Diseases Diseases

Health And Fitness: Pandemic Diseases

Introduction

Death is always inevitable. Every second and every day, people die due to a lot of possible reasons. They usually die naturally (such as death due to old age), accidents, from criminal acts, and even from diseases. However, the most common cause of death which instantly affects a number of the human population is the death from diseases, more specifically infectious diseases. These diseases may cause death to a small number of population up to a large number of population and in the latter’s case, this is when you already hear the term Pandemic.

How do you classify a disease as Pandemic?

The usual spread of an infectious disease would always start from the source. From the source, the agents causing the infection then transfer to another susceptible host until it spreads to more susceptible hosts nearby. Usually, the infection starts from an outbreak, meaning that it has affected a certain small number of populations at first. If controlled at this early stage, the spread of disease may be managed. If not, the disease will become epidemic meaning it has already spread to a larger number of populations like from a community to a city or region. Depending on the seriousness of the disease and the rate at which it infects other people, an epidemic is manageable as well if it is managed and detected earlier. However, if not, the disease will become pandemic meaning it has already infected more populations in regions or even in other continents. Pandemic diseases are usually hard to manage because of the scope of infection and because it would be difficult to point out the source of infection once classified as pandemic. The agents that can cause pandemic diseases are usually from viruses but they are not always the agents because bacteria can be another agent as well.

What are Examples of Pandemic diseases?

Over the centuries, human beings were terrorized by these infectious diseases such as the Smallpox pandemic in the 18th century which was caused by the Variola virus. Another pandemic disease was the Black Death or more commonly known as the Bubonic plague in the 14th century and went on until the 18th century. The infectious disease was cause by the pathogen Yersinia pestis and it killed about 30 to 60 percent of Europe’s population. Before the H1N1 flu pandemic or more commonly as swine flu in 2009, the first influenza pandemic occurred in 1918 which was more popularly known as the Spanish flu. The disease spread through the different continents causing an estimated mortality rate of between 50 to 100 million.

How do you prevent Pandemic diseases?

Usually, once the source for pandemic diseases has been traced, scientists are now able to study it and be able to find a cure or prevention of these diseases. In this way, pharmaceutical companies have also produced these vaccines for prevention of pandemic diseases to prevent another outbreak of these diseases in the future and to also prevent the individual from acquiring the disease in case there has been another outbreak. Usually, immunization programs not only help prevent outbreak for these infectious diseases but it also eradicates them as well. Aside from medicines and vaccines, pandemic diseases can also be prevented through recommended activities from healthcare providers, or organizations such as the World Health Organization.

By Ignat Victor, published at 03/22/2012
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