If you think that a pandemic would not be possible in 2014, in modern society, think again. In fact, the last pandemic happened just a few years ago, in 2009. It was the swine flu pandemic which mostly affected areas of Africa and Southeast Asia. However, it managed to kill around 280,000 people.
The danger is still very real. New influenza viruses keep appearing, while Ebola virus, the Rift Valley fever and the Lassa fever virus are still dangerous.
Where the Danger Comes From
There have been a number of pandemics throughout history: cholera, smallpox and tuberculosis. Flu pandemics have also been common as there are many different strains of influenza viruses.
A flu pandemic happening today is possible because new strains of the influenza virus keep appearing. These pandemics differ from regular seasonal outbreaks of the flu because we do not have immunity or a vaccine to treat them. Modern medicine doesn’t have all it needs to prevent a bursting pandemic, and a new virus can infect thousands of people and do a lot of damage before a flu shot is developed.
This is getting worse. In the past, people used to stay put in a general geographical area which would have restricted the spread of the virus. Now it is easy for anyone to travel round the world. So an infected person could unwillingly spread the virus to other continents, causing an all-out outbreak which only becomes harder and harder to contain with time.
That’s why we need to prepare for a new pandemic, and it will most likely be a flu pandemic. After 2009, there was another close call with bird flu which, despite spreading and causing casualties, it was never actually labeled as a pandemic.
The biggest problem with flu is that it can spread from species to species. A range of different influenza viruses are present in wild aquatic birds and they can travel the entire globe, spreading their disease to humans.
Other viruses which are highly contagious also have the potential to cause a pandemic. They include the Ebola virus, the Rift Valley fever and the Lassa fever virus, among others.
When Medicine Do Not Work Anymore
Lastly, there is also growing concern regarding bacteria which keeps building up a resistance to our antibiotics, leading to the potential for re-emergence of deadly diseases which we used to have under control.
Depending on your location and the extent of the outbreak, help might be scarce and delayed. Medical assistance usually goes to the most affected locations first. This is an attempt to contain the pandemic as much as possible, but also leaves other areas vulnerable.
If the pandemic bursts in your area, you need to be prepared to go on living isolated from the rest of the population. This is the best way to ensure that you do not get infected. It also means cutting yourself off from services such as schools, hospitals, transportation and is something that you definitely need to prepare for in advance.
Getting Ready for a Pandemic
Obviously, in order to remain isolated you will need supplies.
Food is your main concern. Concentrate on food which will last for a long time. Meat, fruits and vegetables can be found in ready-to-eat cans which prolong their lifespan significantly. Even so, they will eventually go bad so never eat something that has passed its expiration date. The last thing you want during a pandemic is getting sick because eating spoiled food.
Besides canned food, you can also stockpile protein bars, dried fruit, dry cereal, jarred food, peanut butter and crackers. Do not forget to also have pet food on hand if you keep animals. Besides food, you will obviously also need plenty of drinkable water. You also want to make sure that you store your supplies in a proper environment – somewhere cold and dry in order to preserve the food better.
Medical supplies are also very important in case you or someone in your family becomes ill. Remember that just because there is a pandemic does not mean that you cannot get sick from other diseases. Stash away all the medication you can which is used to treat common symptoms of illnesses such as fever, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, nausea etc.
Keep several first aid kits on hand in case someone gets injured since going to the hospital would not be a good idea. Lastly, you need plenty of disinfectant on hand. Soap works; hand wash works as long as it is alcohol-based; you can even learn to make your own disinfectant. Keeping your hands clean at all times is one of the best ways to ensure that you do not get infected.
How to Stay Healthy
A virus will target everyone indiscriminately, but some people make better targets than others. This is simply because certain people are healthier, they have a stronger immune system so it is less likelier for them to get infected.
If you want to decrease the chances of getting infected with a virus, make several lifestyle changes that will improve your overall level of health. These are not quick fix solutions, most of them will not produce noticeable results until they have been used for a long period of time.
The first tip is getting seasonal flu shots when necessary. These vaccines would not work against a new strain which causes a pandemic, but they are supposed to provide you with a good healthy baseline. They will make sure that you do not also get infected with the seasonal flu which would lower the strength of your immune system.
Following a healthy lifestyle will ensure that your body is strong and ready to take on the virus: eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep at night.
If an outbreak happens and SHTF, it is good to think like a germophobe. Always wash your hands thoroughly, regularly clean the surfaces that you get into contact with frequently, cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, wear a mask in public etc.
Furthermore, in the event of an outbreak, you need to practice something called “social distancing”. Stay away from other people as much as possible. If you have to meet somebody, keep a safe distance just in case. Avoid crowded places such as hospitals, restaurants, stadiums and definitely avoid public transportation.
If you follow these tips, you stand a good chance of making it through the next pandemic by avoiding getting infected altogether.
SOURCE : www.survivopedia.com
Photo sources: 123RF.com