Part I of this article is a summary of some of the major economic effects of a pandemic, especially a pandemic entailing a severe strain of influenza. The study is mainly quantitative in nature and is based on several models created and run by government and private agencies in the United States and by international organizations involved in public health. The principle scenarios analyzed are based on the influenza pandemics of 1918 (“Spanish flu”), 1957, 1968 (“Hong Kong flu”), 2003 (SARS) and 2005-to-present (H5N1 avian flu). Both actual historical and forecast model data are included. Pandemic economics is a topic of research & teaching at Texas A&M University’s Integrative Center for Homeland Security. Part II of this article summarizes many of the nation-specific and multinational systemic effects of a pandemic, especially a pandemic entailing a severe strain of influenza. The study is mainly qualitative in nature and is a collection of information from a variety of sources from the US, other nations, and international organizations. Recent events have demonstrated the fragility of the major systems that civilization depends on. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and financial breakdowns may only be preludes to a systemic collapse precipitated by an uncontrollable pandemic. In today’s world, we are all dependent on the continuation of complex and interdependent systems that are the operational “machines” of societies, economies, governments, and businesses.
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