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What Happened to Pandemics?


Hässig, M (2013). What Happened to Pandemics? Journal of Business and Economics, 11(4):1140-1142.

Abstract

A pandemic is defined as an epidemic infectious disease that spreads through human and/or animal populations in large regions or the entire world. It is interesting, but at the same time comforting, to note that the effects of recent disease outbreaks that were declared pandemics such as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), avian and porcine influenza or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) turned out to be not as catastrophic as predicted by specialists and public media. As a consequence, stakeholders and some members of the general public are losing confidence in scientific health information. A team of experts has focused on the problem created by the fact that pandemics have been explained to the public primarily by paraclinicians such as virologists, bacteriologists, molecular scientists and pathologists. However, one may get the impression that their true interest in pandemics is often overshadowed by a welcome opportunity to explain the importance of their research and to secure funding for the future. It is felt that emerging potential pandemics should be introduced to the general population by public health specialists in order to regain the trust of the former. These specialists are expected to have a better holistic view of endemic disease processes and should be able to build trust even when information is weak and fragile.

A pandemic is defined as an epidemic infectious disease that spreads through human and/or animal populations in large regions or the entire world. It is interesting, but at the same time comforting, to note that the effects of recent disease outbreaks that were declared pandemics such as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), avian and porcine influenza or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) turned out to be not as catastrophic as predicted by specialists and public media. As a consequence, stakeholders and some members of the general public are losing confidence in scientific health information. A team of experts has focused on the problem created by the fact that pandemics have been explained to the public primarily by paraclinicians such as virologists, bacteriologists, molecular scientists and pathologists. However, one may get the impression that their true interest in pandemics is often overshadowed by a welcome opportunity to explain the importance of their research and to secure funding for the future. It is felt that emerging potential pandemics should be introduced to the general population by public health specialists in order to regain the trust of the former. These specialists are expected to have a better holistic view of endemic disease processes and should be able to build trust even when information is weak and fragile.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:November 2013
Deposited On:31 Dec 2013 12:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:17
Publisher:Academic Star Publishing Company
ISSN:2155-7950
Funders:none
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-86980

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