7 Common Myths About Pandemics and New Diseases

Novel diseases and pandemics have captured our global attention. Yet, for all we hear about them, what do we actually know — or perhaps more accurately, not know about them? Here we dispel common myths about novel diseases and pandemics.

Dr. William Karesh of EcoHealth, with the help of Catherine M. Machalaba, MPH, confronts these myths one by one:

Myth 1. They’re just a public health problem. (Actually, they interface with nearly every other sector.)

Myth 2. They’re obscure, rare, and have short-term impacts. (They appear to be increasing, with tremendous impacts at local, regional and global scales.)

Myth 3. Our doctors already know all the infectious diseases. (No one knows all of the infectious diseases our planet harbors.)

Myth 4. Our international organizations are protecting all of us. (Not so much.)

Myth 5. We have the infrastructure in place to detect and effectively respond to them. (We barely even have the capacity to detect and respond to common diseases that we all know about, much less novel diseases.)

Myth 6. Disease emergence is inevitable, and we can’t do anything about it. (Since we have an idea of what’s driving them, that’s one piece of the puzzle that allows us to put prevention measures into place.)

Myth 7. Globalization is only bad news for novel disease transmission and spread. (Globalization means rapid global response… that`s a great thing!)

Follow the Huff Post source here.


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