Since human migrations began, germs have traveled with people, animals and traded goods. In an interconnected and mobile world, diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS can spread rapidly. Yet international cooperation through agencies such as the World Health Organization also allows for a collective response to global health threats and faster response times. Nations have developed diverse health care systems, aiming for cost-effective treatment. Yet the diverse systems contribute to disparities in global health, including availability of technology, pharmaceutical companies targeting innovations to maximize profits, and providers abandoning areas of need for higher salaries in the West, just to name a few.

India to WTO: Help Us Protect Herbs, Tea, Yoga

India seeks protection for medicinal and cultural secrets
Eric Bellman
December 19, 2005

Avian Influenza: Pandemic Skeptics Warn Against Crying Wolf

Scientists are questioning how great the danger really is
Dennis Normile
November 28, 2005

Asian Countries Gear Up to Tackle Bird-Flu Threat

But doubt remains as to how open or effective Asian governments will be
Nicholas Zamiska
November 4, 2005

The Spreading Bird-Flu Menace Reaches Europe

Even a quickly contained outbreak could have sweeping consequences
October 21, 2005

Migrant Birds "Should Not Be Bird Flu Scapegoats"

Scientists warn against actions that may push species into extinction
Mike Shanahan
October 26, 2005