What are the ways of addressing a new and virulent contagious disease?

The Threat of SARS Case Study


Based on your understanding of the SARS case study, create a 2- to 3-page document in Microsoft Word document answering the following questions:

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  • In your opinion, what could be the possible reasons of a sudden outbreak of new disease?
  • What are the ways of addressing a new and virulent contagious disease?
  • Discuss in detail about the countries which have faced epidemics in the past. What would have been the possible reasons for such outbreaks?


Support your responses with examples.

Cite any sources in APA format.


Notes from class


At a global scale, health crises may be even more difficult to manage owing to several complexities. This is when the infection rates from super-resistant bacteria have increased throughout the world, and humans travel in unprecedented numbers and at a very fast pace. For example, transmitting primarily through the hands of health care workers, the SARS virus—having first appeared in the Guangdong Province of China in late 2002—spread within a few months to over twenty five countries, infecting over 8,000 people and causing 774 deaths, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are several opportunities for such incidents to quickly escalate to crises levels.

Public health emergencies may come from several other sectors as well. In its website, the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lists four major kinds of emergencies:

  • Oil or chemical spills
  • Biohazard or infectious disease
  • Food safety issues
  • Terrorism or criminal activity

It is very likely that all of these emergencies will require health care emergency managers to plan and prepare for contingencies.

The outcome of how a crisis is managed is largely dependent on the knowhow, experience, and the personality of the manager. No matter how much planning is done and protocol followed, emergency managers need to have strong leadership qualities in order to handle crises. Having a working knowledge of the health care field is also critical in this context. During an emergent health crisis, the manager needs to coordinate between various groups, communicate decisively and clearly in order to avoid panic, and optimize the distribution of resources.