Category: Health

Difference Pneumonia and Bronchitis

Difference Pneumonia and Bronchitis

Definitions Pneumonia/Bronchitis

Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia

Differences between Bronchitis and Pneumonia. Click for a YouTube video.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between severe bronchitis and the symptoms of pneumonia. Viruses, bacterial infections, and fungi can also cause severe lung infections that lead to pneumonia.

According to an expert in primary care and internal medicine, Dr. Neha Pathak, pneumonia can cause a severe cough that may bring up yellowish or greenish mucus. Usually, the symptoms of pneumonia clear up within 3 weeks. However, for the elderly or very young, pneumonia can cause serious complications.

Pneumonia causes many symptoms similar to bronchitis, however, pneumonia usually makes a person feel very fatigued and causes a high fever as well as a deep chesty cough.

According to doctors from the National Health Service, the germs, viruses, and bacteria that cause pneumonia are often highly contagious. They recommend not sharing cups or eating utensils, washing your hands regularly, and coughing or sneezing into the tissue can help prevent spreading respiratory infections

Pneumonia:

Pneumonia

 

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia.

Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.

I will not get too much into depth with the disease of pneumonia as I have an article already dedicated to this. On my website. Please click the link for more information on pneumonia. Thank you.

Bronchitis:

Bronchitis

 

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.

Often developing from a cold or other respiratory infection, acute bronchitis is very common. Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.

Acute bronchitis, also called a chest cold, usually improves within a week to 10 days without lasting effects, although the cough may linger for weeks. However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Bronchitis Symptoms:

For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color — rarely, it may be streaked with blood
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

If you have acute bronchitis, you might have cold symptoms, such as a mild headache or body aches. While these symptoms usually improve in about a week, you may have a nagging cough that lingers for several weeks.

Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts at least three months, with recurring bouts occurring for at least two consecutive years.

If you have chronic bronchitis, you’re likely to have periods when your cough or other symptoms worsen. At those times, you may have an acute infection on top of chronic bronchitis.

When to see a doctor.

See your doctor if your cough:

  • Lasts more than three weeks
  • Prevents you from sleeping
  • Is accompanied by fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Produces discolored mucus
  • Produces blood
  • Is associated with wheezing or shortness of breath

Causes:

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, typically the same viruses that cause colds and flu (influenza). Antibiotics don’t kill viruses, so this type of medication isn’t useful in most cases of bronchitis.

The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. Air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace also can contribute to the condition.

Risk factors:

Factors that increase your risk of bronchitis include:

  • Cigarette smoke. People who smoke or who live with a smoker are at higher risk of both acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
  • Low resistance. This may result from another acute illness, such as a cold, or from a chronic condition that compromises your immune system. Older adults, infants, and young children have a greater vulnerability to infection.
  • Exposure to irritants on the job. Your risk of developing bronchitis is greater if you work around certain lung irritants, such as grains or textiles, or are exposed to chemical fumes.
  • Gastric reflux. Repeated bouts of severe heartburn can irritate your throat and make you more prone to developing bronchitis.

Complications:

Although a single episode of bronchitis usually doesn’t cause for concern, it can lead to pneumonia in some people. Repeated bouts of bronchitis, however, may mean that you have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Prevention:

To reduce your risk of bronchitis, follow these tips:

  • Avoid cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke increases your risk of chronic bronchitis.
  • Get vaccinated. Many cases of acute bronchitis result from influenza, a virus. Getting a yearly flu vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu. You may also want to consider vaccination that protects against some types of pneumonia.
  • Wash your hands. To reduce your risk of catching a viral infection, wash your hands frequently and get in the habit of using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Wear a surgical mask. If you have COPD, you might consider wearing a face mask at work if you’re exposed to dust or fumes, and when you’re going to be among crowds, such as while traveling.

Bronchitis diagnosis:

During the first few days of illness, it can be difficult to distinguish the signs and symptoms of bronchitis from those of a common cold. During the physical exam, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen closely to your lungs as you breathe.

In some cases, your doctor may suggest the following tests:

  • Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray can help determine if you have pneumonia or another condition that may explain your cough. This is especially important if you ever were or currently are a smoker.
  • Sputum tests. Sputum is the mucus that you cough up from your lungs. It can be tested to see if you have illnesses that could be helped by antibiotics. Sputum can also be tested for signs of allergies.
  • Pulmonary function test. During a pulmonary function test, you blow into a device called a spirometer, which measures how much air your lungs can hold and how quickly you can get the air out of your lungs. This test checks for signs of asthma or emphysema.

Treatment:

Please click for a YouTube for explanations between pneumonia and bronchitis and for treatments.

Most cases of acute bronchitis get better without treatment, usually within a couple of weeks.

Medications:

Because most cases of bronchitis are caused by viral infections, antibiotics aren’t effective. However, if your doctor suspects that you have a bacterial infection, he or she may prescribe an antibiotic.

In some circumstances, your doctor may recommend other medications, including:

  • Cough medicine. If your cough keeps you from sleeping, you might try cough suppressants at bedtime.
  • Other medications. If you have allergies, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your doctor may recommend an inhaler and other medications to reduce inflammation and open narrowed passages in your lungs.

Therapies:

If you have chronic bronchitis, you may benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation — a breathing exercise program in which a respiratory therapist teaches you how to breathe more easily and increase your ability to exercise.

Lifestyle and home remedies:

Please click for a YouTube video on home remedies

To help you feel better, you may want to try the following self-care measures:

  • Avoid lung irritants. Don’t smoke. Wear a mask when the air is polluted or if you’re exposed to irritants, such as paint or household cleaners with strong fumes.
  • Use a humidifier. Warm, moist air helps relieve coughs and loosens mucus in your airways. But be sure to clean the humidifier according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid the growth of bacteria and fungi in the water container.
  • Consider a face mask outside. If cold air aggravates your cough and causes shortness of breath, put on a cold-air face mask before you go outside.

Herbal Remedies for Bronchitis:

Holy Basil(several choices)

Holy Basil, called Tulsi in India is a very effective herbal cure for bronchitis. This herb contains curative properties that lessen the lung inflammation of patients suffering from bronchitis. Holy Basil can be had in the form of a herbal tea for 3 to 4 times in a day till the coughing and inflammation subside. You can also chew on the leaves of the Holy Basil for overcoming bronchitis.

Holy Basil

Thyme. (several choices)

Thyme is an expectorant and cough suppressant. It is very useful for easing the mucus congestion and coughing characteristic of bronchitis. This herb can be combined with Mulberry Bark and Horsetail in a tincture or syrup and consumed daily to overcome bronchitis.

You can also mix this herb with Peppermint or Hyssop and rub the resulting mixture on the chest for getting relief from bronchitis. The botanical name of this herb is Thymus Vulgaris. This herb is very effective in curing bronchitis because it contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is very efficient in eliminating infections and is an ideal cure for respiratory ailments such as bronchitis.

Eucalyptus

You can also mix Eucalyptus oil in a steaming bowl of water and inhale the vapor emanating from it to cure bronchitis. Eucalyptus is an effective cure for this disease. You need to take the vapor inhalation till the congestion subsides and the cough is gone.

Eucalyptus oil can also be applied to the chest and neck for relief. The oil of this herb contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties which makes it very efficacious in healing infections and respiratory conditions including bronchitis.

Rosemary

The oil derived from a herb called Rosemary can also be used effectively for curing bronchitis. Rosemary oil can be added to olive oil and rubbed onto the chest of the person suffering from bronchitis. This helps to ease the congestion and lessen coughing. Repeated applications of these oils help to combat bronchitis. Rosmarinus Officinalis is the official botanical name of this herb.

It is native to Greece and it has been called Rosemary because Rosmarinus is Latin for the dew of the sea and this herb needs no other water than the moisture from the sea carried as humidity by air. Rosemary is part of many beauty and skincare routines, but it also possesses many healing and soothing properties. Rosemary also contains many antioxidants and it is a well known herbal cure for bronchitis.

Herbs:

Herbs are a great way to deal with ailments naturally and are backed by science.

  • Echinacea – This herb has been used for centuries by Native American tribes to treat colds, cases of flu, and similar illnesses. A 2011 study showed that echinacea has potent antiviral properties. All strains of human and avian influenza viruses tested (including a Tamiflu-resistant strain) were very sensitive to a standard echinacea preparation. Other illnesses that echinacea was found to be useful for are herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinoviruses.
  • Astragalus – This herb that can boost the immune system. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, astragalus has a specific action on the lungs. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, astragalus can help prevent upper respiratory infections. Another study shows that astragalus is helpful in reducing inflammation.
  • Ginseng – Well known even in mainstream health, ginseng is a potent herbal remedy. Ginseng has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties which help boost immune function.

Supplements:

Because our food is so depleted of important nutrients (even the healthy stuff!), supplements can be very helpful to give the body what it needs to function properly and heal.

  • Glutathione – Glutathione is the most important molecule for optimal health (as mentioned by Dr. Mark Hyman in this post) and is necessary to help the body fight infection and illness. Try 1 sublingual tablet daily for general immune support.
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – A study published in the European Respiratory Review shows that this amino acid derivative can be useful for treating chronic bronchitis as this supplement increases glutathione in the body. I use this one.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is one of the most common remedies for colds and flu, but vitamin C can also be beneficial in treating bronchitis. Studies show vitamin C to be a useful tool against viral and bacterial infections by preventing, shortening, and alleviating infections (including respiratory). In one study, mega doses of vitamin C (3000 mg daily in 3 doses) relieved and prevented symptoms of cold and flu. This is the best supplement I’ve found.

Essential Oils:

Essential oils can be incredibly potent natural remedies when used safely. For respiratory illness, steam inhalation or diffusing are the best ways to use essential oils.

  • Eucalyptus – A 2009 study published in Respiratory Research shows that eucalyptus oil can reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function.
  • Oregano and Thyme – A study published in Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease found that oregano and thyme essential oils have potent antibacterial action. (It is not safe for children or pregnant women, and possibly breastfeeding women as well).
  • According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), other essential oils for bronchitis treatment are spike lavender and rosemary (both unsafe for children under 6 years old), and tea tree oil for steam inhalation.

The Bottom Line on Beating Bronchitis:

The best way to avoid illness is to eat a healthy diet, and live a healthy lifestyle every day. But illness is still going to happen occasionally. When bronchitis strikes, natural remedies are the best first line of defense that may also improve overall health.

