Health Informatics Technology
Emergence of a new infectious disease out of China has caused a global reaction to combat the spread. On December 31, 2019, China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in people associated with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei Province. On January 7, 2020, Chinese health authorities confirmed that this cluster was associated with a novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. Governments around the world responded to the threat by instituting lockdowns, closing businesses, using experimental medications, and even closing boarders. Citizens responded in kind by increasing social distancing and the usage of personal protective devices such as face masks and gloves. With past concerns such as SARS 2002-2003, Swine Flu 2009, Zika Virus 2015, and Ebola 2018 outbreaks, what is different?
Although cases were originally reported to be associated with exposure to the seafood market in Wuhan, current epidemiologic data indicate that person-to-person transmission of 2019-nCoV is occurring. Despite efforts to curb the spread of the disease it has become a global pandemic with 2,982.688 cases across the globe as of April 28, 2020. An evaluation of each step must be performed to determine what has been successful and to avoid repeating any past failures. Comparative studies have been completed on the different measures each country instituted. Wading through endless news reports and information portals can only compound to the confusion.
Evaluating exposure rates, how accurate information is spread, and what helped to flatten the curve in areas around the world are key in preventing another global pandemic from spreading so rapidly.
Barton, Brian E., "U.S. Response to COVID-19 Compared to Other Diseases" (2020). 2020 Symposium Posters. 36.
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