The outbreak of Ebola depicts the huge economic problem of infectious disease—particularly on countries in the developing world, but with affects felt worldwide. It is safe to say any additional support to fight this disease in developing countries can benefit the rest of the world.
While Ebola in its current form is an unlikely candidate as a serious health threat to Americans or Europeans, other diseases, from AIDS to West Nile virus, are reminders that infections that start or survive in the developing world can become considerable threats to the health of people in wealthier societies. The deadly diseases listed above can take the lives of many people and also spread to different countries. Helping combat these diseases when they first strike could be the difference in stopping these diseases from spreading in developing countries.
The global smallpox eradication campaign from 1967 to 1979 was $23 million. Since eradication in 1980, the U.S. has recouped nearly 500-fold the value of its contribution to that effort in saved vaccination and treatment costs.
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