Local communities' overlooked role in the fight against pandemics
In 2009, Hong Kong's Metropole Hotel quarantined its guests for a week, likely reducing the global spread of the deadly H1N1 flu. Five years later, traditional and religious leaders in West Africa assuaged people's fear, distrust and suspicion of government and international first responders, playing a critical role in curbing the spread of Ebola. And this past Dec. 31, a Canadian tech startup that scrutinizes digital information to predict epidemics reported a spike in coronavirus cases in Wuhan, China — a week before governmental and international agencies made the same observation.
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