US expert warns interdependence of countries makes world more vulnerable to flu pandemic

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:281
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    The next pandemic will be unlike any other before because of the increased interdependence of the world, and “every country will be compromised by what they can do,” says a leading US public health expert.

    Michael Osterholm, an expert in preparing for pandemic and bioterrorism incidents, was speaking to 350 of the world's flu experts attending an annual conference, Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza 2007, on 1-2 February, at a hotel near the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

    “Today we are at the pinnacle of a global ‘just in time' economy. It is based completely upon efficiency, lack of redundancy, and it has virtually no surge capacity,” Dr Osterholm said. “It is this collateral damage that will magnify the impact of the …

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