Saturday, December 21, 2013
What If China Had to Compensate Us for Infectious Diseases?
Just about every year there's some form of influenza outbreak in China. Swine flu, avian flu, Hong Kong flu - it always seems to be something.
Over the years there have been many accounts of how flu virus in livestock and poultry mutates and spreads to humans supposedly because many Chinese live in close proximity to their animals. Eventually the bug reaches a city, finds a traveller about to board an airplane overseas, and the rest is history.
We're told that, some day, we're going to get a real bugger of a flu virus, super-contagious and super-deadly, that could rival the influenza epidemic that swept the world at the end of WWI.
If the root cause of these annual epidemics is Chinese farmers living in too close proximity to their animals, isn't that something the Chinese government should be addressing? Shouldn't they be regulating against this sort of thing? And, if they won't, shouldn't China be dipping into that mega-sovereign wealth fund to compensate other countries for their medical costs, lost wages and physical suffering from annual, preventable disease?