If you are thinking about reading this article then you must have at least heard of the recent medical inventions which have been making the headlines. The news today is filled with stories about pandemic outbreaks and their frightening effects. Pandemic outbreaks have killed tens of thousands of people in the past few years.
Even though pandemic viruses were known to attack people centuries ago, they have recently gained a toe-hold in the medical world, controlling and closing the death mills that have long stood as death traps for millions of people. The authors brilliantly describe how the pandemic virus has changed modern medicine.
“New Episodes” is an engrossing and fast-moving book series that covers all the major elements of modern medicine dealing with pandemic outbreaks. The series takes on a new urgency and significance such as no other book.
The eight episodes cover; Pandemic Medicine, Research, and Development of potent antiviral drugs; Research and Development of new vaccines; New Drugs, addressing the recent innovations in drug manufacture and research; Data analysis and monitoring the pandemic outbreak.
Treatment, stressing that time is critical in combating the disease; and Clinical Trials, examining how the introduction of new pharmaceuticals into the health system has affected the treatment of diseases. In this review, I will highlight each episode in full and give my opinion as to whether the author has raised important issues regarding this important subject.
The first episode covers the history and development of new vaccines. The importance of this development in recent medical inventions was brought home when a man infected with Lassa fever, a strain of bacteria that causes a similar condition to SARS, died at a London hospital just a week after being vaccinated.
There have been several concerns over the past few years about the safety of vaccines, particularly concerning the French-Swiss hybrid swine flu vaccine, the H3N2 strain, and the Gardasil vaccine, which many children are now being given without question.
Although it is not known how infected children have become so ill, the case serves to highlight the importance of vaccines in creating a healthy public health system. The second episode covers the use of biomedicine in addressing specific medical challenges.
The first pandemic, seasonal deaths from diseases such as dengue fever was tackled head-on by the introduction of a new, supercharged strain of flu. This strain was responsible for over 1 million deaths. The introduction of biomedicine is perhaps even more significant in that it is directly responsible for extending the ability to provide medical assistance and curing specific medical conditions.
The use of bioengineered medicine is leading to a remarkable improvement in the treatment of serious medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, neurodegenerative diseases, and autoimmune disorders. The third and final part of the series explores the potential uses for pandemic preparation.
As discussed above, biomedicine is helping to extend the time between outbreaks and help create a greater understanding of infectious agents and their control. However, it is also facilitating the development of a more rapid and efficient response to an outbreak.
The introduction of the swine flu H3N2 strain was designed to hasten infection-control measures. The use of biological medicines in combination with these public health services is helping to speed up the process while reducing overall costs and preventing further complications.
The penultimate episode of the new series examines the current pandemic threats faced by the human population. As discussed in the previous installment, the increasing age-related decrease in reproductive ability creates much greater challenges to sustaining a worldwide population.
Experts forecast that there will be a decline in the world’s population over the next half-century. A key concern is how to deal with an aging population without adversely affecting its institutions, values, and cultures. The penultimate episode of the new series addresses this matter head-on by examining the consequences of living with a shrinking population.
The episode ends with a look at what can be done to avert the demographic decline. The penultimate episode of the new series examines the ramifications of the first anti-tax protests in America. The episode begins with the story of how a group of mothers decided to boycott the traditional release of the measles vaccine due to fears that it contained too many harmful chemicals.
Ultimately, the group galvanized other mothers to join in and begin organizing weekly meetings to discuss issues surrounding vaccines and their risks. The penultimate episode of the new ten-part series dissects the historical origins of the movement against compulsory vaccinations. Whether it be in the field of medicine or not, new Inventors often need help which is why Invent Help was made.
The show delves into how the controversy began, the scientific research that was leading to vaccines being considered as safe, how antivirals became a valid alternative to disinfection, how the first anti-tax protests were organized, and finally the events leading up to and during the first anti-vax demonstrations.
The episode concludes by examining how these anti-vaxxers continue to fight despite the passage of years. Finally, the show closes by delving into the future of medical imaging and how new techniques are shaping the future of medicine.