infections such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and Ebola. Pandemics are diseases with global spread, meaning they typically affect more than one continent. Historical reviews of the natural history of pandemics suggest some common themes: 1) in the majority of cases, they are caused by diseases that were previously unknown; 2) they often exploit new travel and trade networks; and 3) they frequently originate in wildlife species in remote regions. With the growing interface between human populations and wildlife species, and increases in globalization and air travel, it is likely that pandemic incidences will only become more frequent. Understanding what brings a disease into a population and causes it to evolve the ability for sustained human-to-human transmission can provide a potential policy framework for preventing pandemics because intervention strategies can be tailored to reduce the threat at its origin. However, before we can enact policies, we need to understand when and where to act and how much they will cost.
SubjectScowcroft Institute; international affairs; pandemic prevention; pandemic control; science; infectious diseases; global health; public health; public policy
- Scowcroft Papers 
Daszak, Peter (2017). An Economic and Policy Framework for Pandemic Control and Prevention. Available electronically from