When Panic Goes Viral

Topics: Infectious disease, Infection, Transmission and infection of H5N1 Pages: 2 (455 words) Published: February 8, 2013
Environmental Chemistry
Title: When Panic Goes Viral: Why the social response to a pandemic is as important as the medical effort Reaction Paper:
A pandemic could cause too many lives at stake and lost just as how past outbreaks had taught all of us. And in response, we had learned to cope by finding out how to cure the disease and counteract the outbreak from spreading further into a greater population. However, it is not only the medical effort that is needed in working against a pandemic, mass communication also plays a role in this in the same way as what the article had discussed. The article had mentioned an instance such as the Spanish-influenza pandemic outbreak during the year 1918 that caused the lives of 50 million people. However, despite all the deaths it brought about, there was no panic. It said that if that kind of outbreak were to occur now, it would trigger so much unwanted fright from the public that it would propagate throughout millions of people all across the globe to cause a “complete societal breakdown” just because of such a massive variety of resources the public could use to expand the news through today’s colossal multi-media communication. Access to these resources are quite easy that even a child could get a phone to call his friend to tell his anxiety and cause a chain of phone calls through his friends of his friends and so on, spreading the dread rather as simply. And to think that not only do we need to be careful of transmitting the virus to others but also to prevent it from getting into us. It had been explained that the virus could also transmit through what is called a fomite that is “any animate object or substance capable of carrying infectious organisms.” Even though this meant that a virus could also spread through transmissions with surfaces touched by someone infected beforehand, it could still be prevented as the article suggests. A thorough sanitation with our hands over washing it simply with soap and water, or...
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