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Human Population Are At Risk From Outbreaks Of New Diseases Are There Reasons Why Modern Humans Might Be More Prone To Infectious Disease Epidemic

1234 words - 5 pages

Human population are at risk from outbreaks of new diseases
Are there reasons why modern humans might be more prone to infectious disease epidemics, and where do these come from?
According to WHO (World Health Organisation) 2004 approximately 75% of new emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic (i.e. derive from animals). WHO (2011) also listed HIV/AIDS, as one of the main causes of death in the past decade. We are more prone to infectious disease epidemics compare to past populations. This essay examines the relationship between modern humans and the increasing number of new emerging diseases, compared to decades ago. The new major emerging epidemics since the 21st century are zoonotic ...view middle of the document...

When looking at infectious diseases worldwide, we must consider travel, migration and trade. In the past ‘migration’ was a norm, where communities would re-allocate their families to other areas where it was under populated. Due to such migration infected animals would interact with non-infected animals thus leading to the spread of infectious diseases (Gummow 2010). Although Gummow (2010) states that migration has always been a common practice, the development of airplanes, ships and other forms of transport in the modern world affects the rapid spread of emerging infectious diseases (Morse et al., 2012). However we underestimate microbes that we cannot see, they constantly follow us allowing rapid and sizable ways for these microbes to spread. The ease and affordability of air and land travel allows for these pathogens to migrate globally faster than ever before, unlike in past decades (McMichaels 2004). The most recent pandemic that was spread through air hub was SARS in 2003. SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome; it was first reported in Asia, which spread rapidly and very effectively throughout twelve countries including the Americas and Europe (Arguin et al., 2004). SARS is a pathogen that emerged from bats and found a way into humans (Morens & Fauci 2013), the symptoms include: extremely high fever, body aches and dry cough. The main form of transmission of SARS was through close contact with infected individuals. Infection can be transmitted through human-to-human contact by coughing, sneezing, bodily fluids etc. (WHO 2003). The importation and exportation of fruit and vegetables are also to be considered as carriers of diseases especially in places such as food markets and even frozen products.
Ancient history shows that epidemics of emerging infectious diseases were always present. In 2012 Morens and Fauci talk about “Ancient Greek, Roman, and Persian writers [that] documented the emergence of many new epidemics” (pp. 1). We cannot deny history, however our ancestors were not aware of the causes of emerging infectious diseases. Past populations did not possess the technology like those of in present times. Tracking and testing methods are now available due to advances in technology where the analyses of different pathogens are currently refined and rapid compared to ancient times (Fuller et al., 2012). The fact that we are able to identify the causes and how they spread, helps the community to develop new ways of epidemic prevention (Gummow 2010). While technology has helped educate people around the world about new infectious diseases, it failed to protect the population from Hepatitis C as the hepatitis virus was discovered in 1989. WHO declared that up until April 2014, approximately 350,000 to 500,000 people a year have passed away from Hepatitis C. The hepatitis has been...

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