Yemini child polio vaccination Mohammed Huwais/Stringer

Das unterschätzte Risiko der Infektionskrankheiten

NEW YORK – Internationale Manager und Investoren blicken derzeit gebannt auf zwei Arten von Risiken: makroökonomische und geopolitische. Kurzfristig bedeutet dies, dass man sich auf die bevorstehenden Zinserhöhungen durch die US-Notenbank Federal Reserve und die demnächst stattfindenden Wahlen in Frankreich und Deutschland konzentriert. Längerfristig heißt es, dass man das Augenmerk auf strukturelle Risiken wie hohe Staatsverschuldung, demographische Verschiebungen und Knappheit natürlicher Ressourcen legt. Allerdings besteht ein drittes, wohl noch gravierenderes Risiko, das sich unter dem Radar der meisten Entscheidungsträger verbirgt: Infektionskrankheiten.

Tom Frieden, ehemaliger Chef der amerikanischen Gesundheitsbehörde Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ist der Ansicht, die Gefahr aufgrund globaler Bedrohungen der Gesundheit sei höher als jemals zuvor. Heute reisen die Menschen über größere Entfernungen und sie tun dies auch häufiger. Lieferketten, auch im Bereich Nahrungsmittel und Medikamente, erstrecken sich über die ganze Welt. So besteht beispielsweise die Möglichkeit, dass sich ein in Asien oder Afrika unzureichend behandelter Fall von Tuberkulose innerhalb weniger Tage in einem Krankenhaus in den Vereinigten Staaten wiederfindet.

Vor diesem Hintergrund zeigen sich Wissenschaftler besorgt über den jüngsten Anstieg von Epidemien wie Zika, Ebola und Vogelgrippe. Darüber hinaus ist man alarmiert angesichts des Wiederauftretens lebensbedrohlicher Krankheiten wie Influenza, HIV, Malaria und Tuberkulose.  

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