After Ebola: Nebraska and the Next Pandemic



Beyond Zika: Pandemics That Shook the World

Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Pandemics

Global disease emergencies, like the Zika virus pandemic and the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015, are impossible to predict no matter how precisely we understand the viruses, bacteria, or parasites behind them.

Zika, which has spread quickly through Latin American countries, is a mosquito-borne virus for which there’s no vaccine or specific treatment. The Zika virus causes a relatively mild illness in most people, according to health officials, but in pregnant women it's been linked to a higher incidence of the devastating birth defect microcephaly, an abnormally small head size. The virus spread from Africa to the Americas in 2014, reaching 24 regions and territories by January 2015 and prompting U.S. travel alerts for pregnant women to avoid Zika hot spots like Brazil. Travelers to countries where Zika is endemic should be screened for the virus if they have symptoms like fever, rash, muscle and joint pain, headaches, or conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes). The best prevention strategy is to avoid mosquito bites, which can carry not only Zika, but also diseases like the West Nile virus and dengue fever.

We've learned a lot from past outbreaks, such as the Spanish flu pandemic of the early 20th century. And flu vaccines now help prevent widespread illnesses. Certain diseases that caused epidemics in the past, such as smallpox, have even been eradicated. Others, like HIV/AIDS, continue to defy total medical expertise. While such diseases are treatable, they can't yet be prevented with vaccines, and they can't be cured. Here are details about epidemics and pandemics that have swept the world in the past.






Video: Spillover: Zika, Ebola and Beyond

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Date: 10.12.2018, 10:42 / Views: 71393