How Contagious is Bronchitis?

Yes. Most of the time, acute bronchitis is caused by a virus, such as the flu (influenza) virus. However, many different viruses — all of which are very contagious — can cause acute bronchitis.

Viruses spread mainly from person to person by droplets produced when an ill person coughs, sneezes or talks and you inhale the droplets. Viruses may also spread through contact with an infected object. This happens when you touch something with the virus on it and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose.

To reduce your risk of catching viruses that can cause bronchitis:

  • Avoid close contact with people who have the flu or another respiratory illness
  • Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Get an annual flu shot

People who have chronic bronchitis or asthma sometimes develop acute bronchitis. In these cases, acute bronchitis is most likely a complication of the existing condition. This type of bronchitis is not caused by an infectious virus, so it’s less likely to be contagious.

How Long is Bronchitis Contagious?

Your infectious bronchitis may be contagious for up to a week. However, it can be difficult to tell exactly how long bronchitis is contagious because it can be symptomatic of hundreds of different viruses.

According to Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on MedicineNet, you are usually contagious for as long as you have a cold or flu symptoms. Usually, as the severity of your symptoms diminishes, your bronchitis will be less contagious. Therefore, to prevent spreading bronchitis, you should assume that your cough is infectious as long as you have symptoms.

Is Bronchitis Contagious After Taking Antibiotics?

In some cases of bacterial bronchitis, doctors prescribe antibiotics to kill off the infection and prevent other pulmonary complications. Therefore, many people ask how long they will be infectious after starting antibiotics for bronchitis.

Doctors from the National Health Service explain that you will no longer be contagious around 24 hours after starting a course of antibiotics. However, the exact time bronchitis infections are infectious varies from person to person.

If you have taken a course of antibiotics, it’s important to take probiotics to help restore “healthy” bacteria to your gut. This can help to prevent gastrointestinal problems after antibiotics and lower your chances of a candida yeast infection.

Should you Self Isolate if you have Bronchitis?

You should self isolate yourself if you suffer from any respiratory disease.

COPD Pneumonia Asthma Bronchitis Acute Bronchitis Influenza/Flu and of course Covid-19

How to practice safe self-isolation:

Self-isolation requires two basic things: staying home and limiting contact with others. But there are some other things you can do while self-isolating to reduce the risk of infection.

Proper hygiene is key and hand washing, according to PHAC, is the best way to protect yourself.

Health Canada recommends you wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

Some other sound advice gathered from various sources such as Health Canada, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control include:

  • Don’t share utensils, glasses, etc.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your face (not easy, but do your best).
  • Clean things you touch all the time like TV remotes, doorknobs, electronics, toys, toilets, sinks, etc. with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water).
  • Wipe down frequently used surfaces and clean the bathroom regularly.
  • If you or someone in your home is sick try to keep everything separate – even things like garbage should be kept separate.
  • Have supplies delivered to your home, rather than running errands
  • Don’t have visitors over

As for masks, only use them if you are experiencing symptoms or are living with someone who is infected.

Health Canada also suggests that if you are self-isolating and must leave your home wear a mask and keep a 2-meter distance from others.

Personal Note:

You should self isolate yourself if you are suffering from any respiratory disease. Yes I know I mentioned this before. Right now the world is in a crisis mode. A simple cold/flu could lead to severe diseases especially if you are a young child or an elderly. This is a time to practice restraint and respect others even more than before. I just heard the news, (March 30/2020) there will not be a vaccine available for another year.

Self Isolation and quarantines started 700 years ago. Let us not let history repeat itself.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome.

Historical Pandemics Epidemics.

Historical Pandemics Epidemics.

Historical Pandemics and Epidemics

Historical pandemics epidemics

 

An epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” A pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. While a pandemic may be characterized as a type of epidemic, you would not say that an epidemic is a type of pandemic.

Pandemic Epidemic. Click for YouTube video

 

Wikipedia definitions:

Epidemic:

An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time. For example, in meningococcal infections, an attack rate in excess of 15 cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks is considered an epidemic.

Epidemics of infectious disease are generally caused by several factors including a change in the ecology of the host population (e.g. increased stress or increase in the density of a vector species), a genetic change in the pathogen reservoir or the introduction of an emerging pathogen to a host population (by the movement of pathogen or host).

Generally, an epidemic occurs when host immunity to either an established pathogen or newly emerging novel pathogen is suddenly reduced below that found in the endemic equilibrium and the transmission threshold is exceeded.

An epidemic may be restricted to one location; however, if it spreads to other countries or continents and affects a substantial number of people, it may be termed a pandemic. The declaration of an epidemic usually requires a good understanding of a baseline rate of incidence; epidemics for certain diseases, such as influenza, are defined as reaching some defined increase in incidence above this baseline. A few cases of a very rare disease may be classified as an epidemic, while many cases of a common disease (such as the common cold) would not.

Pandemic:

What is a Pandemic. Click for YouTube video

A pandemic is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance, multiple continents, or worldwide. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu.

Throughout history, there have been a number of pandemics of diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. One of the most devastating pandemics was the Black Death
(also known as The Plague), which killed an estimated 75–200 million
people in the 14th century. Other notable pandemics include the 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) and the 2009 flu pandemic (H1N1). Current pandemics include HIV/AIDS and the 2019 coronavirus disease, which was declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Historical Epidemics:

1. Prehistoric epidemic: Circa 3000 B.C.

About 5,000 years ago, an epidemic wiped out a prehistoric village in China. The bodies of the dead were stuffed inside a house that was later burned down. No age group was spared, as the skeletons of juveniles, young adults and middle-aged people were found inside the house. The archaeological site is now called “Hamin Mangha” and is one of the best-preserved prehistoric sites in northeastern China.

Archaeological and anthropological study indicates that the epidemic happened quickly enough that there was no time for proper burials, and the site was not inhabited again. Before the discovery of Hamin Mangha, another prehistoric mass burial that dates to roughly the same time period was found at a site called Miaozigou, in northeastern China. Together, these discoveries suggest that an epidemic ravaged the entire region.

2. Plague of Athens: 430 B.C.

Describing these diseases how they started, how they ended, or if they are still among us, would end up being something like watching a three-hour movie. So I will list them to the earliest on record and be more descriptive in more of the recent epidemics.

3. Antonine Plague: A.D. 165-180

4. Plague of Cyprian: A.D. 250-271

5. Plague of Justinian: A.D. 541-542

6. The Black Death: 1346-1353

7. Cocoliztli epidemic: 1545-1548

8. American Plagues: 16th century

9. Great Plague of London: 1665-1666

10. Great Plague of Marseille: 1720-1723

11. Russian plague: 1770-1772

12. Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic: 1793

13. American polio epidemic: 1916

A polio epidemic that started in New York City caused 27,000 cases and 6,000 deaths in the United States. The disease mainly affects children and sometimes leaves survivors with permanent disabilities.

Polio epidemics occurred sporadically in the United States until the Salk vaccine was developed in 1954. As the vaccine became widely available, cases in the United States declined. The last polio case in the United States was reported in 1979. Worldwide vaccination efforts have greatly reduced the disease, although it is not yet completely eradicated.

14. Spanish Flu: 1918-1920

An estimated 500 million people from the South Seas to the North Pole fell victim to Spanish Flu. One-fifth of those died, with some indigenous communities, pushed to the brink of extinction. The flu’s spread and lethality were enhanced by the cramped conditions of soldiers and poor wartime nutrition that many people were experiencing during World War I.

Despite the name Spanish Flu, the disease likely did not start in Spain. Spain was a neutral nation during the war and did not enforce strict censorship of its press, which could therefore freely publish early accounts of the illness. As a result, people falsely believed the illness was specific to Spain, and the name Spanish Flu stuck.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans. The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world.

At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march.

Although the death toll attributed to the Spanish flu is often estimated at 20 million to 50 million victims worldwide, other estimates run as high as 100 million victims—around 3 percent of the world’s population. The exact numbers are impossible to know due to a lack of medical record-keeping in many places.

15. Asian Flu: 1957-1958

The Asian Flu pandemic was another global showing for influenza. With its roots in China, the disease claimed more than 1 million lives. The virus that caused the pandemic was a blend of avian flu viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the disease spread rapidly and was reported in Singapore in February 1957, Hong Kong in April 1957, and the coastal cities of the United States in the summer of 1957. The total death toll was more than 1.1 million worldwide, with 116,000 deaths occurring in the United
States.

16. AIDS pandemic and epidemic: 1981-present day

AIDS has claimed an estimated 35 million lives since it was first identified. HIV, which is the virus that causes AIDS, likely developed from a chimpanzee virus that transferred to humans in West Africa in the 1920s. The virus made its way around the world, and AIDS was a pandemic by the late 20th century. Now, about 64% of the estimated 40 million living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) live in sub-Saharan Africa.

For decades, the disease had no known cure, but medication developed in the 1990s now allows people with the disease to experience a normal life span with regular treatment. Even more encouraging, two people have been cured of HIV as of early 2020.

17. West African Ebola epidemic: 2014-2016

Ebola sick child

 

Ebola ravaged West Africa between 2014 and 2016, with 28,600 reported cases and 11,325 deaths. The first case to be reported was in Guinea in December 2013, then the disease quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The bulk of the cases and deaths occurred in those three countries. A smaller number of cases occurred in Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, the United States, and Europe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

There is no cure for Ebola, although efforts at finding a vaccine are ongoing. The first known cases of Ebola occurred in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of
Congo in 1976 and the virus may have originated in bats.

18. Zika Virus epidemic: 2015-present day

Zika Fever transmission

The impact of the recent Zika epidemic in South America and Central America won’t be known for several years. In the meantime, scientists face a race against time to bring the virus under control. The Zika virus is usually spread through mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, although it can also be sexually transmitted in humans.

While Zika is usually not harmful to adults or children, it can attack infants who are still in the womb and cause birth defects. The type of mosquitoes that carry Zika flourish best in warm, humid climates, making South America, Central America and parts of the southern United States prime areas for the virus to flourish.

Now let us look at the pandemics:

The Black Death (1346-1353)

Black Death—The Invention of Quarantine

Social Distancing and Quarantine Were Used in Medieval Times to Fight the Black Death

Death Toll: 75 – 200 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people. Thought to have originated in Asia, the Plague most likely jumped continents via the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. Ports being major urban centers at the time, were the perfect breeding ground for the rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake.

