Yemini child polio vaccination Mohammed Huwais/Stringer

El riesgo mal calculado de las enfermedades infecciosas

NUEVA YORK – Los líderes empresariales y los inversionistas mundiales están en gran medida obsesionados por dos tipos de riesgo: el macroeconómico y el geopolítico. En el corto plazo, esto significa un énfasis en los inminentes aumentos de las tasas de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos y las próximas elecciones en Francia y Alemania. A largo plazo, significa conciencia de los riesgos estructurales como la alta deuda soberana, los cambios demográficos y la escasez de recursos naturales. Pero hay un tercer riesgo, posiblemente más pernicioso, que se esconde bajo el radar de la mayoría de las personas que toman decisiones: las enfermedades infecciosas.

Según el ex director de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades de los Estados Unidos, Tom Frieden, el mundo corre mayor riesgo que nunca por las amenazas para la salud mundial. La gente viaja más lejos y más a menudo. Las cadenas de suministro, incluyendo alimentos y medicamentos, se extienden por todo el mundo. Un caso mal tratado de, digamos, tuberculosis (TB) en Asia o África puede presentarse en un hospital en los Estados Unidos en cuestión de días.

En este contexto, a los científicos les inquieta el reciente aumento en las epidemias de enfermedades como el Zika, el Ebola y la gripe aviar. Y están alarmados por el resurgimiento de enfermedades mortales como la gripe, el VIH, la malaria y la tuberculosis.

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