Influenza, an innocent little virus that annually comes and goes, has always been a part of people’s lives. Knowing this, one would not believe that it has caused not one, not two, but three pandemics and is on its way to causing a fourth! The Spanish flu of 1918, the Asian flu of 1957, and the Hong Kong
Infectious epidemics and pandemics have happened all through mankind's history. “They remain the prime cause of death worldwide and will not be conquered during our lifetimes.” The flu of 1918 was one of the deadliest epidemics in history. “It infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide–about one-third of the planet’s population at the time–and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims. More than 25 percent of the U.S. population became sick, and some 675,000 Americans died during the pandemic.” No one knew how the virus spread, there were no antibiotics to fight it, and no flu shots to prevent it. In the final year of World War I, it struck terror in the hearts of people all across Europe and left more death in its wake than the combined military actions of the combatants. “It killed more Americans in a few months than World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the
The idea of a superbug sweeping the world has long fired up people’s imaginations, the 2011 movie Contagion is one manifestation of such fears, albeit a pretty scientifically-accurate manifestation. While the film certainly depicts a “worst-case scenario,” where an unknown and highly-contagious virus that is difficult to grow in a lab infects millions of people around the globe, it carefully works with the technical details, providing a plausible situation.
Avian influenza is a disease that has been wreaking havoc on human populations since the 16th century. With the recent outbreak in 1997 of a new H5N1 avian flu subtype, the world has begun preparing for a pandemic by looking upon its past affects. In the 20th Century, the world witnessed three pandemics in the years of 1918, 1957, and 1968. In 1918 no vaccine, antibiotic, or clear recognition of the disease was known. Killing over 40 million in less than a year, the H1N1 strain ingrained a deep and lasting fear of the virus throughout the world. Though 1957 and 1968 brought on milder pandemics, they still killed an estimated 3 million people and presented a new
Well you probably will most likely clean your cuts and scrapes with cool water. Then, you will use a soft washcloth to clean the surrounding skin around the wounds. Lastly, you will put a bandage or two on the wounds to prevent an infection.
In two years between 1918 and 1919, A pandemic of influenza swept mercilessly over the planet, killing millions which stood in its path. Miraculously, the exact origin of the pandemic is unclear. What is exceedingly clear, however, is that often the actions of man aided in the spread of the virus, whether due to inadvertent endangerment, close quarters, religious principles, or failure to recognize the true threat that influenza posed.
The aftermath of this outbreak helped the world learn how to respond to deadly illnesses in an effective manor as well as moved the cause of science forward by striving to find a way to treat this disease. The event lead to the organizations responsible for controlling these outbreaks to grow and develop more proficient ways to battle the flu as well as many other sicknesses. Today, “international organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide leadership in global health matters. The WHO’s preparedness plans against influenza pandemics include six levels of pandemic alert, which determine the recommended actions it should take in conjunction with the international community, governments, and industry.6” This expansion has saved millions of lives as now flu vaccines are usually available in most communities as well as treatments for nearly every ailment known. Without these organizations influence the Swine Flu epidemic could have been much more devastating along with the hundreds of other disease that could have wiped out entire populations without the intervention of these groups. The government was also changed by this as they had
Contagion is a movie based on a deadly virus, MEV-1, which spreads around the world in a matter of days (Shamberg, Sher, Jacobs & Soderbergh, 2011). The premise is that the MEV-1 virus is spread person-to-person via airborne droplets produced by sneezes or coughs, as well as by viruses deposited on fomites, such as glasses, doorknobs, peanuts, and so on. The virus circles the globe in a matter of days, causing coughs, fevers and seizures as scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scramble to identify the pathogen and develop a vaccine. MEV-1 is presented to the audience as a pandemic. During a pandemic preserving the functionality of society is a priority (Gostin,
A pandemic differs from epidemic because a pandemic affects a large area while an epidemic affects a localized area. Old people, young kids (approximately younger than 5) and pregnant women are more at risk of getting ill from a pandemic or epidemic. The conditions of declaring a pandemic is if the virus is able to cause serious illnesses or even deaths it has to be a virus that can be spread from human to human It also needs to have little to none immunity levels. The societal factors that will increase the pandemic are water supply, sanitation facilities, food, climate, and temperature. Water supply could be a factor because people could have contaminated the water causing the water to infectious meaning that if they drink it then they could get the disease themselves. Food because if they kill and eat an animal without killing all the bacteria in the animal then they could get the disease. Climate and temperature because sometimes if the temperature becomes too hot then that could make the bacteria increase
Influenza is well-defined as a minor, but commonly epidemic disease that occurred in several of ways, also caused by numerous of rapidly mutating viral strains. It characterized by the respiratory symptoms and general prostration. The Spanish flu was not a normal epidemic, it was a dangerous pandemic. Epidemics affect individuals at the same time in areas where the disease does not normally spread. A pandemic is an epidemic on a national, international, or global scale. The Spanish flu was different from a usual flu in one big great terrifying way, which had a remarkably high death rate between healthy individuals around the age fifteen to thirty four. There has been such a high death rate in this type if age group in an epidemic prior to or since the Spanish flu of 1918.
The world has experienced a total of four pandemics within the twentieth century. These pandemics, as horrific and deadly as they are, have brought so much more positive advances to our health care system and how we prepare for biological threats. Although we are in the twenty-first century and we have advanced so far in healthcare, there is still the possibility of a deadly pandemic.
Imagine, if you would, a small infant being rushed to the hospital; Her parents are desperately crying out for help as she is starting to turn blue. She is coughing so violently that she can no longer breathe. The sounds of the infant gasping for air fills the room. She was recently diagnosed with pertussis and it has progressed so quickly that now she is in respiratory failure. She is rushed to the intensive care unit where doctors and nurses rush around her in chaos. She is starting to crash, so they place a tube down her throat, an IV line into her head, before finally placing her onto a machine that will mechanically breathe for her. They maneuver around her limp body as they do everything they can to try and save her life. Her future is unknown because pertussis is dangerous and can be fatal. This could have been prevented if she had been vaccinated. Vaccines for children should be mandatory. It will prevent them from suffering through the long-lasting effects of diseases and even death. Vaccines were developed to save lives.