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Flu Pandemic: Financial Institutions at Risk - Essay Example

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Flu Pandemic: Financial Institutions at Risk

Health professionals expect the bird flu to become a major pandemic throughout the world. "The World Health Organization has confirmed 173 cases of the avian flu virus in humans, most of whom had close contact with diseased birds. Of those, 93 people died, almost all of them in Asia" (Rosenthal and Bradsher C1). The flu is currently passes from bird to human but could mutate to pass from human to human creating a world wide pandemic (Arthur 2). Financial Institutions are one of many sectors that will be highly affected by a major pandemic. Cash flow effects disaster relief programs, government finances, insurance claims, and almost all aspects of human livelihood. Cash flow needs to be fully functional in order to maintain the economy and control a pandemic. Financial Institutions are unprepared for flu pandemic.
Outbreaks of the bird flu have occurred in South East Asia, "which has caused a total of 53 confirmed human deaths" ("Renewed warning" 1). Transmission of the virus currently occurs between bird and human and "60% of those infected have dies" ("Renewed warning" 1). The flu transmits by migratory bird from bird droppings. If the virus mutates to a form able to transfer between humans, then a major flu pandemic would occur. There have been indications of transfer from human to human but nothing conclusive. ...
The world has dealt with flu pandemic in previous years; however, the world is currently unprepared to deal with a major pandemic at this time. If the virus mutates and spreads at the rapid pace predicted, there will be a shortage of vaccines causing billions of people to become ill and millions to die.
Flu pandemic will decrease the labor supply for all businesses temporarily and permanently. "Banks would need to ensure that computer systems continued to move money internationally and that local customers could get cash" (Rosenthal and Bradsher C1). All sectors of the world rely on financial cash flow including the government, hospitals, businesses, laborers, and consumers. A labor shortage in financial institutions would cause a delay in companies processing accounts, making purchases, balancing accounting records, funding important programs, consumer purchase, and employee payroll. Companies that can allow its workforce to work at home via the IT system will be affected less then other companies, however, most financial institutions require direct employee-customer contact. A labor shortage will affect financial institutions because of this need for direct customer contact. Laborers who become ill will remain home from work, some will remain home to care for an ill family member or child, some skip work to avoid becoming ill, and others will eventually die from the disease. "Up to 40 percent of employees could be sick at one time" (Rosenthal and Bradsher C1) causing the labor supply to drastically decrease and the mortality rate will increase. A decrease in the labor supply can affect the economy in a number of ways. The cost of labor will increase when there is a shortage in labor and this could cause the value of currency to ...Show more

Summary

Flu pandemics are global outbreaks of virulent influenza caused by a viral strain so different from those of prior years that the human population has no natural resistance to it" (Russell A1). Recent events have proven the world unprepared for a now long overdue pandemic, which occurs ever ten to forty years (Arthur 1)…
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Flu Pandemic: Financial Institutions at Risk essay example
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