This book provides an engaging, jargon-free introduction to the threat of global pandemics, offering an overview of the many origins and triggers of pandemic events. It covers the impacts generated by novel infectious disease outbreaks across various dimensions – from social and ethical to medical and political, from media to economic and legal implications. The author discusses the preparedness strategies developed globally, the lessons learned from various outbreaks and the mitigation measures deployed — from quarantine and social distancing to data sharing and surveillance systems — including their unintended impacts. While the risk of global pandemics is certainly intensely debated by the scientific community, and increasingly by policy makers at various levels, the threat is hardly discussed in the public domain. It only permeates the media during crisis events, such as during the SARS outbreak in 2003, the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014–15, and most notably the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic crisis. This book is thus highly timely and topical. It has a global scope, whilst at times zooming in on the implications of pandemic risk and mitigation for the Global North or the Global South. Given the interdisciplinarity of the topic, this book will be of great interest to a wider non-academic audience, as well as students from a range of subjects including politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, and international development, along with entry-level medical students keen to widen their appreciation of the social dimensions of the medical work they set out to conduct.
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