If you want to know what the human and financial losses of a global pandemic for something like Ebola would look like, someone’s already figured it out.
In a post last year, risk modelling gurus AIR calculated that the 1918 Spanish Flu killed between 20 and 100 million people (out of a global population of 1.8 billion) and caused the equivalent of $US20 billion in global losses.
AIR then plugged the 1918 pandemic data into 21st century population density and development parameters to come up with a model for what a new Spanish Flu or other serious global pandemic would look like today
It ain’t pretty.
First, there’s the map above, showing the casualty ratio by country. As might unfortunately be imagined, developing nations fare the worst, while Western nations see the fewest casualties.
But fewest is a relative term. Here’s their table breaking down casualties for a modified G-7 (replacing Italy with Australia):
It seems safe to conclude from this that whatever it costs to minimize the risk of a global pandemic will pale in comparison to trying to control it once it arrives.
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