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“I was a kid the disaster. We worried about most nwas. A nuclear war that that s why we had a barrel like this ndown in our basement filled with of food and water. When the nuclear attack came we were supposed to go downstairs nhunker down and eat out of that barrel.
Today the greatest risk nof global catastrophe. Doesn t look like this instead it looks like this if anything kills over 10 million people nin the next few decades. It s most likely to be na highly infectious virus rather than a war not missiles. But microbes now part of the reason for this is that we ve invested a huge amount nin nuclear deterrents.
But we ve actually invested very little nin a system to stop an epidemic. We re not ready for the next epidemic let s look at ebola. I m sure all of you read about it nin. The newspaper lots of tough challenges.
I followed. It carefully nthrough the case analysis. Tools we use to track polio. Eradication and as you look at what went on the problem.
Wasn t that there was a system nthat. Didn t work well enough. The problem was that we ndidn t have a system at all in fact. There s some pretty obvious nkey missing pieces.
We didn t have a group of epidemiologists nready to go who would have gone seen what the disease was nseen how far it had spread the case reports came in on paper. It was very delayed nbefore they were put online and they were extremely inaccurate. We didn t have a medical team ready to go we didn t have a way of preparing people now m..
Decins sans fronti res ndid a great job orchestrating volunteers. But even so we were far slower nthan. We should have been getting the thousands of workers ninto these countries and a large epidemic would require us nto have hundreds of thousands of workers. There was no one there nto look at treatment approaches.
No one to look at the diagnostics. No one to figure out nwhat tools should be used as an example. We could have ntaken the blood of survivors processed. It and put that plasma nback in people to protect them.
But that was never tried so there was a lot that was missing and these things nare really a global failure. The who is funded to monitor epidemics nbut. Not to do these things i talked about now in the movies. It s quite different there s a group of handsome nepidemiologists ready to go they move in they save the day nbut that s just pure hollywood.
The failure to prepare ncould allow the next epidemic to be dramatically. Nmore devastating than. Ebola let s look at the progression nof ebola over this. Year about 10000.
People died and nearly all were in the three nwest african countries. There s three reasons. Why nit didn t spread more the first is that there was a lot nof heroic work by the health workers. They found the people and they nprevented more infections.
The second is the nature of the virus ebola does not spread through the air and by the time. You re contagious. Most people are so sick nthat..
They re bedridden third it didn t get ninto. Many urban areas and that was just luck. If it had gotten into a lot. Nmore urban areas.
The case. Numbers nwould have been much larger. So next time we might not be so. Lucky you can have a virus where people nfeel well enough while they re infectious that they get on a plane nor they go to a market.
The source of the virus could be na natural epidemic like ebola or it could be bioterrorism so there are things that would literally nmake things a thousand times worse in fact. Let s look at a model nof. A virus spread through the air like the spanish flu back in 1918. So here s what would happen it would spread throughout the world nvery.
Very quickly and you can see over 30 million people ndied from that epidemic. So this is a serious problem. We should be concerned. But in fact we can build na really good response system.
We have the benefits of all the science nand technology. That we talk about here. We ve got cell phones to get information from the public nand get information out to them we have satellite maps. Where we can see nwhere people are and where they re moving.
We have advances in biology. That should dramatically change nthe turnaround. Time to look at a pathogen and be able to make drugs and vaccines nthat fit for that pathogen so we can have tools..
But those tools need to be put ninto an overall global health system and we need preparedness. The best lessons i think non how to get prepared are again. What we do for war for soldiers. We have full time nwaiting to go we have reserves that can scale nus up to large numbers.
Nato has a mobile unit nthat can deploy very rapidly nato does a lot of war games. Nto check are people well trained do they understand nabout fuel and logistics and the same radio frequencies. So they are absolutely ready to go so those are the kinds of things nwe need to deal with an epidemic. What are the key pieces first we need strong health systems nin poor countries.
That s where mothers ncan give birth safely kids can get all their vaccines. But also where we ll see nthe outbreak very early on we need a medical reserve corps lots of people who ve got nthe training and background who are ready to go with the expertise and then we need to pair those nmedical people with the military taking advantage of the military s ability nto move fast do logistics and secure areas. We need to do simulations germ games not war games nso that we see where the holes are the last time a germ game nwas done in the united states was back in 2001. Nand.
It didn t go so well so. Far. The score is germs. 1 people.
0. Finally we need lots of advanced r d. Nin. Areas of vaccines and diagnostics.
There are some big breakthroughs nlike. The adeno associated virus that could work very very quickly. Now..
I don t have an exact budget nfor. What this would cost. But i m quite sure it s very modest ncompared to the potential harm the world bank estimates that nif we have a worldwide flu epidemic. Global wealth will go down nby over three trillion dollars.
And we d have millions nand millions of deaths. These investments noffer significant benefits beyond just being ready for the epidemic. The primary healthcare. The r d those things would reduce nglobal.
Health equity and make the world. More just nas. Well as more safe. So.
I think this should absolutely nbe a priority. There s no need to panic. We don t have to hoard cans of spaghetti. Nor go down into the basement.
But we need to get going nbecause time is not on our side in fact. If there s one positive thing nthat can come out of the ebola epidemic. It s that it can serve as an early nwarning a wake up call to get ready if we start now we can be ready nfor the next epidemic. Thank you ” .
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“Visit http://TED.com to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.nnIn 2014, the world avoided a horrific global outbreak of Ebola, thanks to thousands of selfless health workers — plus, frankly, thanks to some very good luck. In hindsight, we know what we should have done better. So, now s the time, Bill Gates suggests, to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he says, “There s no need to panic … but we need to get going.”nnThe TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know. For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), submit a Media Request here: http://media-requests.TED.comnnFollow TED on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TEDTalksnLike TED on Facebook: http://facebook.com/TEDnnSubscribe to our channel: http://youtube.com/TED”,
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