THE MILITARY MEDICINE DURING PANDEMICS
Wars and illnesses have been associated in the history as armies and pathogens have met on the battlefield. Cholera affected the mankind for at least a millennium and it still represents a major concern because it still is a cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide (recent epidemics have been reported in Zimbabwe (2008–2009) and Haiti (2010)). Influenza pandemics have also caused major morbidity and mortality for centuries. Since 1918, the world has experienced three subsequent pandemics. The estimated global mortality associated with these events was significantly lower, with approximately 1 million for the 1957 H2N2 and 1968 H3N2 pandemics and fewer than 0.3 million for the first year of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. During the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic, the use of quarantine, border controls, contact tracing and surveillance proved to be effective in controlling the global threat in just about 3 months. Unfortunately, new viruses can abruptly change to become a more human-adapted virus, spreading efficiently from one person to another and causing significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, as SARS-CoV 2 recently did.
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