三大全球健康危机

旧金山—西非埃博拉大爆发是一场悲剧,它彰显出加强国家和全球层面医疗系统的紧迫性。但是,尽管埃博拉吸引了全世界对系统缺陷的关注,但目标必须放在消灭持久流行病上,这些疾病正在悄然在全世界人口中间传播痛苦和死亡。

毫无疑问,埃博拉制造了极大的痛苦。但它并不是世界所面临的第一场瘟疫——也不是最灾难性的瘟疫。事实上,人类已知最致命的疾病是天花;直到1796年爱德华·詹纳(Edward Jenner)发明了天花疫苗前,它一直是欧洲的第一死亡原因。在1980年被消灭前,据估计天花总共造成3亿—5亿人死亡。

十四世纪的黑死病杀害了7,500万—1亿人,相当于欧洲人口的一大半。1918年流感大爆发夺走了近7,500万人的生命,或世界总人口的3—5%,比第一次世界大战的死亡人数还多出一倍多。

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