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Infectious Disease: Consequences Of Traveling During An Outbreak

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Travel is a major factor when it comes to the spread of infectious diseases. Throughout history, there have been many examples of why traveling and migration have played a major factor in spreading very infectious diseases. In this essay, I’ll be explaining the consequences of traveling during an outbreak, how it relates to our world right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the history and examples of previous pandemics to support my claims.

The consequences of traveling during an outbreak are beyond the person traveling. It can also affect the destination’s population, ecosystem, etc., and cause the disease to spread further. In the past when humans traveled and explored the world, they brought their genetic makeup, immunity from past infections, cultural preferences, customs, behavioral patterns, among other things to the place they landed on. Microbes, animals, and other biologic life also accompanied them. This means that diseases that a certain group of people are immune to can also be brought to the place traveling and be transferred to the second group of people that haven’t built up immunity to it yet. This will lead to many members of that second group getting the same disease. Because of their weak immunity to it, it’ll be harder for them to recover from it and many would die because of that. In the next paragraph, I’ll explain examples of this exact situation in the past.

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In the past, there have been many cases where outbreaks have started when people began to travel. One example is when Europeans came to America and smallpox and measles ravaged Native American communities. As I explained before, the travelers (Europeans) had built up an immunity to those diseases before coming to the Western Hemisphere, so when they made contact with the new group of people (the Natives), they had no immunity to it. Which led to more than 70 percent of the Native population dying throughout the Americas. Even a century after their initial contact with Europeans, different groups of Natives were becoming infected. The spread usually stayed in one area around New York, but during the years 1756-57, it spread to Ohio Valley. This was because Native fighters that were recruited to fight for the French against the British during the Seven Years’ War contracted the virus. When they came back they infected their communities. Another example is the Native Hawaiians when Captain Cook came. His crew brought things like STD’s which spread quickly. There was also a plague in 1803 that is thought to be yellow fever. It killed up to 175,000 Hawaiians which split their population in half. In 1848, measles and pertussis made their way to Hawai’i via missionary ships, killing another quarter of the population. By 1920, after multiple waves of diseases, there were less than 24,000 Hawaiians.

Bringing it back to the Hawai’i we live in now, we have 17 deaths from the Corona Virus pandemic, which is a lot less than other states in America. This is because of the precautions that our government and Governor Ige put into place. Some major factors that helped us keep our deaths and cases low (compared to other places) are the stay-at-home order and the 14-day mandatory quarantine when you arrive in the islands. The mandatory quarantine was the first of its kind when introduced in the United States. It helps with traveling because, in 14 days, that’s usually when you’re able to see if you have symptoms or not. And if you’re asymptomatic then you’ll have testing done in that time.

In conclusion, when you look through history compared to now, you’ll find many reasons why traveling during outbreaks is bad and the impact that it has on others. Luckily, it seems like we’ve learned a bit from the past, and now that it’s repeated itself, it seems like most places are starting to learn and take the correct precautions to prevent more people from dying.

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Infectious Disease: Consequences Of Traveling During An Outbreak. (2021, July 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/infectious-disease-consequences-of-traveling-during-an-outbreak/
“Infectious Disease: Consequences Of Traveling During An Outbreak.” Edubirdie, 23 Jul. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/infectious-disease-consequences-of-traveling-during-an-outbreak/
Infectious Disease: Consequences Of Traveling During An Outbreak. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/infectious-disease-consequences-of-traveling-during-an-outbreak/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
Infectious Disease: Consequences Of Traveling During An Outbreak [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Jul 23 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/infectious-disease-consequences-of-traveling-during-an-outbreak/
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