A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instance a continent, or even worldwide. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness. With the increase in global transport, as well as urbanization and overcrowded conditions, epidemics due the new influenza virus are likely to quickly take hold around the world. Past epidemics include such diseases as: Cholora, Influenza, Typhus, HIV/Aids, Smallpox, Measles, Malaria, Tuberculosus, SARS, Yellow Fever and Leporsy. One of the most dangerous was the bubonic plague.
If an influenza pandemic were to occur today, we could expect:
- the pandemic virus to spread rapidly due to the high level of global traffic;
- vaccines, antiviral agents and antibiotics to treat secondary infections to be in short supply, with a period of several months before any vaccine becomes available;
- medical facilities to be overwhelmed with demands to care for both influenza and non-influenza patients;
- widespread illness to result in sudden and potentially significant shortages of personnel to provide essential community services.
Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs
Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. It is suggested that you should stay 3 ft away from all individuals and 6 ft away from individuals which are coughing or sneezing.
Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Cough or sneeze into a soft absorbant material like cloth; NOT in your hands where you spread germs by touch.
Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. You can't wash your hands enough.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practice other good health habits.
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. You may include taking extra Vitamin C & D.