Science & Technology
Revealed: the safest places to be in a pandemic
By T.K. Randall
October 7, 2019 · 2 comments
How would your country fare in the event of a pandemic ? Image Credit: US Army
Scientists have published a list of the countries that would remain the safest in the event of an outbreak.
It's a scenario that has played out countless times in movies, books, television shows and games - but what would actually happen if there really was a sudden outbreak of a deadly contagious disease ?
According to a new study, while there may ultimately be no escaping such a situation, those who happened to live on isolated islands would be likely to fare best, while people who lived in major population centers would have the lowest chance of avoiding infection.
For the study however, researchers looked at actual countries with populations exceeding 250,000 on the basis that very small communities would not be able to rebuild society after the crisis was over.
"The island nations of Australia (0.71) followed by New Zealand (0.68) and Iceland (0.64), appear most likely to have the features required to act as an effective refuge in the face of a catastrophic global pandemic," the authors wrote.
Other countries such as Japan, Barbados and Cuba also made the list.
"Somewhat unsurprisingly, it was nations with high GDP, that are self-sufficient in food and/or energy production, and are somewhat remote, that fared best," the study authors wrote.
Countries in mainland Europe, as well as the UK, US and Canada did not make the list at all.
But just how likely is it that such an outbreak will actually occur ?
"Discoveries in biotechnology could see a genetically-engineered pandemic threaten the survival of our species," said public health physician Nick Wilson.
"Though carriers of disease can easily circumvent land borders, a closed self-sufficient island could harbour an isolated, technologically-adept population that could repopulate the Earth following a disaster."
Source: Science Alert
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