With all the threats of war and financial collapse, there’s another disastrous threat that needs to be addressed – global health threats. If war or a natural disaster doesn’t get us, a devastating disease might.
We have a long history of global health threats: the AIDS epidemic, the Black Plague in the 14th Century, Ebola, Zika and Influenza have taken their toll on people, young and old. Until a cure or prevention method was found, we were subject to the terror these infectious diseases brought.
The possibility of new health threats during the coming year is very real – and with the ability of humans to travel and connect with each other, the diseases could spread like wild fire.
Diseases we’ve yet to see may come from contaminated food or water and could wreak havoc on the population. The Zika virus (contracted from a mosquito bite), Ebola and the flu could all experience a boost that could make them able to resist current treatments. In 2020, coronavirus COVID-19 broke out in China and quickly spread to numerous other countries.
The most vulnerable of the population for contracting a new disease includes children, the elderly and anyone in countries that have poor health infrastructure.
The plague was found in three people in New Mexico in 2017, and while it was contained, it brings worries that something so devastating is still lurking around in our states.
Weather events could add additional deaths because of malnutrition, stress and malaria – especially in those global regions with poor health infrastructure. Extreme heat may also affect the future of our health from causing such conditions as asthma.
Natural disasters also result in health threats and these disasters are predicted to become worse in the coming years. Diseases that are transmitted through insects, cold-blooded animals and snails may occur because of climate change and in some areas such as China and Africa, the chance of new and lethal diseases is much more likely.
The most disastrous possibility would be a disease with a strain that spreads so rapidly that we don’t have the means to treat or prevent it. Although the United States is a leader in global health and disease prevention, its abilities are not unlimited.
One future health threat might be a bioengineered pandemic.
We’ve had natural pandemics in the past, but now the possibility of a large scale nasty disease is much more likely. For example, scientists discovered that if you introduce an extra “mousepox” gene in a mouse, it’s much more likely to be lethal. Mousepox is a version of the human disease of smallpox, so you can imagine how smallpox could affect us if immunizations were no longer an option.
The world’s population grows by the millions each year and a serious health threat would cause chaos and panic. Learn all you can about prevention of diseases, treatment and early detection and be aware of what’s happening in the rest of the world.