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Infographic – An Ounce of Pandemic Prevention

Chart: Cost of pandemic prevention

Click on image for full-size view. (Statista)

1 Aug. 2020. A recent article in the journal Science estimates the public investments needed to prevent the next damaging pandemic, against the costs imposed on the world from Covid-19. The results are rather startling, as shown in this weekend’s infographic, compliments of a chart posted this week by the business research company Statista.

The team of economists, medical researchers, and ecologists takes a life-cycle perspective in estimating the costs of preventing the next pandemic, starting with controlling the source of zoonotic viruses that jump from animals to humans. The authors highlight, for example, costs of reforestation to strengthen the natural habitat for tropical animals threatened by the spread of cities that bring more people in contact with these species. Other steps include ending wild animal markets and meat consumption.

The researchers calculate some $260 billion are needed over the next 10 years to prevent a future pandemic. While that’s a sizable price tag, it’s only two percent of the $11.5 trillion in economic damage from the current pandemic, a mid-point estimate in the range of $8.1 to $15.8 trillion. As the saying goes, you can pay now or pay later.

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