Overview: Pandemics

Click to access:

Read Article

Watch Relevant Videos and Podcasts

Comments

Article

Author: Dr. Ronald St. John

Throughout history there have been outbreaks of infectious diseases. The well-known plague epidemic (Black Death) was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s, wiping out an estimated one-third of the population. Disease outbreaks, when large in scope, have been referred to as epidemics. More recently, epidemics that have involved or might involve the global population have been labelled as pandemics.

When does an epidemic become a pandemic? There is no single accepted definition of the term pandemic (ref: Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 200:7, 1 October 2009). Some considerations for labelling an outbreak as a pandemic include outbreaks of diseases:

  • that extend over large geographic areas, e.g., influenza, HIV/AIDS
  • that have high attack rates and explosiveness, e.g., common-source acquisition and highly contagious diseases with short incubation periods
  • that affect populations with minimal population immunity
  • that involve a new or novel version of an infectious agent – the term pandemic has been used most commonly to describe diseases that are new, or at least associated with novel variants of existing organisms, e.g., influenza.
  • that are highly contagious. Many, if not most, infectious diseases considered to be pandemic by public health officials are contagious from person to person
  • that have severe health consequences. The term pandemic has been applied to severe or fatal diseases

For purposes of this paper, a pandemic is an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.(1)

Read more

Related Videos and Podcasts

46 Antibiotics and Politics
https://youtu.be/ffbeYNQiDrE
• Dr. Laura Kahn, physician and research professor, Princeton University
• Dr. Ronald St. John, Director, Public Health Ontario

37. The War in Yemen
https://youtu.be/gmfsjC9uyCs
• Qais Ghanem, Retired professor of medicine, Ottawa University
• Paul Maillet, retired Colonel, Canadian Forces, now peacebuilding worker.

27. Assessing Risk of Global Threats
https://youtube.com/watch?v=vf4mzBTGBXw
• Mark Sedra, Adjunct Professor, Balsillie School

22. Famine
https://youtu.be/r8SpzRzq4kM
• Alex deWaal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation

13. Yemen
https://youtu.be/rDVwuqIGhsQ
• Yusur Al Bahrani, Journalist living in Yellowknife, Northweat Territories, Canada
• Ahmed Jehaf, Journalist living in Sana’a,

7. Pandemics and Climate Change
https://youtu.be/Q6YUuxmVcqs
• Sweta Chakraborty, EcoHealth Alliance’s Young Professionals Council
• Dr. Ronald St. John, Former Director General of Canada’s first Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response in the Public Health Agency of Canada.
• Dr. Bryna Warshawsky, Public Health Ontario

Formatting Options For Comments

To enter a comment or post a share first wait a moment for the page to refresh/reload. Then click into the comments textbox and posting information will dynamically appear as a response to your click. Click on the appropriate icons for inserting an image but please don't attach videos this way. Simply type or paste the URL for the video into the comment and it will embed a preview into the page. The link when clicked will take you to the video itself. If you wish to boldface, underline, or italicize you can follow the formatting instructions below. When editing the only way to scroll within the box is using the arrow keys for up and down. You may also double click to expand the textbox.
Use the following html like code commands wrapping your text in the tags.


Author: admin

24
Please Leave A Comment

Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
4 Comment authors