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PacNet #27 – The threats of infectious diseases: why not ‘securitize’?

Given the very real possibility of a global pandemic, possibly from the possible outbreak of a virulent influenza, it’s time to ask: should states treat infectious diseases as security threats? Although the concept of security, particularly in East Asia, has been expanded to include both conventional and nonconventional threats, health security has not been included in the region’s security lexicon. But given the multidimensional threats posed by infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, and more recently the H5-N1 virus (bird flu), it is time that states “securitize” infectious diseases.