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[Bloomberg] Can We Overcome Pandemics? Why Do Pandemics Keep Happening?

  • Cholera, bubonic plague, smallpox, and influenza, are some of the most deadly diseases in human history. And when they spread across regions of the world, an epidemic becomes a pandemic and it can result in more deaths than wars and natural disasters.
  • When a newly identified coronavirus emerged in China in late 2019, governments reacted like they had in the past: with quarantines and travel bans, while researchers raced to create a vaccine.
  • Robert Peckham is MB Lee Professor in the Humanities and Medicine at the University of Hong Kong and author of ‘Epidemics in Modern Asia’.
  • Robert Peckham said, “we tend to think about managing an epidemic episode like this in terms of public health or science. But in fact, what I would argue is at the root of many of the issues here are sort of social, cultural, political issues, practices, how people live, working environments, how people travel, why they live in cities.”

February 24, 2020
Source: Bloomberg YouTube

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More by Professor Robert Peckham:

[BMJ Opinion] The covid-19 outbreak has shown we need strategies to manage panic during epidemics

[Independent] I’ve studied the history of viral outbreaks. Coronavirus panic shows how little China learned from SARS

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