Top 5 Disease Outbreaks From 2018
2018 saw a number of outbreaks worldwide. In this article, we review the Top 5 Disease Outbreaks From 2018
Measles is a highly contagious disease that causes respiratory symptoms and a whole-body skin rash. Since the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1963, global measles deaths have decreased significantly, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) , but outbreaks remain a problem in many parts of the world. […]
More people in Europe were infected with measles during the first six months of 2018 than during any other year in the past decade, according to the WHO regional office for Europe. Over 41,000 children and adults have been infected with measles since January, and 37 people have died. Previously, the highest total number of cases in Europe was 23,927 in 2017, BuzzFeed News previously reported.
Seven countries reported over 1,000 cases, including travel hotspots like France and Italy. Ukraine was hit the hardest, with over 23,000 measles cases, and Serbia reported the highest number of measles-related deaths (14) out of any country. Measles is spread through contact with an infected person or their respiratory secretions, which are produced through coughing and sneezing. It can be prevented with the MMR vaccine.
2. Ebola Virus
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare infectious disease that’s often fatal if left untreated. It is caused by a virus that’s transmitted to people through blood and bodily fluids from infected people or animals. It can cause flu-like symptoms that lead to vomiting, kidney impairment, and both external and internal bleeding.
The 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was the largest in history and the first-ever epidemic affecting multiple countries and infecting some US travellers. There were 28,616 cases and 11,310 deaths reported overall.
Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis, which is an inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestines. This can lead to nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Treatment usually involves supportive care or getting plenty of rest and fluids.
People typically contract norovirus by consuming food or beverages contaminated with faecal matter from an infected person, or from touching their mouth after coming into contact with a contaminated surface. It spreads quickly in crowded conditions and can spread directly from person to person through close contact.
Overall, 2018 was a bad year for romaine lettuce in the US. The CDC warned consumers not to eat the salad staple two separate times after it was linked to E. coli outbreaks making people sick in multiple states.
In the most recent outbreak, which began in October, 52 people have been infected from 15 states so far, according to the CDC. No one has died yet, but five people died in a similar, larger outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce that sickened over 200 people earlier this year, BuzzFeed News previously reported.
Escherichia coli are bacteria that are commonly found in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. Most strains of E. coli are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning and other illnesses.
The strain in the outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce is called E. coli O157:H7, which is particularly bad because the bacteria produce a potentially life-threatening Shiga toxin.
E. coli infections typically cause severe diarrhoea and cramping, but some can lead to urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or kidney problems. People usually get exposed to E. coli through contaminated water or food faecal or through contact with sick people or their faecal matter.
5. Influenza (Flu)
The flu is an extremely contagious upper respiratory illness caused by influenza A and B viruses.
Symptoms include a fever, runny nose, chills, fatigue, and body aches. In severe cases, the flu can lead to viral or bacterial pneumonia or sepsis, which is a life-threatening complication of an infection. The flu is especially dangerous for high-risk individuals such as elderly people, very young people, and those with weak immune systems.
The 2017–2018 flu season was one of the deadliest in the last 40 years. According to the CDC, an estimated 80,000 people died, including 180 children, from the flu and its complications. The flu season started to peak early, in November. It reached high levels of activity nationwide in January and February and remained elevated through the end of March.
The predominant circulating strain, H3N2, is known for being particularly nasty and causing severe flu seasons. The flu is transmitted through respiratory droplets that are produced when a person coughs or sneezes. These can be inhaled or enter the body through direct ccontact such as kissing, or when someone puts their hands in their mouth or eyes after touching a contaminated surface.
The best way to protect yourself from getting sick is by getting the seasonal flu vaccine.
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