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The Impact of Infectious Diseases on the Economy — Sarah Shewayish, MD

Dr. Shewayish shows how public health is an essential component of economic prosperity. This is at no time a more poignant argument than in the midst of the current pandemic, where it is clear that the key to economic recovery is to vanquish the coronavirus outbreak. As we have seen in the Spring and early Summer of 2020, infectious diseases can affect a large swath of the business sector, from agriculture, to manufacturing, transportation, hospitality/travel, and many others. Some industries may have a business model that is incompatible with an infection outbreak. Others may ride the wave of increased demand that occurs as a result of the disease’s impact on a society. A disease outbreak may also cause individuals to withdraw from the economy due to fear, job loss, or reduced services. Investing in public health is an endeavor that pays countless dividends. As the pandemic shows, societies around the world need to do more to invest in the health of their populations and in preparing for the next outbreak that may impact us.

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