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.

Social Network's Healing Power Is Borne Out in Poorer Nations

Family ties are the best cure to schizophrenia, suggests an extensive WHO study
Shankar Vedantam
June 28, 2005

Drug Deal

CAFTA's intellectual property protections may halt the production of life-saving generic drugs in Central America
Kelly Hearn
May 26, 2005

Bird Flu Spreads Among Java's Pigs

Indonesian government scrambles to track disease
David Cyranoski
May 27, 2005

Genetic Analyses Suggest Bird Flu Virus is Evolving

A troubling discovery: In northern Vietnam, the avian flu virus may be mutating
Dennis Normile
June 2, 2005

Preparing for the Next Pandemic

Avian flu may be the next global health crisis – and the world isn't ready
Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D, M.P.H.
May 5, 2005