17
Sat, Feb

York University research explains why global responses to pandemics are too slow

Typography

New research out of York University shows that political dilly-dallying delays global responses to emerging pandemics more than poor surveillance capacity.

Steven J. Hoffman, professor in the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School and his colleague Sarah L. Silverberg, conducted an analysis of the three most recent pandemics – H1N1, Ebola and Zika. These were used as case studies to identify and compare sources of delays in responding to pandemics and examine what influences the length of delays.

New research out of York University shows that political dilly-dallying delays global responses to emerging pandemics more than poor surveillance capacity.

Steven J. Hoffman, professor in the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School and his colleague Sarah L. Silverberg, conducted an analysis of the three most recent pandemics – H1N1, Ebola and Zika. These were used as case studies to identify and compare sources of delays in responding to pandemics and examine what influences the length of delays.

The general assumption prior to the study was that there would be quicker responses observed for more severe outbreaks or those that threaten larger numbers of people. In global disease outbreaks, there are significant time delays between the source of an outbreak and global collective action. Recent delays have been lengthened by insufficient surveillance capacity and time-consuming political processes for mobilizing action.

The study found that slow political mobilization is responsible for almost twice as much delay in responding to pandemics than is insufficient surveillance capacity. In addition, the research showed there seems to be a faster response for novel diseases when U.S. citizens are infected and when outbreaks are not during holidays.

 

Continue reading at York University.

Image via York University.