Third Cholera Pandemic (1852–1860)

Flu Pandemic (1889-1890)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza

Sixth Cholera Pandemic (1910-1911)

Death Toll: 800,000+
Cause: Cholera
Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India where it killed over 800,000, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected, and in the end, only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down
dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.

Flu Pandemic (1918)

Death Toll: 20 -50 million
Cause: Influenza
Between 1918 and 1920 a disturbingly deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20 – 50 million people. Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone.

What separated the 1918 flu pandemic from other influenza outbreaks was the victims; where influenza had always previously only killed juveniles and the elderly or already weakened patients, it had begun striking down hardy and completely healthy young adults while leaving children and those with weaker immune systems still alive.

Flu transmission

Asian Flu (1956-1958)

Death Toll: 2 million
Cause: Influenza
Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype, that originated in China in 1956 and lasted until 1958. In its two-year spree, Asian Flu traveled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates for the death toll of the Asian Flu vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2 million deaths, 69,800 of those in the US alone.

Flu/Influenza transmission

Flu Pandemic (1968)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
A category 2 Flu pandemic sometimes referred to as “the Hong Kong Flu,” the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968, in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States.

While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.

HIV/AIDS Pandemic (at its peak, 2005-2012)

Death Toll: 36 million
Cause: HIV/AIDS
First identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981. Currently, there are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV, the vast majority of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 5% of the population is infected, roughly 21 million people.

As awareness has grown, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to lead productive lives. Between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

What About Covid-19 (the Novel Coronavirus)?

Beginning in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human beings. It has been named Covid-19, a shortened form of “coronavirus disease of 2019.” This new virus spreads incredibly quickly between people, due to its newness – no one on earth has immunity to Covid-19, because no one had Covid-19 until 2019.

While it was initially seen to be an epidemic in China, the virus spread worldwide within months. The WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March, and by the end of that month, the world saw more than a half-million people infected and nearly 30,000 deaths. The infection rate in the US and other nations was still spiking.

With the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world have become more aware of the best practices during a pandemic, from careful hand-washing to social distancing. Countries across the world declared mandatory stay-at-home measures, closing schools, businesses, and public places. Dozens of companies and many more independent researchers began working on tests, treatments, and vaccines. The push for the human race to survive the pandemic became the primary concern in the world.

The outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic is impossible to predict, at the time of this writing. But we can learn from pandemics in history to determine our best courses. These are our teachers – the Spanish flu, the AIDS pandemic, and more.

Statics on Influenza/Flu

1819-1890  Approximately 1 million deaths.

1918-1990  Approximately 20 to 50 million deaths. An estimated 500 million were infected

1956-1958  Approximately 2 million deaths

1968- ???? 1 million deaths

Among the world’s deadliest diseases Influenza still rank in the top ten according to the World Health Organization.

Influenza:

While a healthy person can fight influenza on his/her own, immunocompromised people, especially children, old, pregnant women, and people with conditions like diabetes and hypertension are at increased risk of developing potentially fatal pneumonia.

Increased incidence and death toll due to swine flu (H1N1 virus) led the WHO to declare the first flu pandemic in 41 years on June 11, 2009. It affected all continents except Antarctica in the 2009-2010 season and has been a regular problem since then, though luckily mortality rate has been similar to the usual flu.

With complications like pneumonia, influenza poses a serious threat, especially to the above-mentioned risk groups. Preemptive vaccination is the most effective way to prevent disease while regular washing of hands, preventing unnecessary touching of nose and mouth and wearing masks are also to be followed.

Respiratory diseases have been killing people for thousands of years. Yes, I do understand there are different strains of these diseases.

Now we have Covid-19 another respiratory disease. Is history repeating itself? We can send people to the moon and back. We can build weapons of mass destruction costing trillions of dollars, but we do not even know exactly how covid-19 originated. Was it a fish market in Wuhan China, bats, snakes or this animal called a Pangolin? We still are unable to find a vaccine.

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome

Best Treatment Pneumonia. Covid19

Best Treatment Pneumonia. Covid19

For the Best Treatment for Pneumonia, we need to know more about it.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia of the Lungs

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the small air sacs known as alveoli. Typically, symptoms include some combination of productive or dry coughchest painfever and difficulty breathing. The severity of the condition is variable.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that can range from mild to so severe that you have to go to the hospital.

It happens when an infection causes the air sacs in your lungs (your doctor will call them alveoli) to fill with fluid or pus. That can make it hard for you to breathe in enough oxygen to reach your bloodstream.

Anyone can get this lung infection. But infants younger than age 2 and people over age 65 are at higher risk. That’s because their immune systems might not be strong enough to fight it.

You can get pneumonia in one or both lungs. You can also have it and not know it. Doctors call this walking pneumonia. Causes include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  If your pneumonia results from bacteria or a virus, you can spread it to someone else.

Lifestyle habits, like smoking cigarettes and drinking too much alcohol, can also raise your chances of getting pneumonia.

Some cases of pneumonia are life-threatening. Around 50,000 people die each year of pneumonia in the U.S. Although anyone of any age can be affected, pneumonia is more common in elderly people and often occurs when the immune system becomes weakened via a prior infection or another condition.

Pneumonia is generally more serious when it affects older adults, infants, and young children, those with chronic medical conditions, or those with weakened immune function.

Types of Pneumonia

If you get pneumonia, it means you have an infection in your lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Learning the type you have helps your doctor suggest a treatment.

Doctors describe the type of pneumonia you have based on where you came down with your infection. You may hear health pros use these terms:

Hospital-acquired pneumonia. You catch this type during a stay in a hospital. It can be serious because the bacteria causing pneumonia can be resistant to antibiotics.

You’re more likely to get this type if:

  • You’re on a breathing machine
  • You can’t cough strongly enough to clear your lungs
  • You have a tracheostomy (trach) tube to help you breathe
  • Your immune system — your body’s defense against germs — is weak from disease or treatment

Community-acquired pneumonia. It’s a fancy way of saying you got infected somewhere other than a hospital or long-term care facility. Community-acquired pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Vaccines can help protect against the flu virus and certain bacteria that can also cause pneumonia.

Community-acquired pneumonia also includes aspiration pneumonia, which you get if you breathe food, fluid, or vomit into your lungs. It’s more likely to happen if you have problems swallowing or coughing. If you can’t cough up the material you took in, bacteria can multiply in your lungs.

Doctors also break down the kinds of pneumonia by the causes of the disease: bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacteria cause most cases of community-acquired pneumonia in adults.

You can catch pneumonia when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.  Bacteria-filled droplets get into the air, where you can breathe them into your nose or mouth.

If you have a weakened immune system, your chances of getting pneumonia are greater. You’re also more likely to get it if you have a condition like asthmaemphysema, or heart disease.

You may notice symptoms like:

Viral Pneumonia

Viral pneumonia is an infection of your lungs caused by a virus. The most common cause is the flu, but you can also get viral pneumonia from the common cold and other viruses. These nasty germs usually stick to the upper part of your respiratory system. But the trouble starts when they get down into your lungs. Then the air sacs in your lungs get infected and inflamed, and they fill up with fluid.

Anything that weakens your body’s defenses (immune system) can raise your chances of getting pneumonia.

Other Classifications:

Other classification systems for pneumonia describe the way the inflammatory cells infiltrate the lung tissue or the appearance of the affected tissue (see the following examples).

  • Bronchopneumonia causes scattered, patchy infiltrates of inflammation in the air sacs throughout the lungs. It is more diffuse than lobar pneumonia.
  • Lobar pneumonia causes inflammation of one lobe of a lung and typically involves all the airspaces in a single lobe.
  • Lipoid pneumonia is characterized by the accumulation of fats within the airspaces. It can be caused by aspiration of oils or associated with airway obstruction.

Am I More Likely to Get It?

You have a higher chance of getting viral pneumonia if you:

Symptoms of Viral Pneumonia

Viral pneumonia usually moves in steadily over a few days. On the first day, it feels like the flu, with symptoms like:

After a day or so your fever might get worse. You might also feel like you can’t catch your breath. If your lungs are invaded with bacteria, you might also get some of the same symptoms as bacterial pneumonia, like:

  • A wet, gunky cough that produces green, yellow, or bloody mucus
  • Chills that make you shake
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Low appetite
  • Sharp or stabby chest pain, especially when you cough or take a deep breath
  • Sweating a lot
  • Fast breathing and heartbeat
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Confusion, especially if you’re older

Can I Prevent Viral Pneumonia?

You can do these things to help lower your odds of getting viral pneumonia:

Walking Pneumonia

Walking pneumonia” sounds like it could be the name of a sci-fi horror flick. But it’s actually the least scary kind of pneumonia. It can be milder than the other types, and you usually don’t have to stay in the hospital. You could have walking pneumonia and not even know it.

It Might Feel Like a Cold

Walking pneumonia is how some people describe a mild case of pneumonia. Your doctor might call it “atypical pneumonia” because it’s not like more serious cases.

Lung infection is often to blame. Lots of things can cause it, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Chemicals
  • Inhaled food

Walking pneumonia usually is due to a bacterium called Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

If you have this condition, you probably won’t have to stay in bed or in the hospital. You might even feel good enough go to work and keep up your regular routine, just as you might with a cold.

Who Gets It?

Anyone can get it. Walking pneumonia from mycoplasma is most common in children, military recruits, and adults younger than 40.

People who live and work in crowded places — such as schools, dorms, military barracks, and nursing homes — are more likely to be exposed to it.

Late summer and fall are the most common times of the year for you to get walking pneumonia. But infections can happen throughout the year.

Is It Contagious?

Yes. It spreads through sneezes or coughs. But it spreads slowly. If you get it, you could be contagious (which means you could spread it to other people) for up to 10 days.

Researchers think it takes a lot of close contact with an infected person for you to develop walking pneumonia. Still, there are widespread outbreaks every four to eight years.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of Pneumonia

 

Symptoms generally start 15 to 25 days after you’re exposed to mycoplasma and slowly worsen over two to four days. You might have:

Some people with walking pneumonia may also have an ear infectionanemia, or a skin rash.

What Causes Pneumonia?

