Global Cities and the Spread of Infectious Disease: The Case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Toronto, Canada
The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Toronto and other cities in 2003 showed a heightened sensitivity of places in the global economy to rapid changes brought on by the acceleration of social and ecological relationships. The spread of the SARS virus may be a predictable consequence of these processes. The paper investigates how processes of globalisation have affected the transmission and response to SARS within the context of the global cities network. Little work has been done on the relationship of global city formation and the spread of infectious disease. Arguing that this relationship may be central to understanding the intricate capillary structures of the globalised network, the paper focuses on how pathogens interact with economic, political and social factors. These relationships exist both in the network and in global cities themselves, thereby posing new issues for public health and epidemiological efforts at disease containment and tracking.