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One-health approach as counter-measure against “autoimmune” responses in biosecurity

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  • Mutsaers, Inge

Abstract

This Swine flu pandemic of 2009 and the potential Avian flu threat of 2011–2012 have revived a most challenging debate on protection against infectious diseases. The response to the Swine flu pandemic has been ambivalent, both on the societal (political) and the scientific level. While some scientists warned against potential massive loss of human lives and urged for immediate and large-scale vaccination, others accused them of unnecessary scaremongering, arguing that the pandemic would not be that severe. The lab-created virulent Avian flu virus – which has been created in order to ‘fight’ a potential Avian flu pandemic – sparked a fierce debate on the dual-use risks of such a pre-emptive strategy. This article involves an analysis of the medical-political response to these recent viral threats using Peter Sloterdijk's immunological framework as diagnostic tool. In his trilogy Spheres Sloterdijk uses immunological concepts to analyse and assess the contemporary biopolitical situation. It shows how drawing a parallel between the functioning of the biological immune system and “immune responses” on socio-political level enables to assess and reconceptualise biosecurity.

Suggested Citation

  • Mutsaers, Inge, 2015. "One-health approach as counter-measure against “autoimmune” responses in biosecurity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 123-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:129:y:2015:i:c:p:123-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.042
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