Many germs can cause pneumonia. The most common are bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe. Your body usually prevents these germs from infecting your lungs. But sometimes these germs can overpower your immune system, even if your health is generally good.

Bacteria and viruses are the main causes of pneumonia. Pneumonia-causing germs can settle in the alveoli and multiply after a person breathes them in.

Pneumonia can be contagious. The bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia are usually inhaled.

They can be passed on through coughing and sneezing or spread onto shared objects through touch.

The body sends white blood cells to attack the infection. This is why the air sacs become inflamed. The bacteria and viruses fill the lung sacs with fluid and pus, causing pneumonia.

The most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults is the influenza virus. A number of different respiratory viruses cause pneumonia in children, such as a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). While viral pneumonia tends to be less severe than bacterial pneumonia, there is a risk of developing secondary bacterial pneumonia when viral pneumonia is present. Influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV), however, may cause serious problems in some patients.

Other virus types that can cause pneumonia include measles and varicella (chickenpox) viruses. Rarely, certain viruses may cause lethal types of pneumonia such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) or MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome); both diseases are caused by different coronaviruses.

Is Pneumonia an Airborne Disease?

Pneumonia is caused by infectious agents that can spread to others depending upon the type of organism causing pneumonia. Usually, the organisms spread person to person by contact with an infected person’s mouth or when small droplets that become airborne from coughing or sneezing. In addition, once pneumonia develops in the lungs, it may spread to other lobes of the lung, or even to the other lung. In severe cases, the organisms causing pneumonia may spread to other organs of the body and cause damage or even death.

Usually, the organisms spread person to person by contact with an infected person’s mouth or when small droplets that become airborne from coughing or sneezing.

They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze.

Personal Note:

Pneumonia is not considered an airborne disease, BUT it seems this is not a definitive answer. It is communicated through droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. The transmission is very similar to the Covid-19 that has put the world into a crisis mode.

Airborne Diseases A-Z. Link

What is Airborne Transmission?

Airborne transmission occurs when bacteria or viruses travel on dust particles or on small respiratory droplets that may become aerosolized when people sneeze, cough, laugh, or exhale. They hang in the air much like invisible smoke. They can travel on air currents over considerable distances. These droplets are loaded with infectious particles.
With airborne transmission, direct contact with someone who is infected is not necessary to become ill.

The amount of exposure necessary varies from disease to disease. With chickenpox, a child could easily catch it from another aisle in a supermarket. With tuberculosis, closer contact and less air circulation are often needed.
Many common infections can spread by airborne transmission, at least in some cases, including Anthrax (inhalational) Chickenpox, Influenza, Measles, Pertussis, (whooping cough) Smallpox, and Tuberculosis.

Diagnosis:

Your doctor will start by asking about your medical history and doing a physical exam, including listening to your lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal bubbling or crackling sounds that suggest pneumonia.

If pneumonia is suspected, your doctor may recommend the following tests:

  • Blood tests. Blood tests are used to confirm an infection and to try to identify the type of organism causing the infection. However, precise identification isn’t always possible.
  • Chest X-ray. This helps your doctor diagnose pneumonia and determine the extent and location of the infection. However, it can’t tell your doctor what kind of germ is causing pneumonia.
  • Pulse oximetry. This measures the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
  • Sputum test. A sample of fluid from your lungs (sputum) is taken after a deep cough and analyzed to help pinpoint the cause of the infection.

Your doctor might order additional tests if you’re older than age 65, are in the hospital, or have serious symptoms or health conditions. These may include:

  • CT scan. If your pneumonia isn’t clearing as quickly as expected, your doctor may recommend a chest CT scan to obtain a more detailed image of your lungs.
  • Pleural fluid culture. A fluid sample is taken by putting a needle between your ribs from the pleural area and analyzed to help determine the type of infection.

Treatment:

Pneumonia treatment

 

Treatment for pneumonia involves curing the infection and preventing complications. People who have community-acquired pneumonia usually can be treated at home with medication. Although most symptoms ease in a few days or weeks, the feeling of tiredness can persist for a month or more.

Specific treatments depend on the type and severity of your pneumonia, your age, and your overall health. The options include:

  • Antibiotics. These medicines are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. It may take time to identify the type of bacteria causing your pneumonia and to choose the best antibiotic to treat it. If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may recommend a different antibiotic.
  • Cough medicine. This medicine may be used to calm your cough so that you can rest. Because coughing helps loosen and move fluid from your lungs, it’s a good idea not to eliminate your cough completely. In addition, you should know that very few studies have looked at whether over-the-counter cough medicines lessen coughing caused by pneumonia. If you want to try a cough suppressant, use the lowest dose that helps you rest.
  • Fever reducers/pain relievers. You may take these as needed for fever and discomfort. These include drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).

Hospitalization:

You may need to be hospitalized if:

  • You are older than age 65
  • You are confused about time, people or places
  • Your kidney function has declined
  • Your systolic blood pressure is below 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or your diastolic blood pressure is 60 mm Hg or below
  • Your breathing is rapid (30 breaths or more a minute)
  • You need breathing assistance
  • Your temperature is below normal
  • Your heart rate is below 50 or above 100

You may be admitted to the intensive care unit if you need to be placed on a breathing machine (ventilator) or if your symptoms are severe.

Children may be hospitalized if:

  • They are younger than age 2 months
  • They are lethargic or excessively sleepy
  • They have trouble breathing
  • They have low blood oxygen levels
  • They appear dehydrated

Other Treatment Methods.

Always consult with your doctor first.

Herbal Remedies:

1) Pleurisy Root
Pleurisy root is really a favorite herbal remedy utilized in fighting pneumonia since it will help reduce inflammation of the pleural membranes in the lungs, enhances secretion of healthful lung fluids, and is really a lymphatic system stimulant. Pleurisy root has been utilized to take care of many different illnesses, including pleurisy, pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza and chronic coughing.

2) Baikal Skullcap
With this herb, it is recommended that you mix the skullcap, which is often acquired in Chinese herb shops, together with several other antibiotic herbs such as barberry, goldenseal, Oregon grape, and yellow root. However, always keep in mind that pneumonia is a possibly life-threatening disease and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Everyone should pay their primary health care provider a visit to ascertain whether herbal treatments make sense as either an alternative or complementary therapy in their overall pneumonia treatment.

3) Garlic
Among garlic’s added advantages as an antibiotic is its selectivity. Garlic appears to focus on bad germs without also killing the good bacteria which are required for the human body to work correctly. This works better than most prescription antibiotics that blindly kill good and bad bacteria. Talk with a health practitioner before pursuing this path.

4) Turmeric
Turmeric has a few medicinal properties and is extensively used in treating a host of ailments. Additionally, it aids against pneumonia. Other herbs like fenugreek, black pepper, and ginger will also be advantageous for your lungs when used together with turmeric. It’s possible for you to consume these either cooked or uncooked, your choice.

5) Ginger
Ginger is really a well-known remedy for treating the majority of respiratory diseases.

6) Holy Basil
Holy basil is likewise quite helpful with pneumonia. Add a bit of ground black pepper to a tea or juice from this herb and take it at six hourly intervals.

7) Remove Animal Proteins
Remove excessive quantities of animal protein from your daily diet. Excessive quantities of animal protein might be hard in your digestive tract, particularly should you be ill. When you’re sick, it’s important to keep yourself in a good routine (in the bathroom) and allow whole foods to work fast so that your body is able to consume their nutrients and fight the disease. A wholesome quantity of protein is found in vegetables like artichokes, beets, spinach, cauliflower, peas, eggplant, and potatoes.

8) Drink a Potassium Broth
Have some broth with your lunch. Creating a potassium broth is straightforward. It may be accomplished by juicing 4 cloves of garlic, 2 radishes, 2 big carrots, 2 stalks of celery plus a couple of pinches of parsley. It’s significant to have the maximum amount of potassium as you possibly can throughout a spell with pneumonia. Potassium helps repair damaged tissue within the lungs. When you’ve got a heart illness don’t drink a potassium broth; potassium in excessive amounts could be dangerous with such a condition.

9) Drink Some Carrot Juice
Drink a 12-oz glass of carrot juice with dinner. Add 1 tablespoon of pepper to make it more effective. Carrot juice can help the lungs greatly, and add anti-oxidants to your body’s damaged tissue. Carrot juice, in addition to being an excellent generator of vitamin A, can be rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B-complex. Cayenne pepper will raise the efficacy of the carrot juice.

10) Get Plenty of Vitamin C
Based on the Mayo Clinic, Vitamin C may play a part in the prevention of pneumonia. However, additional research is required to validate available study results.

11) Drink Water
Drink ample water. It’s normally advised to drink eight 8-oz. glasses daily to support a wholesome hydration level. When dealing with pneumonia, patients should attempt to drink between 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses at a minimum.

Other Herbal Suggestions/Remedies

Astragalus:

Astragalus also is known as Huang Quai and milk vetch is a herb that is used for several medicinal purposes. Astragalus has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help to boost the proper functioning of the lungs and prevents the occurrence of various disorders like pneumonia and bronchitis. It is available in capsule, tincture and liquid form. You can even make a tea out of this herb, just steep 2 teaspoons of this dried herb in boiling water. Then strain the water and drink it three times a day.

Fenugreek:

Pneumonia can be treated well with fenugreek tea. When pneumonia is in the early stage, tea made out of fenugreek seeds helps the body to perspire, dispel toxicity, and reduce fever due to pneumonia. A pneumonia patient should take this tea four times a day. You can reduce the quantity once you feel the difference in your condition. Infuse 15 grams of fenugreek seeds in 250 ml of water. Add a few drops of lemon to flavor the tea.

Tea Tree Oil:

Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that say goodbye to pneumonia. Washcloth with tea tree oil and hot water. Add 4 drops of this tea tree oil to the wash cycle to destroy infectious organisms. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and then remove from the heat. Add 6 drops of tea tree oil. Place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam to get rid of pneumonia symptoms.

Olive Leaf:

Olive leaf has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help to fight off lung infectionsOleuropein is one of the active ingredients present in an olive leaf that helps to treat pneumonia. Other important compounds present in the olive leaf are Verbascoside, Caffeic acid, 4-0-glucoside, 7-0-glucoside, and Luteolin. Thanks to such important constituents that help to attack the organisms that cause fungal and bacterial infections. Just steep olive leaf in boiling water and drink it when it cools down.

