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How Are Scientists Fighting Back Against Disease?


Although it is 2017, the outbreak of major diseases has never been more common. In 2016, the Ebola virus broke out and brought the continent of Africa to its knees. Before that, Britain has to deal with a significant Swine Flu pandemic in 2009, while there was a Bird Flu crisis in Asia and Europe from 2004-06. Sadly, the spread of disease shows no signs of stopping as strains all bird and swine flu are resurfacing. But, it isn’t all doom and gloom because the scientific community is highlighting what needs to be done to fight back. Here is a selection of their advice.

Develop A Worldwide Strategy

The population of the earth is edging closer to ten billion every year. Plus, the freedom of movement and opportunity to travel is becoming more accessible. The result is a mix of cultures and societies which were never the case ten or twenty years ago. Scientists believe that to continue with an outdated strategy is the main reason disease spreads so easily. Their goal is to come up with a comprehensive plan that includes nations from all across the globe. The WHO is a start, yet the community wants a philosophy which monitors and treats outbreaks from one continent to the next.

Increase Incentives

In many case studies the authors find that monitoring and dealing with diseases is not as important as reporting on them in the first place. Quite simply, the reporting, much like the virus, spreads quickly and to a wide audience. With information on how to act, the audience can realistically lower the chances of contracting the disease. However, countries don’t like to report outbreaks until it is too late as it affects everything from tourism to finances. Experts believe that greater incentives, such as the lack of sanctions, could prevent an outbreak from escalating.

Campaigning For Funding

Do you know what chromatin immunoprecipitation is or why it is important? In short, it is the technique used to analyse proteins and DNA in the cell. To a layperson, this might not appear to be anything of note, yet breakthroughs in the field could have significant advantages. If the scientific community better understands the relationship, it could be possible to find a vaccine. However, this will never happen with the current level of funding. Science funding in the UK, one of the top five economies in the world falls below 0.5% of GDP while federal financing in America has fallen below 50%.

Raise Awareness

The sad part of it all is that people aren’t bothered about a potential epidemic. Today, the focus is on boosting the economy and cooling tensions between the US and North Korean regimes. An apocalyptic virus is not on the agenda because it doesn’t seem likely. And, as a result, it is not in the news and getting the media attention it deserves. When bacteria are evolving to resist antibiotics, the threat is real and need for greater awareness apparent.

Hopefully, enough people will listen to ensure the fight is not one-sided.