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Speaking with: Peter Doherty about infectious disease pandemics

Medical workers move a woman, who is suspected of having Ebola, upon her arrival at Meioxeiro Hospital, in Vigo, northwestern Spain, 28 October 2015. SALVADOR SAS (EPA)/ AAP

Speaking with: Peter Doherty about infectious disease pandemics

Professor Peter Doherty on infectious disease pandemics. The Conversation, CC BY-ND47.6 MB (download)

Humans have had to deal with infectious diseases for centuries. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians suffered from smallpox, leprosy and tuberculosis. And when an outbreak occurs, it can be devastating.

Pandemics like the Black Plague, Spanish Flu and HIV have killed millions of people around the world.

While improved sanitation and a better understanding of how infections spread has helped halt some pandemics, we are never truly safe. Recent outbreaks of Ebola in Western Africa and the Zika virus in the Americas show how vulnerable we are.

William Isdale speaks with Melbourne University Professor and Nobel prize winner Peter Doherty about how infectious diseases start and spread, and what can be done by governments, health organisations and individuals to minimise the threat of a pandemic.


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