Global Pandemics: Threats and Challenges to Biosecurity

Dr. Julie Fischer, Senior Associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center will
join us for a discussion on the threats posed by global pandemics
including the potential challenge posed by avian flu. The World Health
Organization has reported that 133 people have now been stricken with
the H5N1 avian influenza virus, more than half the people infected – 68
– have died from the disease, which has also resulted in the death or
destruction of more than 150 million birds. The last great pandemic
occurred in 1918-19, when Spanish flu swept the world, killing 40
million people, including more than half a million in the United
States. Dr. Fischer has been working with the Center for Disease
Control in Thailand on disease surveillance and early warning systems.
She will offer her insights on the nature and magnitude of the threats
we face and the immediate and long-term options we have in response.
How significant a threat does avian flu pose? What defenses are in
place to detect a pandemic, including disease surveillance at home and
abroad? What are the implications for public health systems and our
responses to wider biological threats and challenges?

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