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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Global health is potentially diminished by practices of biosecurity aimed at safeguarding the health of human populations against selected infectious disease risks. Some diseases inspire so much government concern that they are accorded the status of security issues, and adopting a security-based rationale for prevention and response efforts can garner extra resources and stronger powers for risk-reduction purposes. However, such an approach can result in practices that are counterproductive from a health perspective. This chapter shows that biosecurity can endanger global health in at least four areas of policy concern: the development of defences against biological weapons, the management of security risks arising from laboratory research on pathogenic microorganisms, the prioritization of disease risks and response mechanisms as part of an agenda of global health security, and the use of national borders to contain transnational contagion.

Keywords: biological weapons, biosecurity, borders, global health, prioritization, research, risks, security

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