Novel coronavirus: why can’t we repeat the same mistake? part one

The novel coronavirus, which is still circulating worldwide, is not the first pandemic in human history.What is more thought-provoking, however, is that in less developed countries and regions of the world, there are still risks and harsh realities of facing other pandemics.More than 200 years ago, cholera became the first pandemic in the world. Today, however, the seventh cholera pandemic is still spreading in some poor countries and regions.Why did cholera continue to spread despite the availability of a cure and a vaccine?Will the novel coronavirus go the way of cholera again?Choleronavirus: why we must not repeat The same mistakes. Neil Singh, a British medical worker, put forward his thoughts on The prevention and control of novel coronavirus based on The historical background of Cholera occurrence and The prevention and treatment methods.This is the first in a series of articles on the origin and spread of cholera.

Why do you always feel stressed?

To highlight

In addition to novel coronavirus, there is currently another pandemic in the world.

No matter which pandemic is spreading globally, the common denominator is the international trade behind it and the accompanying movement of animals and people.

Catastrophic events such as pandemics are not just destructive; they also bring about new changes and often lead to scientific development and social reform.

A cholera outbreak in the yemeni capital Sana ‘a has caused widespread flooding.Image: Yahya Arhab/EPA

Novel coronavirus is not the only pandemic currently facing the world

Cholera has been largely defeated in the west, but it still kills tens of thousands of people each year in poorer countries.In the search for a cure for novel coronavirus, we must ensure that the treatment is available to all, not just citizens of wealthy countries.

Every morning at 7:45, we have to be online on time.One by one, we connected to doctors from all over the world at the other end of the screen.For us doctors, we’re not actually used to video conferencing, but we still wave our excited hands and greet each other.Since the novel coronavirus outbreak, our daily virtual meeting has become a worthless communication channel for us to keep each other informed about the latest clinical guidelines, internal specifications, and protective measures for health care workers, which change from day to day.

However, these virtual meetings will also bring us some news, forcing us to think about some questions from a personal perspective: how many people are infected with symptoms?How many of them tested positive?How many people have died from the virus?

There is no doubt that these are crucial questions.But based on my own training in public health, I had to think in a global context.In the coming year, we will certainly see progress in controlling the epidemic and in bringing it under control in the west.But what about the rest of the world?

This reminds me of my relatives in India. What does this global epidemic mean to them now?What does it mean for their future?And the real question, in fact, is not who will die tomorrow from a novel coronavirus, but who will die 200 years later from a novel coronavirus?

Novel coronavirus is not the only pandemic currently facing the world.In fact, there is now another pandemic.

More than 50 million people have died of cholera since it first spread around the world two centuries ago.As you read this series, five more people will die of cholera.In the west, however, cholera is largely under control, even to the point of losing its importance, but in some parts of the world, cholera control and prevention seem to have no end in sight.

In my opinion, although we can certainly provide patients with England within a year or two will be coronavirus vaccine, after the western medical system after the outbreak is sure to be strengthened, but I still worry that we may make the mistake of cholera: in global area within the scope of control and conquer will be coronavirus of at the same time, the most poor areas may still can’t get rid of a virus.

The origin and spread of cholera

My grandparents lived in the northeastern state of Bihar.To get to my grandparents’ home, I had to transfer to Patna Airport, from where I could take a bus to the Mahatma Gandhi Setu, one of the longest river Bridges in the world.On our way north across the bridge, we would cross the famous Ganges river, then pass through Hajipur, a city rich in bananas, and pass through Darbhanga, a city close to the Nepali border.

When I was a child, the roads were in terrible condition, and the local seasonal floods and monsoons made it even more difficult to drive along them.In terms of the total distance, in the UK it is only two hours’ drive at most.In India, however, the journey takes about seven hours because of potholes and other road conditions.

Now, local government road projects have greatly improved those conditions, removing potholes from the landscape and providing fertile floodplains for tropical fruits such as mangoes, lychees and guava.I can’t help but think of some of the memories of going to my grandparents’ home.

