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The U.S. government is putting plans in place right now to invoke extreme emergency actions across the USA in response to an anticipated Ebola outbreak sweeping through U.S. cities. Late last week, the U.S. State Department ordered 160,000 Ebola hazmat suits in anticipation of an outbreak, and President Obama has already called upon the Pentagon to dispatch troops and supplies to Africa.
Earlier this summer, Obama signed a curious executive order that claims to grant federal officers the lawful right to arrest and quarantine anyone who shows symptoms of an infection.
Tuberculosis, also known as “consumption,” “phthisis,” or the “white plague,” was the cause of more deaths in industrialized countries than any other disease during the 19th and early 20th centuries. By the late 19th century, 70 to 90% of the urban populations of Europe and North America were infected with the TB bacillus, and about 80% of those individuals who developed active tuberculosis died of it.
Causes of Tuberculosis
For most of the 19th century, tuberculosis was thought to be a hereditary, constitutional disease rather than a contagious one. By the end of the 19th century, when infection rates in some cities were thought by public health officials to be nearly 100%, tuberculosis was also considered to be a sign of poverty or an inevitable outcome of the process of industrial civilization. About 40% of working-class deaths in cities were from tuberculosis.
The Spanish influenza pandemic, which began in 1918, caught every nation by surprise. It infected an estimated 500 million people and killed 50 to 100 million of them in three waves. Governments around the world responded in ways that were reactive and almost ineffective before the pandemic ended in 1919 just as suddenly as it began one year earlier.
The Spanish influenza pandemic differed from previous influenza pandemics in its unprecedented virulence. Its unique characteristics included unusually high case fatality, especially among 20– to 40–year-olds.
Reaction and Response
The general public grew anxious and criticized public health officials for their incompetence. Medical practitioners and researchers struggled to unravel the confusing epidemiology and pathology of this extraordinarily deadly outbreak of influenza. Major US cities banned or enforced restrictions on public gatherings, and schools, town halls, and churches served as emergency hospitals.
(CNN) -- Indiana and Montana have joined the growing list of states with confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, health officials say.
As of September 11, the CDC had confirmed more than 80 cases of Enterovirus D68 in six states: Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri. New York also announced on Friday that it had more than a dozen confirmed cases of the virus.
The Indiana State Department of Health is keeping an eye out for additional cases of enterovirus. Hospitals are sending samples from patients with severe respiratory illnesses to a state laboratory for testing.
Last week, media reports of kids flooding emergency rooms in Alabama and Washington state spoke to the spread of the virus. Other states, including Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah, are also investigating clusters of respiratory illnesses. Several have sent samples to the CDC for testing.
Since people with asthma are higher risk for respiratory illnesses, they should regularly take medicines and maintain control of their illness during this time. They should also take advantage of influenza vaccine since people with asthma have a difficult time with respiratory illnesses.