Economic crises and transmission of communicable diseases

Added July 20, 2020

Citation: Suhrcke M, Stuckler D, Suk JE, et al. The impact of economic crises on communicable disease transmission and control: a systematic review of the evidence. PloS one. 2011;6(6):e20724.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing strain on the economies of countries, which may in turn to impacts on the transmission of the disease. Existing research on the impact of economic crises on communicable disease transmission and control might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies examining changes in infectious disease burden subsequent to periods of economic crisis. They restricted their searches to articles published in English and did the search in November 2010. They included 37 studies from 27 countries/regions.

What was found: Economic downturns exacerbated socio-economic inequalities and increased the susceptibility of some populations to epidemics, including prisoners, migrants and the homeless.

Long-term impacts of crises on infectious disease of economic crises are not inevitable: the magnitude of the effects depends critically on budgetary responses by governments.


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