Ein Leitfaden für den Pandemie-Fall

Jedes Jahr werden wir ein paar Mal daran erinnert, dass die Bedrohung durch eine Pandemie allgegenwärtig ist. Im Jahr 2003 war es SARS. Heuer ist es ein Vogelvirus, ähnlich jenem, dem nach 1914 30 Millionen Menschen zum Opfer fielen.

Die „Vogelgrippe“ hat bereits bewiesen, dass sie von Geflügel auf den Menschen und mittlerweile sogar auf Katzen übergreifen kann. Dies deutet darauf hin, dass sie sich zur nächsten globalen Killerseuche entwickeln könnte. Allerdings gibt es auch zahlreiche andere potenzielle Pandemie-Auslöser und bei vielen davon handelt es sich nicht einmal um Viren. Bakterien, Prionen, Parasiten und sogar Umweltchemikalien könnten sich plötzlich so verändern, dass sie für uns zu einer tödlichen Gefahr werden. Sollte das eintreten, so die weit verbreiteten Prognosen, werden die wirtschaftlichen und menschlichen Verluste, jene eines jeden früheren Krieges in den Schatten stellen.

Tatsächlich ist es ernüchternd festzustellen, dass einige der tödlichsten Invasionen der Geschichte durch einzellige Organismen verursacht wurden. Als Beispiele seien hier Cholera, Beulenpest und Tuberkulose angeführt. In Ländern, die über entsprechende Ressourcen verfügen, werden für den Fall einer Pandemie Vorsorgepläne ausgearbeitet – eingeschränkte Strategien, die dem Schutz der eigenen Bürger dienen. Die meisten Regierungen hoffen, dass Früherkennung eine Eingrenzung der Pandemie ermöglichen würde.

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