A disease outbreak happens when there is a rapid spread of the cases of a particular disease in a certain community, region or a particular season. Disease outbreaks may happen in one particular geographical area or to several countries simultaneously. Its length may vary to days, couple of weeks or even years. There are two common types of an outbreak of diseases; first, the epidemic which affects a particular region of a country or sometimes a number of countries and the pandemic which affects people on a global scale.
Throughout our history, a number of disease outbreaks have been recorded. It has claimed and destroyed millions of lives; leaving survivors with scars of the tragedy they have experienced. This year alone, as of March 2012, we have already recorded five cases of disease outbreak in the countries of Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Egypt.
Since this occurrence has proven to be very deadly in very massive proportions, an initiative to properly educate the people regarding this matter is much needed. Worldwide, cases of disease outbreaks has been increasing. The best way to respond to this threat is to be prepared and be informed.
So what exactly happens during an outbreak of disease? Here’s what history has to share to us. During the year 1918-1919, a great pandemic occurred. It was called the “Great Influenza”. Until today, most of the experts regard it as the deadliest disease outbreak in the history of mankind. In just a span of six months, it has killed an estimate of more or less 100 million people in Europe and the United States.
Here’s the probable scenario in the case that a disease outbreak or if a pandemic takes place today. Hospitals around the country would be totally overrun by the number of patients coming in. According to conducted research, every flu season in the states, all respirators in all hospitals are being used. Imagine if a flu outbreak happens; most of the patients won’t even have the chance to get treatment from the hospitals. Deaths in massive proportions will be seen. The world would be in total chaos if ever this happens.
Over the course of time more and more deadly diseases have surfaced. Even diseases which have been thought to have permanently disappeared have once again resurfaced. Aside from flu there are diseases like malaria, cholera, aids, small pox, polio, and typhoid fever. Recently, there is the avian influenza, foot and mouth disease, schmallenberg virus, rabies, pertussis and diarrhea just to name some.
Fact is, this danger is very present and threatening the very existence of our kind. The government must do more to address this menace. Unfortunately, compared to the threat, the autorities’ efforts have been very minimal.
So how do these diseases spread? It can spread through practically anything. It can be passed on through people, animals, our machineries and equipment, our clothes, our vehicles, from birds, pests and insects, anything.
Tips and Comments
So what can we do in case we observe something that has the characteristics of an outbreak of disease? The best thing to do is to immediately evacuate the area and contact the public health department. The authorities are always the best people to handle such cases. When it comes to personal initiatives, we can contribute by doing the little things like practicing regular and proper hand washing. As common and insignificant it might sound, washing of hands has been proven to be one of the most effective of hygienic practices.
We have learned the devastating effects of an outbreak of disease. Let’s be vigilant and do our part in protecting our society and our kind.