Lufthansa crew members walk through Hong Kong’s airport in 2003 wearing masks to protect against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). (Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
A couple of times during his Ebola briefing for reporters Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sounded as much like an economist as an epidemiologist.
Frieden noted that the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, which hit China and neighboring countries “cost the world more than $40 billion, but it wasn’t to control the outbreak. Those were costs from unnecessary and ineffective travel restrictions and trade changes that could have been avoided.”