Title: Societal stability, public health and primary care as three pillars of defence in biosecurity

Authors: Mark Harris, John Powell

Addresses: DeWitt Health Care Network, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060, USA. ' Multi-National Security and Transition Command, US Army, Iraq

Abstract: Infectious diseases have threatened humanity since the beginning of time, causing more death and illness than all wars of mankind combined. This historical review describes some outbreaks and endemic diseases and examines risk factors and individual, organisational and governmental responses. History teaches us that the most effective responses to mitigating biological disaster require coordination at all levels, from the individual to the state. The past also clearly demonstrates that basic factors such as societal and institutional stability, public health and primary care form the most important pillars of defence against infectious disease.

Keywords: biosecurity; infectious diseases; influenza; flu pandemics; plague; preparedness; primary care; public health; vaccine; biological security; risk assessment; biological threats; social stability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2009.025922

International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 2009 Vol.12 No.2/3/4, pp.262 - 279

Published online: 25 May 2009 *

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