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Tuesday, Jun 02nd

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You are here News Health Prior pandemics gave us lessons to fight the coronavirus. But funding dried up.

Prior pandemics gave us lessons to fight the coronavirus. But funding dried up.

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Funding fell off for info on how to handle pandemicsOne virus came from an unusual kind of cat and killed hundreds of people. Another was blamed on pigs and killed 18,000 people worldwide, two-thirds of them in the USA. A third came from camels, killed hundreds and remains more lethal than the others.

Each of these respiratory viruses, which sparked worldwide panics during the past 20 years, offers lessons in how to battle the new coronavirus that has sickened more than 1.2 million people around the world.

Public health agencies in the USA are hampered in putting those lessons into action because they haven't spent enough time and money preparing between crises. Public healthfunding at every level of government has spiked feverishly during outbreaks, only to stagnate or fall after the outbreak dissipated.

“Every time we have an infectious disease emergency, you see a lot of interest in funding and robust response, and then that disappears when these events recede from the headlines. We have this cycle of panic and neglect, panic and neglect,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security.

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