What is Pandemic?
Pandemic is referred to as the spread of a new disease that causes epidemic. H1N1 influenza pandemic, which is currently making its way around the globe. These pandemics are usually caused by a new strain of virus being introduced to a country. Then there is also another variant of the influenza virus that is acquired by domestic animals such as swine or poultry or birds and introduced to humans through contact with their feces or blood.
These pandemics will be difficult to control with the current level of vaccines. In response, new research into influenza vaccines will focus more on tackling the new strains of influenza that are causing these new pandemics in order to make vaccines as safe and effective as possible.
The previous pandemic H1N1 was mostly noticeable in northern and eastern countries, whereas this one is primarily in the southern and central regions, with its enormous scope spread to the rest of the world’s population, with China being the dominant source of cases. The chief mechanism used by this influenza virus is known as poliomyelitis- like virus or, as some researchers prefer to call it, mouse influenza virus (MIV), which infects mice and is a secondary virus that invades a host’s cellular machinery during the replication of virus.
There are some features of influenza pandemic that resemble seasonal influenza. However, in many of the cases in which these aspects appear similar, influenza pandemics are not seasonal. This has been demonstrated in many experiments, which have cleared out that the main clinical features of seasonal influenza are not present in pandemic influenza. The patient also identified some unique features of influenza, such as laboratory confirmation of viral infection in the laboratory, the ability of antibodies to induce immune memory in response to antibody stimulation, and the requirement for transmission in healthy people to propagate influenza.
The Difference in Pandemic And Endemic
Sometimes, pandemic is taken as a synonym for endemic. However, they both are totally different. A pandemic occurs when a disease is in relatively high proportions within a population of a particular geographic location, and the ability of health agencies to contain or eliminate the disease is restricted. An endemic is a disease that has the potential to be transmitted throughout a population. A pandemic may affect several geographic areas of a country.
For example, a country with a human-to-human transmission within the first few days of a pandemic may spread the disease to many areas within the country if the previous systems and protocols were not effective. By definition, a pandemic is either an influenza pandemic or a common cold pandemic. An influenza pandemic is caused by an influenza virus, but it is usually caused by other viruses, either at the same time as the influenza virus or later in the infection cycle.
The History of Influenza Pandemic
The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most dangerous amongst all and has victimized many in recent history. More than 7 million people died in the first 20 months of the epidemic, which reached its peak around July–August 1918. The epidemic hit America’s urban centers, where strains of the 1918 influenza virus were the most dominant. In addition to causing deaths and widespread outbreaks of respiratory illness, influenza was responsible for killing two million people in the U.S. in 1918. In recognition of the huge numbers of casualties, nearly $6.5 billion was spent on U.S. public health measures for the pandemic.
In 1918, the U.S. had a significantly larger economy than it does today. The 1917 influenza pandemic likely cut agricultural production by 20% and public transit rates by as much as 20%. Medical treatment often exceeded the value of the treatment, as in some cases more equipment and medication were needed to keep patients alive than to heal them. Patients were evacuated by air to the nation’s medical centers.
The Background of H1N1 Influenza Virus
There are a couple of hypotheses that have been put forward for why H1N1 went from a mild seasonal infection to a pandemic. Here is one that may help explain the differences between 1918 H1N1 and modern H1N1 strains:
Background: In 1918, a very mild H1N1 influenza virus was found in ferrets. Only 2 of 500 infected animals died in a few days. They did have mild, flu-like symptoms and loss of appetite, but no death occurred. The 1918 H1N1 virus was a group A, the most common subtype of influenza. Many A viruses have been circulating on a large scale over centuries, however, they are not a major health threat to the general public. The 1918 H1N1 virus has a somewhat novel “mechanism” that ensures prolonged persistence of the virus in infected birds.
The 1918 H1N1 virus has a somewhat novel “mechanism” that ensures prolonged persistence of the virus in infected birds. The “mechanism” requires infected birds to stay in close contact with others for a longer period of time in order to introduce the virus into the circulation of other birds. This can be accomplished by birds that transfer virus between each other on a regular basis. These are called “genetic podocules” and can act as carriers of H1N1 virus and spread it to other birds. Other birds can then become infected by ingesting or kissing these infected birds. People can contract H1N1 from birds. Again this occurs through contact with human faeces in the environment, usually close to human habitation or transport of infected animals. H1N1 usually does not occur in developing countries, and the potential for infection, like that in H5N1, is lower.
Precautions on Pandemic
No matter what type, pandemic has been an alarming threat to mankind, hence every government places more importance on the means you can survive and protect your life while going through such situations. Here we have a list of before and during precautions while you ever caught in a pandemic situation. Always remember that when a country is trapped up with a severe pandemic situation, you will be red alerted with it and hence you have enough time to cope up with the epidemic.
- Make sure you have the storage for water and food supply. It should extend for 2 weeks at least.
- You must have a periodic supply of your drugs and other medicines.
- Start having these medicines without any prescription as they are quite generic and can help people at times of adversity. For example, stomach remedies, pain relievers, fluids with electrolytes, cough and cold medicines, and vitamins.
- Make a digital record for your complete health. Also have a copy for your personal information from your doctors or pharmacies.
- Make sure you have informed your entire family about the upcoming pandemic situation and how they have to deal with it.
As the pandemic is on its way to trap maximum of people, what you need to do is to protect yourself as much as possible. Such protection will keep away the germs and prevent the infection from spreading all across the population.
- Make sure you are totally avoiding any close contacts with strangers and with people who are sick.
- If you are the one who is sick, distance yourself from your family and limit your outgoingness. This will help in preventing the further reach of the germs.
- While you cough or sneeze, make sure you have covered your mouth. Always keep a tissue for better preparation.
- Wash your hands quite often. Use an alcohol hand sanitizer for killing maximum germs laying on your hands.
- Abstain yourself from touching or rubbing eyes, nose and mouth. Carry a wet paper tissue to wipe off while you feel uncomfortable during journey.
- Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious healthy food. Also avoid having junk foods especially during these times.
Conclusion, The only ones that are fully prepared are you, because as a human being you are prepared to think, ask questions, take necessary measures and ask for help.
Have a contingency plan for different survival scenarios during pandemic. Some institutions and government agencies have fully-stocked operating facilities for medical care. You could decide for a complete health screening assessment by making arrangements with a doctor or a hospital which can offer an alternate solution to your medical issues. You may also consider getting one of these places or even just a private clinic if there are no other options available in your area.
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