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The unprecedented and tragic terrorist attacks in the United States (US) have sent shock waves through national administrations that have grown accustomed to fighting expenditure wars in the health area and had relegated public health vigilance and emergency preparedness to the back burner. It was obvious from the immediate reaction to the horrors and menaces of the autumn of 2001 that, insofar as health and safety is concerned, governments continued to measure success by the degree of quietness, remoteness and uneventful normality that is achieved by those entrusted with the responsibility to protect health. The paradox of health and safety is that you are winning when you hear nothing: any publicity is bound to be bad publicity.


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