Specific Infectious Agents And Natural Disasters

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Specific Infectious Agents and Natural Disasters


Specific Infectious Agents and Natural Disasters

Describe the characteristics of this agent that may enhance the capacity for epidemic spread in disaster circumstances

Infectious Agent is known to be a microorganism that inflicts disease in an animal or plant. It can be a virus, bacterium, or a fungus. They can invade a host through numerous methods, but the most persistent and common is soil and water contamination. Soil contamination is one of the main sources of the harboring of these agents. The diseases caused by these infectious agents are transferable from a person to another.

One of the most dangerous forms of infectious agent is a virus that results in several kinds of diseases. Virus can be described as an infectious agent that can imitate the inside organism living cells. It has the tendency to infect any kind of organisms that include animals, plants, bacteria, and even groups of single celled microorganisms (Koonin, et.al, 2006).

Viruses have several characteristics that make them more dangerous in comparison to other type of infectious agents. These characteristics are based upon living and non-living. Living characteristics of a virus include reproduction at an extraordinary rate and mutation. Moreover, to that nonliving characteristic of a virus include that they do not have cytoplasm or cellular organelles, and viruses are not produced and split, but new viral cells can synthesize and gather in the infected cells in the host. This indicates that when in situations epidemics after the natural disasters, viruses have the tendency to not only transfer from a person to another, but also grow at extraordinary rate. In such a case, it becomes difficult to control the situation specifically in third world countries where the tools and equipments to monitor and control such problems are limited.

Viruses can be transmitted vertically and horizontally. Vertical transmission of virus means that they can be transferred from a mother to a child, for instance if a mother has HIV then the born child will also be affected from the same viral disease. Horizontal transmission of viruses means that they can be transferred from a person to another.

Some of the viruses can cause fatal diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, diarrhea, influenza, malaria, Ebola, and several others. Apart from HIV/AIDS, rest all diseases can occur in a form of epidemic after natural disasters.

The major characteristic that enhances the epidemic spread of these viruses after natural disasters is that they are transferable from a person to another. Therefore, while in case of natural disasters where majority population of the affected territory has to live without shelter, there are greater threats of their transferability from a person to another. For instance, diarrhea is a disease that is caused by rotavirus, and in case water or food is contaminated from natural calamity then there are great chances that the disease will widespread among people who are without shelter.

In what types of natural disasters would you expect this agent to pose the greatest threat?

Since viruses are transferable, they ...
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