Thursday, December 08, 2005

News - Herald.com | 12/07/2005 | Share world-flu data

The World Bank recently warned that a bird-flu pandemic outbreak can cost $800 billion in worldwide damage. And how many priceless human lives?

Avian flu has so far taken 72 human lives, mostly in Southeast Asia. To contain the potential pandemic outbreak in the area seems too late and unrealistic given that Europe, Japan and Canada all have reported avian flu cases. However, medical- and pharmaceutical-information sharing can never be too late or too naive.

The SARS virus scourged Southeast Asia and claimed hundreds of lives three years ago. People didn't know much except to wear a mask and check their temperatures.

Fighting an invisible pandemic virus is a war, a world war. We need public-health awareness and medical and pharmaceutical data to flow to all nations. When Taiwan was hit by the SARS virus, the country was denied access to the World Health Organization data bank for related necessary information because of its nonmember status. Taiwan fought a lonely war last time.

Viruses know no borders and races. Taiwan is entitled to meaningful participation in various WHO meetings and activities. By extension, the world will be granting itself a chance to be healthier.

Herald.com | 12/07/2005 | Share world-flu data

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