global interconnectivity and influenza flu

Whereas global interconnection and travel have been enormously beneficial, there are some drawbacks. One of the drawbacks has been the ease with which contagious diseases can be transported from one end of the globe to the other in record time. For example, many countries had a contagious influenza flu pandemic in 2009. With the ease with which people can move around the world, contagious diseases can spread at frightening rates. As a result, the current paper will attempt to expound on the essential issues underlying the rapid global spread of communicable disease, with a focus on the Influenza a type strain. Besides, the discussion will also focus on the risk factors involved focusing on the effects of the outbreak at community systems level. Consequently, the study will also delve into proposed reporting strategies in case of such an outbreak and recommend containment measures that would help avert the spread.

The CDC (2017) defined the Influenza as a contagious respiratory ailment that causes mild to severe illness. It is caused by the influenza viruses, and in extremities, it can lead to hospitalization, and when not adequately addressed the flu can result in death. Unfortunately, the vulnerable are at a higher risk of complications that lead to fatalities. Typically, after contracting the virus, the patients will experience a mild illness, which if they are not within the vulnerable bracket, will cease in a span of around two weeks without the need for antiviral drugs and widespread medical attention. Nonetheless, the weak develop flu complications which if not urgently addressed leads to death. The complications range from sinus infections to bronchitis, all of which are very fatal. However, the disease is controllable through vaccination. In fact, as the cliched aphorism states: prevention is better than cure that perfectly fits in the flu's context. The CDC argues that the best way to contain the illness is only through a yearly vaccination. Since the disease is highly contagious, it has been spread across the borders from one country to another making it a global health concern.

The Flu Pandemic

The influenza pandemic has been experienced in the world in two major folds though they have been a bit different. The major issues arose back in the year 1918 and now recently in 2009 though the versions differed due to mutative factors. In fact, according to WHO (2009), the global population has only been lucky since the mutation levels have been containable wherein a failure could have led to deaths with the semblance of an apocalypse. Due to the mutations, the virus has developed into various forms which are referred to as strains. For instance, in health presentations, the influenza A has been referred to, albeit interchangeably as, A(H1N1) or S-0IV unless the context dictates otherwise. In the year 2009 the pandemic became a cross-border concern since it had spread almost to every corner of the world. The disease led to intergenerational cases which prompted the major regional and global health stakeholders such as the CDC, ECDPC, and the WHO to take the initiative of announcing the illness as a global concern.

Nations Affected by the Pandemic

This section will provide a list of some of the nations which had been primarily affected by the influenza pandemic as furnished by the World Health Organization, the CDC and other relevant health body corporate within the year 2009 as compiled by Briand (2009).

- United States

- Mexico

- The European Nations

- Canada

- Spain

- Israel

- New Zealand

- Asia

- Austria

- Germany

- Canada

- Ireland

- Netherlands

- Switzerland

- South Africa

- France

- Colombia

- Poland

- Sweden

All these and other countries experienced the outbreak in a span of a year which demonstrates the risk of globalization as pertains communicable diseases. The WHO (2009) announced the global outbreak of the influenza flu and declared it a global health pandemic that warranted special concern. Within a few months after the declaration, the health body raised the level of awareness from phase 3 to phase 4 (WHO, 2009). That demonstrated the rising levels of the spread which was alarming. The World Health Organization and other relevant stakeholders had to act to avert the alarming situation. According to the CDC, the greatest danger with the virus is that it was mutating to zoonosis with the possible transmission from animals to humans.

Influenza Epidemiology

The influenza is a viral disease that occurs in sporadic forms, and it can develop as an outbreak epidemic or even in extreme cases as a pandemic. In the year 2009, the spread was so contagious to the extent that it was labeled a global pandemic. Mostly, the virus occurs in two types of strains which are type A and B (Mestrovic, 2014). These are the strains that primarily affect humans though the disease can take the form of zoonosis affecting even animals. As earlier discussed, type A has been prevalent in the past global cases. It is the kind that is mostly associated with epidemics and pandemics as were experienced in the world in 2009. On the other hand, the B type and the C-type are infrequent and are only characteristic of regional outbreaks which rarely reach dangerous levels. The latter is usually mild in nature regarding the illnesses it causes; whereby in the absence of vulnerabilities the condition subsides without extremities. Children below the age of two and older adult of above the age of 65 are the most vulnerable to the epidemics which are responsible for over half a million deaths worldwide. Climatic changes also influence the rates of transmission with the tropical regions experiencing the spread throughout the year while in the temperate regions it mostly occurs during winter.

Mode of Transmission

Three major ways have been observed and attributed to the transmission of the influenza virus. For instance, it is transmitted through direct contacts, through objects, and through inhalation. Nonetheless, medical practitioners are yet to establish which among the three leads to which rates. The inhalation spread, therefore, shows that the disease can be spread in an airborne manner through sneezes, coughs and such other respiratory transmissions. Droplet nuclei are responsible for the airborne spread since the microbes can travel long distances due to their light nature (Mestrovic, 2014). As such, when the infectious particles are inhaled by the recipient they affect the respiratory tract. On the other hand, nasal secretions are responsible for contact infections. This type of infection is widely assumed to be potentially dangerous considering that the mere contact with objects having the secretion is enough to cause disease. The virus takes long without becoming dormant hence it is highly contagious.

Effect of a Possible Outbreak at Systems Level

The possible implications of an outbreak at the systems level which includes schools, local governments, or even hospitals are dependent on the rate of transmission. That an outbreak can lead to a standstill in the local business is an undeniable fact. This is because the rate of transmission of the illness increases with congestion due to the aerosol spread and the actual contact. In the case of an outbreak, then institutions will have to be closed to avert the possible spread. Hospitals, on the other hand, would be congested by patients seeking treatment considering that the spread is sporadic.

Reporting Protocol

Since the cases mostly start on isolated basis only to spread to alarming rates, it is impeccable to have a reporting protocol in case an outbreak is suspected. For instance, the issue ought to be reported to all the local health institutions through memos for the officials to design protective measures. Also, the relevant government body should get the information once it surfaces in the health centers. Consequently, any warranted quarantine measure can be put in place to prevent the possible spread which may escalate to pandemic levels.

Strategies Possible Outbreaks

The prevention of possible outbreaks of influenza in a community setting must be premised on the knowledge of the mode of infections, pathogenesis, and immunity. As such, the health practitioner should educate the patient on the measure through which he can possibly transmit the illness. The patient education strategy is very crucial as a preventive measure. And so is a community-based education strategy which would serve as a better alternative since it is informative approach.

In Conclusion

The influenza virus is highly communicable, and the 2009 pandemic is a case on point on the shortcomings of globalization on the transmission of communicable diseases. To avert possible outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics, stakeholders in the health sector ought to formulate effective reporting protocols and device preventions strategies by educating practitioners and the masses.


Briand, S. (2009) Epidemiology and Illness Severity of Pandemic (H1N1) 09 Virus.


CDC. (2009)

Mestrovic, T. (2014) Influenza Epidemiology.

WHO. (2009)

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price