Basil

Basil is an excellent herb that has anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat pneumonia. It is truly suggested to take beverages extracted from 7 to 8 basil leaves merged with black pepper to combat pneumonia. This decoction helps to soothe pneumonia symptoms. Take this infusion every 5 hours for the desired result. Apart from above, Berries, garlic, sage, mullein, peppermint, apple cider vinegar, and cranberry juice also helps to treat pneumonia.

Personal Note:

The similarities to pneumonia and Covid-19 scare me.

The World Health Organization. Pneumonia Statics:

Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia killed 808 694 children under the age of 5 in 2017, accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under five years old. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere but is most prevalent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Children can be protected from pneumonia, it can be prevented with simple interventions, and treated with low-cost, low-tech medication and care.

Our World In Data

2.56 million people died from pneumonia in 2017. Almost a third of all victims were children younger than 5 years, it is the leading cause of death for children under five.

Centers For Disease Control

1. Pneumococcal disease can be very serious.

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia causes an estimated 150,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States.
  • Pneumococcal meningitis and bacteremia killed approximately 3,600 people in the United States in 2017.

WHY ARE THESE STATICS NOT BEING UPDATED? IF THEY ARE I SURE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM.

History

As early as the 1930s, scientists were reporting types of pneumonia that were “atypical” compared to characteristics seen in “typical” types of pneumonia. Patients with atypical pneumonia tended to be not as sick, have symptoms for longer, and not respond to some antibiotics used for treating “typical” pneumonia. In 1944, scientists discovered the agent that causes “atypical” pneumonia, later named as Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

They first thought it was a virus or fungus so they chose the name “mycoplasma,” which is Greek for “fungus-formed.” Eventually, scientists learned that it is a bacterium with many unique characteristics. For example, it does not have a rigid cell wall, which affects the types of antibiotics that work well against it. It is also the smallest organism capable of living and reproducing on its own. Smaller germs, like viruses, have to live and reproduce inside cells.

Fast Forward December 2019 to March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Covid-19 Information

The similarities to Coronavirus (Covid-19) are scary. The same precautions, caused by droplets, coughing and sneezing.  Affecting your respiratory system and lungs.

The need for social distancing. Wearing face masks.

Pneumonia goes as far back as the 1930s. Covid-19. December 2019.

Social Distancing goes as far back as 700 years.

The Spanish Flu Pandemic 1918. Attacked the respiratory system.

What have we learned?

Also known as SARS-CoV-2, nCov, 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

A novel coronavirus outbreak was first documented in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath. Simple measures like washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop viruses like coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading. It’s not known exactly how coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads from person to person, but similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. There’s no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.

Personal Note:

History has a tendency of repeating itself. Why are we still so unprepared for these epidemics and pandemics. The Spanish flu occurred.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans. The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march.

Spanish Flu Symptoms

The first wave of the 1918 pandemic occurred in the spring and was generally mild. The sick, who experienced such typical flu symptoms as chills, fever, and fatigue, usually recovered after several days, and the number of reported deaths was low.

However, a second, highly contagious wave of influenza appeared with a vengeance in the fall of that same year. Victims died within hours or days of developing symptoms, their skin turning blue and their lungs filling with fluid that caused them to suffocate. In just one year, 1918, the average life expectancy in America plummeted by a dozen years.

Although the death toll attributed to the Spanish flu is often estimated at 20 million to 50 million victims worldwide, other estimates run as high as 100 million victims—around 3 percent of the world’s population. The exact numbers are impossible to know due to a lack of medical record-keeping in many places.

Officials in some communities imposed quarantines, ordered citizens to wear masks and shut down public places, including schools, churches, and theaters. People were advised to avoid shaking hands and to stay indoors, libraries put a halt on lending books and regulations were passed banning spitting.
https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic

Social Distancing and Quarantine Were Used in Medieval Times to Fight the Black Death

Social distancing

 

Almost 700 years ago, the overwhelmed physicians and health officials fighting a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague in medieval Italy had no notion of viruses or bacteria, but they understood enough about the Black Death to implement some of the world’s first anti-contagion.

Really does anything written here sound familiar.

I do not want to be a provider of gloom and doom but it is important we know the facts.

PLEASE ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING WAS USED 700 YEARS AGO. PLEASE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE AND TAKE THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome.

Covid-19 Prevention. Isolation.

Covid-19 Prevention. Isolation.

What is Social Isolation?

Social isolation is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. It differs from loneliness, which reflects a temporary and involuntary lack of contact with other humans in the world. Social isolation can be an issue for individuals of any age, though symptoms may differ by age group.

Social Distancing due to Covid-19

Covid-19 Information

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. It grows in your lungs, and the virus comes out when you breathe. This is particularly when you cough, but researchers believe people with mild or even no symptoms can spread the disease. The virus particles come out of a person’s mouth and nose and settle on surfaces, where they can survive for hours or even days in the right conditions. Touch the surface, touch your face, and you can inhale the particles and catch the disease. If people stay apart, it limits the opportunities for the disease to spread.

That’s what social distancing is about. This is for everybody because you can’t know for sure that you don’t have one. This is what Health Canada advises for social distancing. Avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings. Avoid handshakes, hugs, and other greetings involving touching. Wave hello instead. Limit contact with people at higher risk, older people or people in poor health. Keep a distance of at least two arms’ lengths (about two meters) from others. Stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment. Shop or take public transportation during off-peak hours.

The closures are a way to enforce social distancing, a crucially important public health intervention that can help stop coronavirus transmission by avoiding crowds and large gatherings such as weddings, concerts, conferences, sporting events, and mass transit. Best practice requires maintaining at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others.

You may have already come into contact with an infected person — the woman who rode the bike before you at SoulCycle, the kindly fellow who coughed while standing next to you in line at Costco, or someone who touched your mail as it made its way to your mailbox. (At least one study estimates that about 25 percent of transmissions of coronavirus may have occurred in pre-symptomatic stages — meaning it may be spread by people who don’t yet know they have the virus.)

The US government is now warning against all gatherings of more than 10 people. But how should social distancing affect your visits to the gym? Your weekly manicure? Playdates for your kids? Your weekend reservation at the buzzy Michelin-starred omakase spot you’ve been dying to try? Are those risky for an ostensibly healthy person like yourself?

What do you, as a responsible, socially conscious human being, owe to your fellow men and women — particularly those who are sick, immunocompromised, and older? Are you breaking the social contract by going to hot yoga?

If I have to go out, how can I do it in the safest way possible — to protect myself as well as others?

Kate Vergara, a public health and infectious disease specialist based in Chicago and New York City, has spent time-fighting polio in Ethiopia and helping Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone (without contracting either disease). In order to even begin to approach the ethics of social distancing, she says, we must have a firm grip on how the virus is spreading.

“Covid-19 is not airborne,” she says. “It is transmitted through droplets — being coughed on, or touching something that someone coughed on, for example, and then touching your face and allowing that pathogen to get into your system through your eyes, nose, or mouth.”

Kate Vergara Ph.D., MPH 3rd degree connection3rd Global Public Health Consultant. Chicago, Illinois. Says the disease is not airborne

There are different theories here. This was brought to my attention by a health care worker. I just finished doing some more research into how the disease is spread.

The National Post

While the aerosol spread of COVID-19 would be terrifying, data we have so far suggest it’s unlikely — droplets seem to be the primary form of contagion.

CDC. Centers for disease control.

Person-to-person spread

The covid-19 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

The World Health Organization

  • WHO is considering “airborne precautions” for medical staff after a new study showed the coronavirus can survive in the air in some settings.
  • The coronavirus can go airborne, staying suspended in the air depending on factors such as heat and humidity, WHO officials said.

The virus is transmitted through droplets, or little bits of liquid, mostly through sneezing or coughing, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told reporters during a virtual news conference on Monday. “When you do an aerosol-generating procedure like in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they can stay in the air a little bit longer.”

The India Times

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, underscored the need for healthcare professionals to take extra steps to protect themselves when performing certain procedures— such as intubation—on patients with covid-19, or those suspected of infection.

“When you do an aerosol-generating procedure like in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they can stay in the air a little bit longer,” Dr. Van Kerkhove said.

Medical staff is especially advised to take precautions as they usually perform aerosol-generating procedures and thus are more susceptible to infection than anyone else.

Airborne spread of Covid-19 not reported so far: WHO official

Airborne spread of Covid-19 has not been reported so far and it is transmitted mostly through respiratory droplets and close contact, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Dr. Poonam Khetarpal Singh said on Monday.

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia said, “Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19. Based on the information received so far and on our experience with other coronaviruses, COVID-19 appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (for instance produced when a sick person coughs) and close contact. This is why the WHO recommends maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene.”

Adding to her statement Dr. Singh said, “The Chinese authorities reported that there could be a possibility of aerosol transmission in a relatively closed environment with prolonged exposure to high concentrations of aerosols, like in ICUs and CCUs in hospitals, but more investigations and analysis of epidemiological data is needed to understand this mode of transmission of the virus.”

Self Quarantine Problems

Humans are hardwired to interact with others, especially during times of stress. When we go through a trying ordeal alone, a lack of emotional support and friendship can increase our anxiety and hinder our coping ability.

New United Kingdom research has shown how being in quarantine, which is a common situation for many people around the world right now due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, could have a long-term effect on mental health.

Carried out by a team from King’s College London, the new research looked at 24 previous studies which had investigated the psychological impact of quarantine during previous disease outbreaks across ten countries, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Ebola, H1N1 influenza, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and equine influenza.

The findings, published in The Lancet, showed that quarantine can produce a wide range of psychological effects, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, feelings of confusion, anger, and fear, and even substance misuse.

The team also added that some of these negative effects, most notably post-traumatic stress symptoms, can affect people long term and that health-care workers and those with a history of psychiatric disorder were most vulnerable to the effects.

Other factors that influenced the level of psychological impact on those in quarantine included, perhaps unsurprisingly, the length of time spent in quarantine, feelings of boredom, frustration, and fear, a lack of basic supplies such as food, water and clothes and a lack of quality information.

After having been quarantined, losing money due to stopping work and the stigma around the disease were also both linked to mental health problems.

