With everything that’s going on in our daily lives, it can be hard to keep up with problems that are happening far away in the world. But the world is smaller than we think. In fact, it’s only one mosquito bite or bad flu season away from being over there to right here in our neighborhoods.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization came up with a list of the biggest threats to global health. All of the things on the list are important. But for those of us who are really into preparedness — like we are here at the Get Ready campaign — there are a few that stand out.
First off, climate change. Climate change makes bad weather much worse. As it continues, you should be prepared for more severe weather. Hurricanes are already getting stronger every year. And as climate change continues to warm the planet, the range of disease-carrying mosquitoes will grow.
Next up: Pandemic flu. When it comes to the next flu pandemic, it’s just a matter of when. A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. We’ve already had a few flu pandemics that have spread quickly and caused a lot of deaths. The good news is that we can help prepare for flu pandemics.
Another thing public health folks are worried about? Other disease outbreaks. Ebola, Zika and dengue are some of the many infectious diseases threatening health around the world. Your risk of getting these diseases is low here in the U.S. But low chance isn’t zero chance, so you should be prepared.
Speaking of big concerns, another is vaccinations. A growing number of people are hesitant or refusing to get vaccines for themselves and their kids. By ignoring science, preventable diseases like measles are threatening the health of children across the world, including the U.S. You can stand with science and learn about vaccines and why they are important.
To read more about the health challenges we’re facing globally, check out the full WHO list.