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What are the causes of epidemics?
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High School Teacher
Epidemics relating to the spread of infectious diseases are caused by the lack of knowledge on specific ways a germ is transmitted and the ability for treatments to be effective in controlling the spread of the disease. There are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa classifications of disease organisms. Each strain can mutate when exposed in the human body or other living organisms and and form new strains of that disease. It is very difficult for scientists and doctors to keep up with this as many environmental factors can influence mutations also. So because of this, until new sanitation preventive measures and treatments are discovered, many diseases spread quickly resulting in an epidemic. Examples of these can be found on the link below the Center for Disease Control.
Posted by mapriem on January 15, 2009 at 1:53 AM (Answer #1)
An epidemic is when a disease spreads quickly through a population, infecting a large percentage. Disease is spread by infection. When a person with a disease passes it to a new person, they 'infect' that new person. Some diseases travel from one person to the next very easily and the epidemic is very fast. For example, in 1919, Spainish Flu raced around the world killing maybe 20 million people in a couple of years. Spainish flu was very very 'contagious' and could jump from one person to the next very quickly. Sneezing projects the flu virus into the air and then it's breathed in by another person who becomes infected. This is an air-borne disease.
Other epidemics are slower. The AIDS virus cannot travel across the air in sneezes, AIDS is passed when an infected person has sex with another person. This is a sexually transmitted disease. So the AIDS epidemic travels more slowly.
Infected insects often trasmit disease by biting people and giving them the disease.
Dirty food and dirty water often spread disease. The largest cause of disease on the planet is probably dirty water. The World Health Organisation estimates 25 million people a year die because of infections from water-borne diseases.
In the end, disease is due to lack of hygiene. Clean water, clean food, clean hands and isolating infected people reduces the chance of epidemics.
Posted by frizzyperm on January 14, 2009 at 6:27 PM (Answer #2)
Disease and epidemics occur as a result of the interaction of three factors, agent, host, and environment. Agents cause the disease, hosts are susceptible to it, and environmental conditions permit host exposure to the agent. An understanding of the interaction between agent, host, and environment is crucial for the selection of the best approach to prevent or control the continuing spread of an epidemic.
Posted by fatiejava91 on June 13, 2012 at 3:38 AM (Answer #3)
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