Bartos: Modern Pandemics and Old Methods

Special Issue: Pandemic Asia. 2020 July.
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 18 | Issue 14 | Number 3 | Article ID 5416 | Jul 11, 2020
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

Modern Pandemics and Old Methods:
What AIDS, SARS, Ebola and the Long History of Quarantine Tell Us about Covid-19

Michael Bartos

A generation ago, infectious diseases 
were seen as a medical backwater, with the eradication of smallpox and widespread vaccination against polio. However, the emergence of AIDS in the early 1980s, followed by SARS in 2003, pandemic influenza in 2009 and Ebola on an unprecedented scale in 2013-14 showed that infectious diseases of zoonotic origin could cause major new pandemics. Covid-19 has shown that very old public health techniques of quarantine and isolation are still needed to respond to new outbreaks. Public health always tries to get ahead of an emerging epidemic but rarely succeeds.

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