Micro Life Zone
Asked by pnemonoultramicroscopicsillicovolcanoconiosis to Arti, Chris, Dustin, James, Steven on 19 May 2012. This question was also asked by sscott.
Keywords: doctor, epidemic, pandemic
Hey pnemo. No, not really. The bulk of the medical profession (particularly in more developed countries) are reasonably well equipped to handle any outbreaks, particularly at a grand scale (at least I hope they are!!). This becomes more of a problem in third world nations and less developed countries where there is very limited infrastructure and resources to handle anything like this.
Yeah I do. I worry that due to the short sightedness of funding bodies, or politicians that researcher dont have the funds to do the important research.
A little bit, I suppose. I worry about the increased use of antibiotics to treat conditions that can mostly sort themselves out. Resistance of bugs to antibiotics through overuse is something we should be pretty careful about, but medical science appears to be able to keep up reasonably well. It is unlikely that an epidemic or pandemic will wipe out enough humans to threaten the existence of the species, so in a statistical sense we are probably ok.
Yes and no. I think we are somewhat equipped to handle thing as they are right now but the world is due for a flu pandemic with the potential to kill millions of people. At this point we wouldn’t be able to respond as fast as necessary to prevent the bulk of those deaths.
Additionally, as the effectiveness of antibiotics continues to reduce we may be in a lot of trouble here too. A new antibiotic hasn’t been discovered in 50 years so we are really going to start to be in trouble soon if we are not careful. Best thing you can do to help is wash your hands, take all the antibiotics you are given and make sure your vaccines are up to date. If everybody did those simple things we would have no problems at all.
I’ll say yes and no. Hopefully we are well enough equipped that we’ll be fine if there are any outbreaks, but you can never be sure, particularly about other, less developed parts of the world. Many bacteria are becoming extremely resistant to the current antibiotics/drugs that we have available, and there are new, more deadly strains appearing. Highly drug resistant infections can actually spread extremely rapidly in places like hospitals, where we are supposed to be getting better! There are also new fungi and viruses appearing every so often, which we can’t necessarily fight off with the anti-fungal and anti-viral drugs that we have at the moment. There are also some diseases previously only seen in other animals that are now starting to affect humans as well. We definitely need more research in these areas, and the availability of funding can sometimes be a problem. There is actually a lot of research going on at the moment into trying to find new drug targets or developing new drugs for certain diseases, but it can take a long time before any breakthroughs are made. Even when new active agents may be found, it can take a lot of effort and money to come up with a viable way of delivering the treatment to people who actually need it. If there isn’t a lot of time to spare between a disease outbreak and the development of the drug then the treatment might be rushed out and sometimes potentially dangerous side-effects of it may not be discovered until its too late. You might have heard about a new flu drug a while ago which was approved for use in adults and young children, but then many young children responded very badly to the drug, with some even being brain damaged.
The major thing that we can all do is to maintain our personal hygiene and our own health, so that we can avoid getting sick as much as possible.
Nice points made by all the others.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2020