Safety

Lessons from pandemics past

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, May 2, 2020

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by John Palmer

The test of our ability to keep the healthcare system running in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the most challenging in recent history—maybe since the great flu of 1918.

The coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. From there, the virus rapidly spread, causing more than 930,000 illnesses and more than 47,000 deaths worldwide as of this writing, leading to quarantine orders and travel bans in several countries. The outbreak also caused major shortages of healthcare supplies.

In hindsight, humanity has had many close calls in recent years. The Ebola scare of 2014, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) that hit Saudi Arabia and the Koreas in 2012, and the 2003 outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that struck large parts of Hong Kong and Toronto should all be reminders of how quickly a pandemic can spread.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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