However, the humid subtropical environment of the Ganges delta has also become a breeding ground for many water-borne diseases.And northern India has long been seen as the source of a cholera epidemic that existed thousands of years ago, thanks to the region’s abundant stagnant waters and a tradition of worshippers bathing the sacred waters to cleanse their souls and all evil.

At an ancient temple in gujarat, India, a 2,000-year-old inscription vividly details the clinical treatment of people infected with cholera: blue lips, a gaunt face, sunken eyeglasses, a sunken stomach, shriveled limbs and wrinkled skin that look as if they have been burned.

As early as the 19th century, the Bavarian scientist Max von Pettenkofer wrongly believed that cholera could not spread to continental Europe because it could only be transmitted in certain soil conditions in India and other environmental factors.But in reality, cholera in northern India has been largely unsolved, not because of climate, but because of politics.

Cholera is an infectious disease that turns on all the “taps” in the gut, allowing water and salt to “flow out” of the system, leaving you with a watery diarrhoea that looks like rice washing.The diarrhea can also cause the virus to spread from person to person, leaving a chain of infected people severely dehydrated.If they are not treated in time, they will wither like prunes in a few hours.

For centuries, cholera was endemic only in northeastern India.By 1817, the first of seven cholera pandemics, one of which originated in Bengal, had eventually spread around the world.

However, just as we cannot blame wuhan for the current novel coronavirus outbreak, we cannot hold north-eastern India responsible for the global spread of cholera.After all, if it were to do so, North America would also be responsible for the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, which originated on industrial pig farms.

No matter which pandemic is spreading globally, the common denominator is the international trade behind it and the accompanying movement of animals and people.

The imperialist countries shaped the history of cholera, and it was their economic development considerations that led them to successfully control the epidemic.But if imperialism is critical to the success of controlling cholera, it can also produce a logic that divides the world, and only one half of the world’s epidemics can be successfully eliminated.

Famous American historian, founder of world history study, is known as the world history “modern pioneer” William McNeill (William Hardy McNeill) in his book of the plague and the people (Plagues and performance), describes how the British army by road brought cholera to Nepal and Afghanistan, and the British navy frontal merchant how by sea brought cholera to the Indian Ocean region.

This is a true record of how the first cholera pandemic spread from the bay of Bengal to southeast Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, and then, in the 1820s, to Europe.

Cholera virus in water at a dam in South Africa in 2001.Image credit: SCHALK/EPA

In 1831, cholera spread to the northeast of England, where I had grown up.One of the first cases in Sunderland, in northeastern England, was that of a 12-year-old girl named Isabella Hazard.The nature of her illness changed so rapidly that she was fine one night and dead the next afternoon.

Shahzad was one of the first victims of the first of a series of Pandemonium outbreaks that Europe experienced in the 19th century.Port cities, vital to trade, have been particularly affected.

It is hard to imagine that the panic caused by the epidemic could have been caused by cholera. After all, people’s understanding of the epidemic at that time was a complete mystery.At the time, most people believed that cholera was caused by “bad air” (or “bad smell”), which eventually inspired desperate experiments to contain it.

In Kingston, Jamaica, for example, the British colonists tried to stamp out the virus by firing cannons on the streets to “neutralize the criminal forces lurking in the dark alleys.”

But cholera was slow to get under control, killing millions of people, mostly in poor areas, in wave after wave of pandemics throughout the 19th century.

Workers rioted across Europe, suspecting that the disease was a conspiracy of the ruling elite, who they believed wanted to poison them.

In the 1830s, the revolutionary Mario Adorno denounced the bourbons as part of a “vicious conspiracy” to poison the people of Sicily with cholera.

However, catastrophic events such as pandemics are not just destructive; they also bring about new changes and often lead to scientific development and social reform.

Finally, the ruling classes of the European empire began to invest resources to discover the real reason behind the virus.The main reason for this is to prevent a catastrophic recession with each new outbreak.

This investment has led to three core advances in the prevention and control of cholera outbreaks.

First, there have been reforms to improve public health so as to prevent people from catching similar viruses as much as possible.Second, drugs have been developed to prevent and treat cholera.Third, strengthen international cooperation and fight against the common enemy with solidarity.

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