Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2010

Pandemic Influenza and the Globalization of Public Health

Qiong Zhang, Karen Eggleston, Michele Barry

November 2009

Asia-Pacific Research Center


Globalization means a threat to any of the world’s peoples is a threat to all the world’s peoples. As American journalist Laurie Garrett says in her famous book The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World out of Balance, none of us can escape from a pandemic in our increasingly globalized world. Most of us are active members in prosperous communities, whose daily lives involve interactions with dozens of people of varied backgrounds; even if we were Robinson Crusoes safely living a life of autarky on an isolated island, a fly or bird could bring an avian or swine flu virus to puncture our well-protected balance.