No More Epidemics
A severe and prolonged global pandemic could kill 180-360 million people and hit global GDP by as much as 5-10% in the first year.
—Be Prepared! Global Pandemics Primer (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)
Everyday, humans all over the world are exposed to countless viruses and bacteria (pathogens). Usually our immune systems and modern medicine deal with these threats effectively. When one of these pathogens starts infecting an unusually high number of people, we call it an epidemic.
Epidemics happen frequently, but the viruses and bacteria often only cause minor symptoms—a seasonal flu outbreak, for example. When particularly dangerous pathogens such as Ebola or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) enter the human population, and are left unchecked, they can spread with devastating effects.
Today, modern disease surveillance methods can detect outbreaks at an early stage, and modern communications and management structures allow organizations to quickly support frontline efforts in communities. Yet, despite these advances, we are still unprepared, as the recent Ebola epidemic has demonstrated. While the science and the know-how to detect outbreaks exists, there is still a worrying lack of leadership and coordination for epidemic preparedness and effective response to dangerous outbreaks. More action is needed from the United Nations and governments to ensure the global community is better prepared against the threat of epidemics and is able to respond effectively and decisively when they do happen.
Join the No More Epidemics campaign and help us meet this challenge.