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Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses?

There is an unmet need for greater investment in preparedness against major epidemics and pandemics

Date:
February 1, 2018
Source:
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Summary:
Greater investment is needed to prepare against pandemics -- the worldwide spread of an infectious disease. A study shows the expected annual count of pandemic-related deaths is 700,000, and expected annual losses from pandemic risk is $500 billion. The paper applied a theoretical model to calculate the expected number of deaths and economic losses in rare pandemic scenarios.
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The worldwide spread of a serious infectious disease could result in pandemic-related deaths of 700,000 and annual economic losses of $500 billion, according to a study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Victoria Fan, an assistant professor in the Office of Public Health Studies in the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is lead author of "Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses," which applied a theoretical model to calculate the expected number of deaths and economic losses in rare pandemic scenarios.

The study was based on Fan's work using impact and economic evaluations. The dollar figure of economic losses is much higher than those found in previous studies, which, according to the study, means "there is an unmet need for greater investment in preparedness against major epidemics and pandemics."

The projection of total pandemic-related costs of $500 billion in U.S. dollars, or 0.6 percent of global income, falls within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's estimates of the costs of global warming. This implies that the losses from pandemic risk would be similar in magnitude to those of climate change.

The model may also be applied to other outbreaks, such as malaria, or catastrophic events, including nuclear attack. "Policymakers may be able to estimate the economic losses that come with rare but potentially devastating events," said Fan. "We hope this can lead to more appropriate adjustments for national policies and investments, and international collaborations on pandemic preparedness."


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Materials provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Victoria Y Fan, Dean T Jamison, Lawrence H Summers. Pandemic risk: how large are the expected losses? Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2018; 96 (2): 129 DOI: 10.2471/BLT.17.199588

Cite This Page:

University of Hawaii at Manoa. "Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180201104554.htm>.
University of Hawaii at Manoa. (2018, February 1). Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180201104554.htm
University of Hawaii at Manoa. "Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180201104554.htm (accessed March 4, 2024).

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