Since the outbreak of the current COVID-19 outbreak, many countries have asked people to self-quarantine at or in a quarantine facility. The team commented that to help reduce the negative mental health effects during the outbreak, quarantine should last for no longer than necessary, health officials should provide clear information to those in quarantine, as well as sufficient supplies, and that the public should be reminded about the benefits of quarantine for the whole of society.

Lead author Dr. Samantha Brooks commented on the findings saying, “Going into quarantine is an isolating and often fearful experience and our study found that it has negative psychological effects. The finding that these effects can still be detected months or years down the line, albeit from a small number of studies, is of particular concern and indicates that measures should be put in place during the quarantine planning process to minimize these psychological impacts.”

GUIDELINE FOR SELF-QUARANTINE IN NON-HEALTHCARE SETTINGS

ALLOCATE A SEPARATE ROOM

If someone has been overseas or suspecting infected any type of covid-19, allocate them a separate room until they confirm the situation. The room should have better ventilation. Family members should stay in a separate room without contacting the suspected one. Don’t let others go inside the room when someone is under self-quarantine. Don’t leave the room when you are under self-quarantine.

ALLOCATE A SEPARATE BATHROOM

Don’t let the suspect person with covid-19 use the same bathroom during self-quarantine. Allocate them to a separate bathroom and disinfect the bathroom after each time they use it. If there are no such facilities and you all have to use the same bathroom, remember to disinfect the door handles, taps and other utensils using an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap. The alcohol percentage of disinfectants should be more than 70%.

LIMIT VISITORS

During this COVID-19 outbreak, every country took many measures to control the spreading of the virus. Therefore limiting the visitors to your home is necessary. When someone is under self-quarantine, don’t let outsiders contact the suspect.

WASH YOUR HANDS

Covid-19 prevention

 

Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water. Washing hands is so important because new research found that coronavirus is airborne. So, coronavirus can be spread by aerosol transmission too.

Since they can stay alive even for days on some surfaces, you can accidentally touch coronavirus. Therefore washing hands is much needed. Wash your hands at least for 20 seconds. Since soap can kill the virus, washing hands is an effective method to control infecting COVID-19 from the suspect.

DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE, MOUTH OR NOSE

You should avoid touching your face, mouth or nose with unwashed hands. If you are where hand washing facilities are inadequate, you can still use a hand sanitizer to clean your hands. Hand sanitizer should be alcohol-based one. Alcohol percentage should be above 70%.

USE DISPOSABLE UTENSILS WHEN HAVING FOODS

Use disposable cups and plates to have foodstuffs. Dispose of them into bins after use. Don’t use the same utensils with the suspect. Don’t share anything.

While you are in self-quarantine and if you start feeling unwell or developing symptoms like fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or other respiratory illness, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. You must report your travel history to relevant authorities to prepare further safety measures. If you suspect you may have covid-19 you need to isolate yourself and call for medical assistance.

If you complete your 14-day self-quarantine without any symptoms, you are free to do your usual activities.

HOW TO REDUCE ANXIETY WHILE YOU ARE IN SELF-QUARANTINE?

While you are under self-quarantine, you might feel anxious. Don’t worry, this is not going to last long. Don’t be anxious and stressed. Try to spend quality time.

Here some tips to reduce anxiety and stress while you are in self-quarantine.

WORK FROM HOME.

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If possible, arrange to work from home. Working can help to spend your day without boredom.

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

You can use social media or phone calls to interact with your family members, friends and relations. Talk with them. Sharing your ideas can reduce your anxiety.

EXERCISE

You can exercise while you are under self-quarantine. Regular exercises can boost your immunity as well. Rather than boosting immunity, exercises can reduce your stress too.

ENGAGE IN YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBY

Now you are totally free. You have enough time to engage in hobbies once you skip because you were super busy. So, if you love to read, read something or do whatever you want to do.

Things you can do.

1. Go outside. Something that I look forward to every day is going for a walk with my family. We’ve made it a habit to get in at least a 2k walk every night. There have been mixed feelings about whether or not we’re allowed to go outside during this time but I’ve read many articles that have stated that going for walks is actually good for us – as long as we are 2 meters from others who don’t live with us. If you’re up for some fresh air and exercise, get on those runners and get outside.

2. Get on that workout grind. Speaking of exercise; while most gyms have shut down, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in your cardio somewhere else. Block off some space in your house where you can stretch and workout safely without knocking over a lamp. If you’re someone who prefers the gym machines and is completely lost without them, look up at-home workouts on YouTube for some inspiration. Even if it’s just for a little bit, something is better than nothing.

3. Break out the board games. Let’s go back to the days where the only technology we had was a landline and family game nights consisted mainly of yelling and crying and just a little bit of actually playing games. Keeping in mind that we’re adults now, let’s break out the board games – old and new – and start playing! This is a great way to put the screens aside and get your brain working.

4. Quality time with your family. Whether you live with family members or roommates, it can get pretty suffocating when you’re surrounded by the same few people for an extended period of time. Take breaks to be by yourself when necessary, but try and make the most of it. We’re all experiencing the same thing and nobody wants to be stuck in a hostile environment.

5. Get in touch with your spirituality. This is a very difficult time and it’s easy to get lost in thoughts of negativity. In order to combat those dark feelings, we must find a way of coping that works for us. For some, their spirituality is what keeps them afloat; whether it be speaking to God, visiting your sacred place of prayer or practicing meditation.

6. An experiment in the kitchen. What better way to spend your time than by trying different recipes!! You’ll actually be able to have your cake and eat it too! This is a great way to get creative, learn a new skill or enhance an old one all while having fun (plus you get treats out of it). Since we’ve been off, my mom has already made 3 cakes and a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Let me just say, it’s a good thing we’ve been doing all that walking.

7. Clean + Organize. Remember when you said you would clean out the laundry room, reorganize your closet and tackle the garage and it never actually got done? Now’s your chance! Blast the music put on some old clothes and get cracking! You’ll feel such an accomplishment when you’re done.

8. Learn something new. Just because we’re confined to our homes, doesn’t mean we don’t have access to the outside world. We have the whole internet in the palms of our hands – use it to your advantage. Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for it. Want to learn how to braid your hair? There’s tons of YouTuber’s who’ll show you. There are endless possibilities. Use your time wisely and learn something new!

9. Pick up an old hobby. This is the perfect time to do some soul searching and revisit some of the things you used to love to do. There are tons of activities that get thrown to the side because we never have the time. I’ve gotten back into reading novels and writing blog posts and let me just tell you, I’m feeling great! I encourage you to do some thinking and get back into whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.

Keeping your Immune system healthy.

Begin by filling your plate with immune-boosting nutrients. One of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a nutritious diet. That’s because our immune system relies on a steady supply of nutrients to do its job.

For a starter dose of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits.

Here are some key nutrients that play a role in immunity, and food sources of them:

Carrots, kale, and apricots for beta carotene

Beta carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which is essential for a strong immune system. It works by helping antibodies respond to toxins and foreign substances, Majumdar said.

Good sources of beta carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, apricots, spinach, kale, broccoli, squash, and cantaloupe.

Oranges, strawberries, and broccoli for Vitamin C

Vitamin C increases blood levels of antibodies and helps to differentiate lymphocytes (white blood cells), which helps the body determine what kind of protection is needed, Majumdar explained.

Some research has suggested that higher levels of vitamin C (at least 200 milligrams) may slightly reduce the duration of cold symptoms.

You can easily consume 200 milligrams of vitamin C from a combination of foods such as oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, broccoli, cooked cabbage, and cauliflower.

Eggs, cheese, tofu and mushrooms for Vitamin D

Vitamin D regulates the production of a protein that “selectively kills infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses,” explained Dr. Michael Holick, an expert on Vitamin D research from Boston University who has published more than 500 papers and 18 books on Vitamin D.

Beans, nuts, cereal, and seafood for zinc

Zinc helps cells in your immune system grow and differentiate, Majumdar explained.

One meta-analysis revealed that zinc supplements may shorten the duration of symptoms of the common cold. However, it concluded that “large high-quality trials are needed” before definitive recommendations can be made.

Sources of zinc include beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, oysters (including canned), crab, lobster, beef, pork chop, dark meat poultry, and yogurt.

Milk, eggs, nuts and more for protein

Protein is a key building block for immune cells and antibodies and plays a crucial role in helping our immune system do its job.

Protein comes from both animal and plant-based sources and includes fish, poultry, beef, milk, yogurt, eggs and cottage cheese, as well as nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils.

Bananas, beans and more for prebiotics

Probiotics and prebiotics help boost the health of the microbiome, which in turn supports our immune system, explained Majumdar.

Sources of probiotics include fermented dairy foods such as yogurt and kefir, and aged cheeses, as well as fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and sourdough bread. Sources of prebiotics include whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, and beans.

Though not dietary staples, some herbs may be helpful when looking for natural alternatives for viral symptoms. One of the more convincing studies found that supplementation with elderberry substantially reduced upper respiratory symptoms when taken for the cold and flu.

“While it hasn’t been studied specifically with coronavirus, it may be good for general immune health,” Majumdar said. If you are interested in taking any herbs, check with your doctor first.

Water, fruit, soup and more for hydration

Finally, stay hydrated.

“Mild dehydration can be a physical stressor to the body,” Majumdar said. Women should aim to consume 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of fluids daily, and men, 3.7 liters or 125 ounces; an amount that includes all fluids and water-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and soups.

Personal Note.

Please do not forget to exercise also. I have several articles on Yoga along with videos. I have also covered essential vitamins and minerals for which I will leave you the links. Also a link to mushrooms. Herbs and spices.

Do not let covid-19 kill you or infect anyone else. Thank you.

Please be safe and healthy.

Thank you for reading,

Michael

Comments are welcome

Pandemic vs Epidemic

Pandemic vs Epidemic

Pandemic vs Epidemic

WHO declares the outbreak of the new coronavirus is a pandemic.

WHO: World Health Organization

This is the first pandemic since H1N1

On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization officially changed its designation of Covid-19, the illness caused by a coronavirus, from an epidemic to a pandemic. This shift prompted a considerable number of people to turn to the dictionary, in order to ascertain the difference between the two endemics. What is the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic?

Epidemic vs. Pandemic

An epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” A pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. While a pandemic may be characterized as a type of epidemic, you would not say that an epidemic is a type of pandemic.

A pandemic is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance, multiple continents, or worldwide. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu. Throughout history, there have been a number of pandemics of diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis.

