The race against the spread of infectious disease

Coughs and Sneezes go Global

Pandemics represent one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century. The social and economic impacts are massive. Take the SARS and the recent H1N1 influenza epidemic – they destroy livelihoods, cross borders without detection, and can be deadly for humans. Developing countries are the most vulnerable to infectious disease, and the most likely source of pandemic outbreaks. This places a further hardship on those struggling with high levels of poverty, rapidly increasing populations, poor technology and communications, and a lack of health infrastructure.

With a global population just above 6 billion, the World Health Organisation predicts that the next influenza pandemic could result in 2 to 7.4 million deaths globally. The interconnectedness of the world through travel and trade means that we could all be infected and affected – a pandemic influenza will not discriminate between poor and rich. Control of such an outbreak is not possible unless we have a global response. In 2007, civil and military deaths from all global conflicts is estimated at 100,000 to 500,000, compared to 6 million deaths from TB, malaria and HIV combined. The need to prepare poor countries against disease outbreaks is vital for our health security.

How do pandemics strike and spread?

How do we plan against the world’s big diseases?

How do we protect the most vulnerable – the poor?


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  • Venue Auditorium, State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane, QLD 4101 ,
  • Date & time 20/05/2010 6:00:00 PM


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