Humans increase the chance new viruses will emerge in us by simply being in the right place at the right time. We do this by travelling into once isolated forests, expanding our desire for exotic tastes and flavours, trading in live animals, through cultural practices that expose us to rare pathogens and by incompletely or incorrectly treating infections.
The South Pacific Commission (SPC) provides epidemiological assistance to some 22 island nations. In 1993, for instance, an SPC epidemiologist conducted a typhoid fever outbreak investigation in Western Samoa and on-the-job training of national counterparts in outbreak investigation and control.
In 1993, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provided medicines, hospital tents and strengthened public information campaigns after a total of 62,624 cases and 546 deaths were reported a four month period.