Rarely does the risk of a global pandemic enter the dialogue when discussing matters of aviation, border control and national security. Yet, when the human, social and economic costs associated with a pandemic are compared to those of a typical terrorist attack - especially when considering numbers dead or injured - the cumulative costs of a pandemic often far exceed those of a terrorist attacks. The 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) global pandemic serves as an important reminder that a naturally occurring infectious disease can quickly materialise into a global tragedy with limited warning. The SARS-CoV pandemic left nations scrambling to mitigate the significant threat to their citizens, healthcare systems, industries, aviation systems, as well as border control and national security establishments. With increasing rates of global travel, increased attendance at social, religious and sporting events such as Oktoberfest in Germany, the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, as well as the World Cup and Olympics, the threat of a local epidemic quickly and unexpectedly emerging into a global pandemic is credible - not to mention the ongoing threat of bioterrorism and plausible threat of bio-martyrism. Arguably, the best means to mitigate the risk of a naturally occurring pandemic or a bio-terrorist attack is to have a national, broad-based public health and infectious diseases posture for disease control programs in place that is closely aligned with aviation, and national security authorities.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2014|