One of the most devastating pandemics was the Black Death, which killed an estimated 75–200 million people in the 14th century. Current pandemics include HIV/AIDS and the 2019 coronavirus disease. Other notable pandemics include the 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) and the 2009 flu pandemic (H1N1).

HIV originated in Africa and spread to the United States via Haiti between 1966 and 1972. AIDS is currently a pandemic, with infection rates as high as 25% in southern and eastern Africa. In 2006, the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women in South Africa was 29%. Effective education about safer sexual practices and bloodborne infection precautions training have helped to slow down infection rates in several African countries sponsoring national education programs.

YouTube Video. Pandemic vs Epidemic. Endemic. Please click to watch.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

2019–20 Coronavirus Declared Pandemic

People queuing outside a Wuhan pharmacy to buy face masks and medical supplies

A new coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in late December 2019, as causing a cluster of cases of acute respiratory disease, now referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which had been identified in December 2019. According to the media report, more than 116 countries and territories have been affected, with major outbreaks in central China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks and pandemics

Pandemic vs Epidemic Cholera

 

Since it became widespread in the 19th century, cholera has killed tens of millions of people.

1817–1824 cholera pandemic. Previously restricted to the Indian subcontinent, the pandemic began in Bengal, then spread across India by 1820. 10,000 British troops and countless Indians died during this pandemic. It extended as far as China, Indonesia (where more than 100,000 people succumbed to the island of Java alone) and the Caspian Sea before receding. Deaths in the Indian subcontinent between 1817 and 1860 are estimated to have exceeded 15 million persons. Another 23 million died between 1865 and 1917. Russian deaths during a similar period exceeded 2 million.

1826–1837 cholera pandemic. Reached Russia (see Cholera Riots), Hungary (about 100,000 deaths) and Germany in 1831, London in 1832 (more than 55,000 persons died in the United Kingdom), France, Canada (Ontario), and United States (New York City) in the same year, and the Pacific coast of North America by 1834. It is believed that over 150,000 Americans died of cholera between 1832 and 1849.

1846–1860 cholera pandemic. Deeply affected Russia, with over a million deaths. A two-year outbreak began in England and Wales in 1848 and claimed 52,000 lives. Throughout Spain, cholera caused more than 236,000 deaths in 1854–55. It claimed 200,000 lives in Mexico.

1863–75 cholera pandemic. Spread mostly in Europe and Africa. At least 30,000 of the 90,000 Mecca pilgrims fell victim to the disease. Cholera claimed 90,000 lives in Russia in 1866.

In 1866, there was an outbreak in North America. It killed some 50,000 Americans.

1881–96 cholera pandemic. The 1883–1887 epidemic cost 250,000 lives in Europe and at least 50,000 in the Americas. Cholera claimed 267,890 lives in Russia (1892); 120,000 in Spain; 90,000 in Japan and 60,000 in Persia.

In 1892, cholera contaminated the water supply of Hamburg and caused 8,606 deaths.

1899–1923 cholera pandemic. It had little effect in Europe because of advances in public health, but Russia was badly affected again (more than 500,000 people dying of cholera during the first quarter of the 20th century). The sixth pandemic killed more than 800,000 in India. The 1902–1904 cholera epidemic claimed over 200,000 lives in the Philippines.

1961–75 cholera pandemic. Began in Indonesia, called El Tor after the new biotype responsible for the pandemic, and reached Bangladesh in 1963, India in 1964, and the Soviet Union in 1966. Since then the pandemic has reached Africa, South America, and Central America.

Influenza

Influenza pandemic

So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 220,000 illnesses and more than 9,300 deaths worldwide. But that’s nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is in the United States Alone.

Advice (in French and English) for travelers on risks of epidemics abroad. Posters from the Charles De Gaulle airport, Paris.

The Greek physician Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, first described influenza in 412 BC.

The first influenza pandemic was recorded in 1580, and since then, influenza pandemics occurred every 10 to 30 years.

The 1889–1890 flu pandemic, also known as Russian Flu, was first reported in May 1889 in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. By October, it had reached Tomsk and the Caucasus. It rapidly spread west and hit North America in December 1889, South America in February–April 1890, India in February–March 1890, and Australia in March–April 1890. The H3N8 and H2N2 subtypes of the Influenza A virus have each been identified as possible causes. It had a very high attack and mortality rate, causing around a million fatalities.

The “Spanish flu”, 1918–1919. First identified early in March 1918 in US troops training at Camp Funston, Kansas. By October 1918, it had spread to become a worldwide pandemic on all continents, and eventually infected about one-third of the world’s population (or ≈500 million persons). Unusually deadly and virulent, it ended nearly as quickly as it began, vanishing completely within 18 months.

In six months, some 50 million were dead; some estimates put the total of those killed worldwide at over twice that number. About 17 million died in India, 675,000 in the United States and 200,000 in the UK. The virus that caused Spanish flu was also implicated as a cause of encephalitis lethargica in children. The virus was recently reconstructed by scientists at the CDC studying remains preserved by the Alaskan permafrost. The H1N1 virus has a small, but the crucial structure that is similar to the Spanish flu.

The “Asian Flu”, 1957–58. An H2N2 virus first identified in China in late February 1957, It caused about 2 million deaths globally. The Asian flu spread to the United States by June 1957 and caused about 70,000 deaths in the US.

The “Hong Kong Flu”, 1968–69. An H3N2 virus first detected in Hong Kong in early 1968 and spread to the United States later that year. This pandemic of 1968 and 1969 killed approximately one million people worldwide. It caused about 34,000 deaths in the United States.

The “Swine Flu”, 2009–10. An H1N1 virus first detected in Mexico in early 2009 and spread to the United States later that year. This pandemic killed around half a million people worldwide. It caused about 12,000 deaths in the United States.

H5N1 (Avian Flu)

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1

In February 2004, the avian influenza virus was detected in birds in Vietnam, increasing fears of the emergence of new variant strains. It is feared that if the avian influenza virus combines with a human influenza virus (in a bird or a human), the new subtype created could be both highly contagious and highly lethal in humans. Such a subtype could cause a global influenza pandemic, similar to the Spanish flu, or the lower mortality pandemics such as the Asian Flu and the Hong Kong Flu.

From October 2004 to February 2005, some 3,700 test kits of the 1957 Asian Flu virus were accidentally spread around the world from a lab in the US.

In May 2005, scientists urgently called upon nations to prepare for a global influenza pandemic that could strike as much as 20% of the world’s population.

In October 2005, cases of the avian flu (the deadly strain H5N1) were identified in Turkey. EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: “We have received now confirmation that the virus found in Turkey is an avian flu H5N1 virus. There is a direct relationship with viruses found in Russia, Mongolia, and China.” Cases of bird flu were also identified shortly thereafter in Romania, and then Greece. Possible cases of the virus have also been found in Croatia, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom.

By November 2007, numerous confirmed cases of the H5N1 strain had been identified across Europe. However, by the end of October, only 59 people had died as a result of H5N1, which was atypical of previous influenza pandemics.

Avian flu cannot yet be categorized as a “pandemic”, because the virus cannot yet cause sustained and efficient human-to-human transmission. Cases so far are recognized to have been transmitted from bird to human, but as of December 2006, there have been very few (if any) cases of proven human-to-human transmission. Regular influenza viruses establish infection by attaching to receptors in the throat and lungs, but the avian influenza virus can only attach to receptors located deep in the lungs of humans, requiring close, prolonged contact with infected patients, and thus limiting person-to-person transmission.

Influenza A (H3N2) viruses still circulate today.

Typhus

Typhus is sometimes called “camp fever” because of its pattern of flaring up in times of strife. (It is also known as “gaol fever” and “ship fever”, for its habits of spreading wildly in cramped quarters, such as jails and ships.) Emerging during the Crusades, it had its first impact in Europe in 1489, in Spain. During fighting between the Christian Spaniards and the Muslims in Granada, the Spanish lost 3,000 to war casualties, and 20,000 to typhus. In 1528, the French lost 18,000 troops in Italy and lost supremacy in Italy to the Spanish. In 1542, 30,000 soldiers died of typhus while fighting the Ottomans in the Balkans.

During the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), about 8 million Germans were killed by bubonic plague and typhus. The disease also played a major role in the destruction of Napoleon’s Grande Armée in Russia in 1812. During the retreat from Moscow, more French military personnel died of typhus than were killed by the Russians. Of the 450,000 soldiers who crossed the Neman on 25 June 1812, fewer than 40,000 returned. More military personnel were killed from 1500–1914 by typhus than from military action.

In early 1813, Napoleon raised a new army of 500,000 to replace his Russian losses. In the campaign of that year, over 219,000 of Napoleon’s soldiers died of typhus. Typhus played a major factor in the Irish Potato Famine. During World War I, typhus epidemics killed over 150,000 in Serbia. There were about 25 million infections and 3 million deaths from epidemic typhus in Russia from 1918 to 1922. Typhus also killed numerous prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps and Soviet prisoner of war camps during World War II. More than 3.5 million Soviet POWs died out of the 5.7 million in Nazi custody.

Smallpox

Smallpox was a contagious disease caused by the variola virus. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans per year during the closing years of the 18th century. During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths. As recently as the early 1950s, an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year.

After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979. To this day, smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have been completely eradicated, and one of two infectious viruses ever to be eradicated along with rinderpest.

Measles

Historically, measles was prevalent throughout the world, as it is highly contagious. According to the U.S. National Immunization Program, 90% of people were infected with measles by age 15. Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963, there were an estimated 3–4 million cases in the U.S. each year. Measles killed around 200 million people worldwide over the last 150 years. In 2000 alone, measles killed some 777,000 worldwide out of 40 million cases globally.

Measles is an endemic disease, meaning that it has been continually present in a community, and many people develop resistance. In populations that have not been exposed to measles, exposure to a new disease can be devastating. In 1529, a measles outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of the natives who had previously survived smallpox. The disease had ravaged Mexico, Central America, and the Inca civilization.

Tuberculosis

TB is one of the top ten leading causes of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS. In 2018 the TB statistics show that there were a total of 1,491,000 TB related deaths, 1.24 million among HIV negative people and an additional 251,000 among HIV positive people.

