The Disease Always Gets a Head Start: How to Handle an Epidemic
A patient presents at an emergency department somewhere in the world. They are feverish and vomiting. Doctors suspect it is influenza, but they are wrong.
When the outbreak of a virulent new disease such as the coronavirus is identified, the starting gun is fired on a vast, multimillion-dollar international effort to try to contain it.
But nothing can start before a health professional determines that, against the odds, they are confronting something exceptional. “You need to work through that process, establish that this is an out-of-the-ordinary disease and say, let’s do lab tests on it,” says Jonathan Quick, an adjunct professor of global health and author of The End of Epidemics.
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