Covid-19 is a pandemic which has literally brought the world to its knees. Before looking at what we, as resident in Thailand, can do in this pandemic, it is important that we all understand the difference between epidemics, pandemics, and endemics.
Here is the answer:
AN EPIDEMIC is a disease that affects a large number of people within a community, population, or region.
ENDEMIC is something that belongs to a particular people or country.
AN OUTBREAK is a greater-than-anticipated increase in the number of endemic cases. It can also be a single case in a new area. If it’s not quickly controlled, an outbreak can become an epidemic.
A PANDEMIC is an epidemic that’s spread over multiple countries or continents.
It is important to understand that for a virus to become epidemic is not reliant solely on virulence. Virulence is a microbe’s ability to infect or damage a host. The pathogenicity of an organism – its ability to cause disease – is determined by its virulence factors, not by numbers, and they are wrapped up in the wonderful world of DNA. Find the ‘unlock’ button in the DNA and you are half way towards finding the elusive vaccine. And don’t forget ‘contagion’ which is involved in how easily or otherwise one can pass the virus on to others.
The scientists are continuing to look at how to boost the immune system, while other scientists are working on how to reduce the virulence, and more on producing a vaccine. It is not a plug and play situation.
So what can you do? Contagion is where you can break the chain. Masks, hand washing and social distancing all slow down the transfer of virus. I don’t want your virus and you don’t want mine!