Understanding Your Topic
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Managing and Increasing Global Herd Immunity to Prevent Future Pandemics
Outbreak of infectious disease that occurs over a wide geographical area and that is of high prevalence, generally affecting a significant proportion of the world’s population, usually over the course of several months. Pandemics arise from epidemics, which are outbreaks of disease confined to one part of the world, such as a single country. Pandemics, especially those involving influenza, sometimes occur in waves, so that a post pandemic phase, marked by decreased disease activity, may be followed by another period of high disease prevalence.Infectious diseases such as influenza can spread rapidly—sometimes in a matter of days—among humans living in different areas of the world.
The spread of a disease is facilitated by several factors, including an increased degree of infectiousness of the disease-causing agent, human-to-human transmission of the disease, and modern means of transportation, such as air travel. The majority of highly infectious illnesses that occur in humans are caused by diseases that first arise in animals. Thus, when a new infectious agent or disease emerges in animals, surveillance organizations located within affected areas are responsible for alerting the World Health Organization (WHO) and for closely monitoring the behavior of the infectious agent and the activity and spread of the disease. WHO constantly monitors disease activity on a global scale through a network of surveillance centers located in countries worldwide.
WHO Background Guide
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