Dangerous Infectious Disease: Just a Plane Ride Away?
November 23, 2014
Ebola made the news in a big way in the early fall of 2014, but it is by no means the only serious infectious disease about which we should be concerned. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast infectious disease expert Dr. Jeana Benwill answers questions an explores the topic of dangerous infectious diseases.
- Ebola is just one of many infectious diseases that seem as if they have come from out of nowhere in recent years -- SARS, West Nile, H1N1, Mad Cow Disease, H5N1 (bird flu), et.al. What has changed?
- HIV originated in monkeys. Ebola originated in fruit bats. Influenza comes from pigs and birds. What is the connection between humans and animals with respect to the spread of infectious diseases?
- What is the difference between an infectious disease outbreak and an epidemic. And when does an epidemic become a pandemic?
- What would you cite as the most significant pandemics in history?
- Many infectious disease experts say that a strain of influenza has the greatest likelihood of becoming the next worldwide pandemic. We have vaccines for the flu so why does that potential exist?
- What are the infectious diseases that cause you the most concern?
- Halting international travel and investing millions of dollars in vaccines for every new virus may not be practical. So what are the answers in avoiding the worldwide spread of infectious diseases?
- What do you think have been the most important lessons learned from the recent outbreak of Ebola?
- What measures can the average person take in avoiding infectious diseases?