Health In Society

When we think of 'Health' we usually think of our own health and the impact it has on our lifestyle, our work, our family and our interests. We actually need to look beyond ourselves and our immediate family and community, towards the society in which we live and the world beyond.

If we look at the characteristics of how seasonal flu is a dominant feature of impacting Health in Society, we can see just how as individuals we are affected by the virus. When faced with the statistics we can appreciate just how fortunate we are to have immunisation programmes that may not eradicate flu, but most certainly reduces the symptoms and the severity of the illness. Based on the statistics that for everyone one person that acquires the virus, they then infect two people, both of whom will go on to infect two people each and at the end of 10 days over two thousand people will have been infected. This number may be greatly increased depending on the situation for example if one of the people were travelling on public transport or an aeroplane the conditions would be ideal for the virus to infect more people. The number of people infected also increases if the initial person who contracted flu does not stay at home to get well and not spread the illness further.

Health in Society has over time been able to more or less eradicate many illnesses such as polio and TB. If the illness has not been totally eradicated it has most certainly been reduced. The problem now is that due globalisation and people seeking employment move countries and take prevalent diseases with them. Consider also the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, if it was not for the global community working at finding a cure then the outbreak would have reached far more people than it had, and its spread over a greater area with resultant deaths in the thousands. Disease does not respect the boundaries of countries.

On the subject of mental health, there is now a standardised approach to the symptoms, aetiology and treatment with the advent of the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual). This has helped not just with the diagnosis of an illness but with raising the awareness of the plight of people who suffer from mental illness.

Whose responsibility is the health of others? It's everyone's responsibility as the health of others ultimately affects our health and that of your family.

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