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Posted Fri Feb 4 2011: from
Threat of urban epidemics looms
An unprecedented alliance of urban planners, doctors and scientists is needed to better prepare for "the looming threat of explosive urban epidemics" in an increasingly urbanised world, according to a review paper in The Lancet. The world's urban population will double by 2050 and most of this increase will be in developing countries, according to UN estimates. But how this will affect infectious diseases is poorly understood. Better research, surveillance, urban planning and policy are needed.... Millions of people live in slums with no access to clean water and regular rubbish disposal. They "build their own dwellings from flimsy, scrounged materials and with no concern for vector hygiene," the paper says. And high population density in cities means there is a "looming threat of explosive urban [disease] epidemics", including Ebola, chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue, according to the paper. "Urban epidemics can reach unprecedented scales and quickly become uncontrollable," especially in African cities where disease surveillance is weak.
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'Doc Michael says:
Aren't you being a little high-falutin' with your vector hygiene? Soap and water's good enough for me.

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