Table of Contents
What is an Epidemic:
An epidemic is a disease that spreads over a period of time in an area affecting large numbers of people. It comes from the Greek ἐπιδημία. The word outbreak is also used to talk about an epidemic , especially to refer to the appearance of an infectious disease in a certain place.
The Epidemiology is responsible for studying the causes, manifestations and effects of disease within a given population.
The reasons why a disease spreads in a population are varied. Poor health, life and hygiene conditions in a certain area help to create epidemics (for example, in refugee camps). Natural or human-made disasters also increase the risk of epidemics.
Epidemic and pandemic
There is talk of a pandemic, global epidemic or global epidemic when an epidemic disease spreads in many countries or affects almost all the inhabitants of an area.
The influenza epidemic is caused by the influenza or flu virus, which is a respiratory disease that affects humans. Some of the symptoms of this disease are: freckle, headache, muscle aches, runny nose and sore throat. Influenza A in its variant AH1N1 is fatal in some cases and caused a pandemic in 2009 and 2010 that caused some 19,000 deaths worldwide.
Throughout history, cholera has caused epidemics worldwide. A recent and devastating example was the cholera outbreak detected in the year 1961 in Indonesia and which turned into a global epidemic or pandemic. In Latin America (where cholera had been eradicated for more than a century), this cholera outbreak in 1991 caused at least 400,000 affected and 4,000 deaths.
Consequences of an epidemic
First, epidemics affect large numbers of people, reducing their health and often causing deaths. Furthermore, epidemics often create social alarms that can lead to isolation and social and economic disorganization in affected areas. Some measures to prevent the spread of a disease, therefore, affect different areas such as commercial (for example, the ban on the marketing of certain foods) or tourism (for example, access restrictions).
On the other hand, there are companies (especially pharmaceutical companies) that obtain numerous benefits with the prevention and treatment of epidemics through vaccines and medications.