Terrorist attacks on the US that began September 11 may have dealt a mortal blow to a global public health system that was already severely crippled from decades of governments' neglect and mismanagement, say experts in international health and bioterrorism.

From now on, public health will be dominated by national security concerns focused on fighting terrorism and proliferation of biological weapons, David Fidler, professor at the Indiana University School of Law, told a meeting on globalization and infectious disease held in Washington on 6 November 2001. Global efforts to fight infectious disease may suffer badly, according to Fidler, an expert on international law and public health. The recent anthrax attacks on the US postal system have hastened the country's shift from a weak global perspective to a strong national one, from a weak commitment to public health to a strong effort on homeland security, and from tepid concern about...

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