The past century of human evolution has been a roller coaster ride. The industrial revolution touched on every facet of human growth but at the same time, the quality of human life has degraded. The average human life expectancy has grown exponentially. Nevertheless, the lives we are living are not healthy.
Infectious diseases are not new to the human race. Some major infectious diseases such as Black Death (Bubonic Plague), smallpox, Spanish flu, Asian flu, Swine flu, Cholera outbreak, HIV/AIDS, Nipah Virus, Ebola Virus and many more have been constant reasons of death in different centuries and decades.
If we look at the pandemics from the past two decades, there is one common tangent, i.e., immunity. In such a fast pacing world where everyone is aiming at making a good living and sustaining their families, the most important factor that we all defy continuously is Health. We don’t maintain good diets, we don’t exercise and we don’t do self-care. This eventually affects immunity.
In the current period, the complete globe is facing a pandemic,i.e., Coronavirus. This is a major health crisis we all are into. This is not the first time we are facing such an issue. The infectious diseases are always contagious in nature and have killed millions earlier as well. It is very important for researchers and doctors to always know their origin to track the infectiousness and approach with the cure.
The question now arises, how these diseases outbreak turn into pandemics. We can see through it with the example of Coronavirus. Coronavirus is a zoonotic virus. Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites. Mostly zoonotic germs choose non-human animals, mostly vertebrates, to sustain themselves. Zoonotic viruses are often transferred from animals to humans due to consumption. The fact remains that this virus doesn’t harm the host.
There are two proposed theories of how coronavirus might have originated. The virus evolved to its current state before getting transferred from the animals to humans. The second way can be the virus evolved in its current stage after coming into the human body. The majority of Zoonotic viruses reside in bats.
There are two ways to approach such global epidemics are prevention and cure.
These contagious viruses start with zero patients and have the capacity to spread within a specific period. Vaccines to such new originating viruses take a good amount of time and the best measure to take up is preventing ourselves from such pandemics.
The prominent risk is to certain people. Children below five years age, adults with the weakened immune system, senior citizens, pregnant women are mostly affected.
Major contagious viruses are from animal consumptions like bats or pigs. Nowadays, food is commercialized. There is no balance in its natural sense. Animals are injected with medicines to make more money out of their flesh. They are slaughtered without taking preventive measures. They are overproduced, overexploited. In some countries, there is no supervision on killing. People eat any animal without realizing there can be consequences to it. Chinese animal market is one such example where most animals are eaten starting from bugs to bats.
The first and foremost thing to follow is trying to maintain a vegetarian diet. Plants and natural resources are sufficient enough to provide all the nutrition in the body we require.
But at places where a vegetarian diet cannot be an option due to no farming lands or means, the requirement is of governmental policies of having safe domestic animal farming and slaughtering.
Numerous preventive measures can be followed. The farms or stables should not be built in localities which can cause viruses or ticks in animals. Ticks should be reduced and decreased in stables and farms. Protective pieces of equipment like gloves, masks, and gowns should be worn when slaughtering or butchering the animals. The animals should be quarantined for 14 days before slaughter. This reduces the risk of them being viraemic. This should be supervised by WHO constantly.
Another measure is to maintain hygiene. Washing hands if and when around animals, avoiding scratches and bites of animals, handling food safely, we should not share personal items.
Thirdly, we should be vaccinated properly and our immunity should be boosted. 75% of our immunity is in our gut. Therefore, the way to healthy immunity is a healthy gut. Having pre and probiotic food items is another way. Avoid inflammatory food. Avoid stress and practice meditation or yoga to maintain an optimum level of good bacteria in the body. We should not take antibiotics until prescribed. Otherwise, that can also cause some reactions in the body.
One of the major preventive measures is to stay home when YOU feel sick. One should avoid traveling when there are symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and fever. We never know what kind of bacteria evolves in our bodies. Since work from home is very much possible as we can witness in today’s scenario, there should be office mandates for such times.
Now, if we couldn’t stop any virus to make its mark into the human world, we can still stop it from becoming a global epidemic.
The measures to be taken on the part of government is to communicate the risk of the spread of the virus within the area where zero patient is usually found.
Earlier, we didn’t have the technology to communicate but today we can blow the whistle easily. There should be appropriate health information given to the citizens. Rumors of any kind should be monitored and controlled. The treatment facilities should be provided to the patients. The safety facilities should be provided to healthcare. There should be no panic created in any way.
The government should invest much money in the research of different zoonotic viruses so that we remain prepared in case any disease occurs.
If we will not understand the consequences of our small actions, they could lead to large pandemics. If we will not follow preventive measures, then the other pandemic is not a decade away.