Statics According to The World Health Organization 2019

10,000,000    Fell ill with TB 2018                                       

1,500,000       Died as a result of TB 2018 

The WHO says fatality rates have previously varied between 25 percent and 95 percent in previous outbreaks.

In 2007, the prevalence of TB per 100,000 people was highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and was also relatively high in Asian countries like India.

One-quarter of the world’s current population has been infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and new infections occur at a rate of one per second. About 5–10% of these latent infections will eventually progress to active disease, which, if left untreated, kills more than half of its victims. Annually, 8 million people become ill with tuberculosis, and 2 million people die from the disease worldwide.

In the 19th century, tuberculosis killed an estimated one-quarter of the adult population of Europe; by 1918, one in six deaths in France were still caused by tuberculosis. During the 20th century, tuberculosis killed approximately 100 million people. TB is still one of the most important health problems in the developing world.

Leprosy

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae. It is a chronic disease with an incubation period of up to five years. Since 1985, 15 million people worldwide have been cured of leprosy.

Historically, leprosy has affected people since at least 600 BC. Leprosy outbreaks began to occur in Western Europe around 1000 AD. Numerous leprosaria, or leper hospitals, sprang up in the Middle Ages; Matthew Paris estimated that in the early 13th century, there were 19,000 of them across Europe.

Malaria

Past and current malaria prevalence in 2009

Malaria is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including parts of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Each year, there are approximately 350–500 million cases of malaria. Drug resistance poses a growing problem in the treatment of malaria in the 21st century, since resistance is now common against all classes of antimalarial drugs, except for the artemisinins.

Malaria was once common in most of Europe and North America, where it is now for all purposes non-existent. Malaria may have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire. The disease became known as “Roman fever”. Plasmodium falciparum became a real threat to colonists and indigenous people alike when it was introduced into the Americas along with the slave trade.

Malaria devastated the Jamestown colony and regularly ravaged the South and Midwest of the United States. By 1830, it had reached the Pacific Northwest. During the American Civil War, there were over 1.2 million cases of malaria among soldiers of both sides. The southern U.S. continued to be afflicted with millions of cases of malaria into the 1930s.

Yellow fever

Yellow fever has been a source of several devastating epidemics. Cities as far north as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston were hit with epidemics. In 1793, one of the largest yellow fever epidemics in U.S. history killed as many as 5,000 people in Philadelphia—roughly 10% of the population. About half of the residents had fled the city, including President George Washington. In colonial times, West Africa became known as “the white man’s grave” because of malaria and yellow fever.

Ebola outbreak 2019:

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 1,600 people in the last year since a new outbreak spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an international emergency declaration this week after the first case of Ebola spread to the first major urban population in Goma last Sunday. The city is home to more than a million people and sits near to an international airport. Health officials hope by announcing the emergency declaration that more funds will become available to fight the latest outbreak.

Latest numbers as of 16 March 2020

Total of 3444 cases (3310 confirmed & 134 probable), including 2264 deaths, 1169 survivors, and patients still under care.

Ebola was transmitted to humans by wild animals but can be passed from person to person.

Figure 1: Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases by week of illness onset, data as of 5 February 2019 (n=789)1

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The WHO says the virus can be spread “via direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes”.

A person who has come into with a person with Ebola or has touched a contaminated object that has body fluids from the sick person can be infected.

Zika virus

2015–16 Zika virus epidemic, Zika virus, and Zika fever.

An outbreak of Zika virus began in 2015 and strongly intensified throughout the start of 2016, with over 1.5 million cases across more than a dozen countries in the Americas. The World Health Organization warned that Zika had the potential to become an explosive global pandemic if the outbreak was not controlled.

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms sometimes referred to as “superbugs”, may contribute to the re-emergence of diseases that are currently well controlled. For example, cases of tuberculosis that are resistant to traditionally effective treatments remain a cause of great concern to health professionals. Every year, nearly half a million new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are estimated to occur worldwide. China and India have the highest rate of multidrug-resistant TB.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 50 million people worldwide are infected with MDR TB, with 79 percent of those cases resistant to three or more antibiotics. In 2005, 124 cases of MDR TB were reported in the United States. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) was identified in Africa in 2006 and subsequently discovered to exist in 49 countries, including the United States. There are about 40,000 new cases of XDR-TB per year, the WHO estimates.

In the past 20 years, common bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Serratia marcescens, and Enterococcus, have developed resistance to various antibiotics such as vancomycin, as well as whole classes of antibiotics, such as the aminoglycosides and cephalosporins. Antibiotic-resistant organisms have become an important cause of healthcare-associated (nosocomial) infections (HAI). In addition, infections caused by community-acquired strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in otherwise healthy individuals have become more frequent in recent years.

Viral hemorrhagic fevers

Viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola virus disease, Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, Marburg virus disease, and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever are highly contagious and deadly diseases, with the theoretical potential to become pandemics. Their ability to spread efficiently enough to cause a pandemic is limited, however, as the transmission of these viruses requires close contact with the infected vector and the vector only has a short time before death or serious illness.

Furthermore, the short time between a vector becoming infectious and the onset of symptoms allows medical professionals to quickly quarantine vectors, and prevent them from carrying the pathogen elsewhere. Genetic mutations could occur, which could elevate their potential for causing widespread harm; thus close observation by contagious disease specialists is merited.

Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causes Coronavirus disease in 2019.

Some coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome

In 2003 the Italian physician Carlo Urbani (1956–2003) was the first to identify severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as a new and dangerously contagious disease, although he became infected and died. It is caused by a coronavirus dubbed SARS-CoV. Rapid action by national and international health authorities such as the World Health Organization helped to slow transmission and eventually broke the chain of transmission, which ended the localized epidemics before they could become a pandemic. However, the disease has not been eradicated and could re-emerge. This warrants monitoring and reporting of suspicious cases of atypical pneumonia.

Economic consequences

In 2016, the Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future estimated that pandemic disease events would cost the global economy over $6 trillion in the 21st century—over $60 billion per year. The same report also recommended spending $4.5 billion annually on global prevention and response capabilities to reduce the threat posed by pandemic events.

As of March 16, 2020, the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had been confirmed in over 100 countries or territories. The virus had infected 167,511 people worldwide, and the number of deaths had totaled 6,606. The most severely affected countries outside of China include Italy, Iran, Spain, and South Korea.

Coronavirus Now:

Daily COVID-19 Updates for March 17

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 now number at more than 183,000 around the world as of March 17, 2020, including more than 4,500 cases in the United States alone. Once referred to as novel coronavirus, COVID-19 has disrupted lives across the globe, while the CDC is advising Americans to be prepared in case the virus spreads in their communities.

Here’s an update on the latest news about the coronavirus, including confirmed cases and deaths. The first section of this article will have the most recent news updates. The next two sections have maps and statistics on confirmed cases and deaths around the world.

There has been considerable controversy over the past year, particularly in Europe, over whether the World Health Organization (WHO) changed its definition of pandemic influenza in 2009 after novel H1N1 influenza was identified. Some have argued that not only was the definition changed but that it was done to pave the way for declaring a pandemic. Others claim that the definition was never changed and that this allegation is completely unfounded.

Such polarized views have hampered our ability to draw important conclusions. This impasse, combined with concerns over potential conflicts of interest and doubts about the proportionality of the response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak, has undermined the public trust in health officials and our collective capacity to effectively respond to future disease threats.

WHO did not change its definition of pandemic influenza for the simple reason that it has never formally defined pandemic influenza. While WHO has put forth many descriptions of pandemic influenza, it has never established a formal definition and the criteria for declaring a pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus derived from “pandemic phase” definitions, not from a definition of “pandemic influenza”.

The fact that despite ten years of pandemic preparedness activities no formal definition of pandemic influenza has been formulated reveals important underlying assumptions about the nature of this infectious disease. In particular, the limitations of “virus-centric” approaches merit further attention and should inform ongoing efforts to “learn lessons” that will guide the response to future outbreaks of novel infectious diseases.

In 2009, governments throughout the world mounted large and costly responses to the H1N1 influenza outbreak. These efforts were largely justified on the premise that H1N1 influenza and seasonal influenza required different management, a premise reinforced by the decision on the part of the World Health Organization (WHO) to label the H1N1 influenza outbreak a “pandemic”.

However, the outbreak had far less serious consequences than experts had predicted, a fact that led many to wonder if the public health responses to H1N1 had not been disproportionately aggressive.1–3 In addition, concern over ties between WHO advisers and industry fueled suspicion about the independence and appropriateness of the decisions made at the national and international levels.

Central to this debate has been the question of whether H1N1 influenza should have been labeled a “pandemic” at all. The Council of Europe voiced serious concerns that the declaration of a pandemic became possible only after WHO changed its definition of pandemic influenza. It also expressed misgivings over the WHO’s decision to withhold publication of the names of its H1N1 advisory Emergency Committee.3 WHO, however, denied having changed any definitions and defended the scientific validity of its decisions, citing “numerous safeguards” for handling potential conflicts of interest.

At stake in this debate are the public trust in health officials and our collective capacity to respond effectively to future disease threats. Understanding this controversy entails acknowledging that both parties are partially correct, and to resolve it we must re-evaluate how emerging threats should be defined in a world where the simple act of labeling a disease has enormous social, economic and political implications.

Since 2003, the top of the WHO Pandemic Preparedness homepage has contained the following statement: “An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in several simultaneous epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness.” However, on 4 May 2009, scarcely one month before the H1N1 pandemic was declared, the web page was altered in response to a query from a CNN reporter.

The phrase “enormous numbers of deaths and illness” had been removed and the revised web page simply read as follows: “An influenza pandemic may occur when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity.” Months later, the Council of Europe would cite this alteration as evidence that WHO changed its definition of pandemic influenza to enable it to declare a pandemic without having to demonstrate the intensity of the disease caused by the H1N1 virus.

We hope to learn every day. Make our world a better place but are we doing this. I hope no one takes this article as a gloom and doom post. That is not what it is meant to be. Sometimes when we are driving, our focus stays on what is in front of us. What about the peripheral vision? Are we aware of what is next to us or behind us? Most accidents are caused by a lack of attention to our surroundings. I think that is what is happening here with Covid19. We are so absorbed with it, the media is constantly talking about the Coronavirus. To the people who are dying from other diseases, I feel I owe you an apology.

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All you need to stay safe

Thank you for reading,

Michael

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