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Public Health Emergency Case Study

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Description of emergency event

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As per the opinion of Heidari et al. (2019), disasters occur when hazards coincide with exposure and vulnerability. Similarly, this virus outbreak is considered as an emergency in public health in international stage as it caused a cluster of microcephaly cases and caused neurological disorders in the affected areas (Alexander & Nguyen. 2016).

It occurred in 2016 and caused local transmission while spreading the virus across some part of northern Queensland (Alexander & Nguyen. 2016).

The public health emergency that occurred refers to the local transmission in the NSW department in Australia as there were two confirmed cases of Zika Virus among travellers from Caribbean towards Australia (Hall-Mendelin et al. 2016).

However, the geographic emergency was declared by WHO when the outbreak occurred in the south and central part of the US alongside Mexico, Caribbean, Samoa and Tonga (Hugo et al. 2019).

The public health emergency that occurred across the geographic regions refer to the 4000 cases of Microcephaly and reduced brain functions among babies (Watson?Brown et al. 2019).

In the case of Australia, the responsible persons were WHO, New South Wales Health Department, University of Sydney public health researchers ' team and Dr. Vicky Sheppeard, the Director of Communicable Diseases in Australia (Alexander & Nguyen. 2016).

Impacts and consequences of emergency events

Health impacts

The common symptoms of zika virus outbreak referred to fever, rash, headache alongside joint pain, red eye and muscle pain (Guarner & Hale, 2019,). The virus outbreak is known to trigger different syndromes, neuropathy and myelitis among adults and older children. For children and foetuses, this virus impacts the brain development and impairment after birth (Lowe et al. 2018).

Economic impacts

In the 2016 epidemic outbreak, the initial financial impact was estimated at US 3.5 billion dollars or 0.06% part of the total GDP (Peixoto et al. 2021). This is followed by impacting on financial staples such as tourism and reduction of working productivity.

Social impacts

The social impact of the epidemic outbreak refers to the increased risk of miscarriage and foetal malformation (Ali et al. 2017). This is followed by increasing rate of sexual violence against women in region of outbreak and increased poor living conditions.

Environmental impacts

Environmental factors such as precipitation, humidity and temperature are considered crucial factors that play a role in transmissions of the virus and the pollution promotes the overall transmission by affecting the density of the mosquitoes (Tunali et al. 2021). It also includes increasing vector population and climate variation that have elevated the transmission cycle in the affected region.

Description and analysis

Prevention and mitigation

The prevention of spreading Ziko virus refers to the prevention of mosquito bites and the use of EPA registered insect repellent (, 2023). Maintaining travel recommendations and controlling mosquito bites inside and outside of home are significant steps.

The use of the theory of disaster resilience explains the ability of an individual alongside communities and organisations and an impacted state in order to adapt and recover from potential hazard, shocks and stress without compromising long term development (Melendez et al. 2022). This is applicable here as it helps in mitigating existing outbreak and resilience emergency management to recover from the hazard.

Preparedness and planning

The policy regarding the preparedness of virus outbreak refers to the minimization of risk of the virus spreading in the affected area alongside protecting pregnant women to reduce the risk of congenital malformation of the brain of developing foetus (, 2023). This is followed by reducing local transmission by restricting the spread of vectors and implementing the National preparedness plan for the safety of the population both in affected and non-affected areas.

Response and relief

The response and relief in regards to the spread of Zika virus is associated with the public health emergency of international concern while launching a global strategic response framework and a joint operation plan by WHO to prevent complications (, 2023).

Recovery and rehabilitation

Even though there is no official medication for this virus, the symptoms are treated with acetaminophen to reduce fever alongside the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the risk of bleeding for faster recovery (, 2023). The use of IVIG-plasma-exchange and optimal-support-care are used in case of rehabilitation (Intechopen, 2019).


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