SARS and emerging infectious diseases: a challenge to place global solidarity above national sovereignty.


Heymann, DL; (2006) SARS and emerging infectious diseases: a challenge to place global solidarity above national sovereignty. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, 35 (5). pp. 350-3. ISSN 0304-4602

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Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged in a world where information about infectious disease outbreaks travels at speeds and in ways not imagined just 30 years ago, and where scientists are increasingly working together on detecting and responding to public health events that threaten international public health and economic security. The SARS outbreak clearly demonstrated that it is no longer the exclusive privilege of countries to report and respond to infectious diseases occurring in their own territories, but that the global community has also assumed this role, aided by the ease and power of electronic communication through the World Wide Web. This phenomenon has been cited by some scholars as a potential infringement on national sovereignty that compromises the concept that states reign supreme over their territories and peoples. At the same time, however, countries are increasingly seeking to collaborate internationally in infectious disease surveillance and response, as shown in the current situation of avian influenza (H5N1), and in the formal agreement leading to the revised International Health Regulations (IHR), suggesting that a new world order prevails over issues that once had been considered the sole domain of a sovereign nation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 16830003
Web of Science ID: 238381300008
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2380

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