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New diseases are emerging and spreading across the world, with the potential to bring global business to a halt. The 2003 SARS outbreak cost the world $30 billion in just a few months. In 2009, an H1N1 outbreak caused an estimated $2.2 billion disruption to Mexico’s economy. Compounding the problem, inconsistent laboratory processes and insufficient security can cause dangerous microbes to be released into the community, either intentionally or accidentally. Not only that, the rising level of antimicrobial drug resistance makes it more difficult to treat infections when they occur.

It sounds like a movie script: a mysterious virus in another country brings the world to a standstill. But our global economy increases the opportunity for diseases to quickly proliferate, compromising workforces and potentially, global trade.

“There may be a misconception that infectious diseases are over in the industrialized world. But in fact, infectious diseases will always be with us. With patterns of global travel and trade, disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “That’s why the ability to detect, fight and prevent these diseases must be developed and strengthened overseas, and not just here in the United States. Global health and national security go hand in hand.”

This issue of Business Pulse explores how CDC is working with global partners to strengthen the health security net worldwide—and how CDC programs and resources help keep your business and your employees safe.

Published April 2014