By definition, a pandemic is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region. Depending on the severity, it could spread to multiple continents and even worldwide if not contained quickly. An epidemic is sometimes confused with an endemic but there are differences with where they come from and how they spread. An endemic is a disease that exists and spread within a region or population. An example of this would be Malaria, which is a constant worry among people living in Africa. An epidemic, on the other hand, is an outbreak of disease that affects people at around the same time and spreads to other communities. There have been various pandemics throughout history but none is as notorious or as devastating as the Black Death. It's a form of bacteria present in fleas that spread across Eurasia through rodent carriers and infected millions of people. The pandemic spread from 1346 to 1353 and was estimated to have taken the lives of around 100 million people in its wake.
The modern world exists during a time when everyone is interconnected and traveling is one plane or ship ride away. It's because of this that concerns about the potential spread of disease are at an all-time high. Influenza has always been a high priority concern, with the lastest strain being H5N1 or Avian Flu. Wuhan coronavirus, a new novel coronavirus has recently been discovered in the Chinese province of Wuhan, hence the name. It is a virus that causes respiratory infection and has shown signs of human-to-human transmission. Diseases and pandemics have been all over the news lately and people are now wary of their safety. In fact, as if by chance, a new Netflix series documenting the fight against Influenza was recently released. It also explores the steps that scientists are taking to prevent the next global outbreak. The new docuseries is called Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak and you can check it out in the link below.
The Wuhan coronavirus could possibly have originated from bats? Scientists have been saying that a type of snake may be the original source of the mystery disease. According to recent findings though, bats are more likely to be the real culprit. Bats have had a reputation for being biologically dangerous hosts throughout history. Due to their strong immunity against viruses and diseases, they are perfect carrier hosts for them. These winged mammals have more than 1,300 species spread across the world. They are actually only second to rodents in terms of mammal diversity.
Bats are long-considered as the natural host of the Ebola virus, rabies, SARS, and MERS. The latter two are both coronaviruses that are similar to the Wuhan coronavirus. This just further supports the initial claims that the Wuhan coronavirus came from bats. All of this is just speculation at this point. Scientists are aware of bats' potential to host the next pandemic disease so they have been actively studying them. Science and research will be our biggest hope if we are to overcome this pandemic. A docuseries by Netflix premiered just recently and it's called Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak. It came out during all this chaos that couldn't have been more relevant to watch now more than ever before. One of the best ways to prevent diseases is to be aware of them.
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