Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses?

February 1, 2018, University of Hawaii at Manoa

The worldwide spread of a serious infectious disease could result in pandemic-related deaths of 700,000 and annual economic losses of $500 billion, according to a study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Victoria Fan, an assistant professor in the Office of Public Health Studies in the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is lead author of "Pandemic risk: How large are the expected losses," which applied a theoretical model to calculate the expected number of deaths and economic losses in rare pandemic scenarios.

The study was based on Fan's work using impact and economic evaluations. The dollar figure of is much higher than those found in previous studies, which, according to the study, means "there is an unmet need for greater investment in preparedness against major epidemics and pandemics."

The projection of total pandemic-related costs of $500 billion in U.S. dollars, or 0.6 percent of global income, falls within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's estimates of the costs of global warming. This implies that the losses from pandemic risk would be similar in magnitude to those of .

The model may also be applied to other outbreaks, such as malaria, or catastrophic events, including nuclear attack. "Policymakers may be able to estimate the economic losses that come with rare but potentially devastating events," said Fan. "We hope this can lead to more appropriate adjustments for national policies and investments, and international collaborations on ."

Explore further: Physical inactivity cost the world $67 billion in 2013 says first ever estimate

More information: Victoria Y Fan et al, Pandemic risk: how large are the expected losses?, Bulletin of the World Health Organization (2018). DOI: 10.2471/BLT.17.199588

Related Stories

Physical inactivity cost the world $67 billion in 2013 says first ever estimate

July 28, 2016
A world-first study has revealed that in 2013, physical inactivity cost $67.5 billion globally in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity, revealing the enormous economic burden of an increasingly sedentary world.

Recommended for you

Deadly Rift Valley fever: New insight, and hope for the future

July 19, 2018
Health control measures alone could be ineffective in the long term fight against the deadly Rift Valley fever which affects both humans and animals, a new study in the journal PNAS reports.

New guidelines to diagnose, manage rare endocrine disorders

July 19, 2018
International guidelines have been published for the first time to help doctors around the globe diagnose and manage patients with a very rare set of endocrine diseases known as pseudohypoparathyroidism and its related disorders, ...

Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered

July 19, 2018
With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a world-first study co-authored by a QUT researcher has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community ...

Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults

July 18, 2018
Deaths from cirrhosis rose in all but one state between 1999-2016, with increases seen most often among young adults, a new study shows.

Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even if it's not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious—a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests.

Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis, study finds

July 17, 2018
Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.