OUR VIEW: Contain the spread

There was a time when entire communities were seriously impacted by the effects of communicable diseases.

There was a time when entire communities were seriously impacted by the effects of communicable diseases.

Outbreaks of the flu and common cold throughout the beginning of the 20th century could force entire towns to curtail public events to try to contain their spread. The headlines in community newspapers at that time tell not only of the cancellation of festivals and sporting events, but of the resulting deaths that came from such outbreaks.

As medical research and advancements in public education and treatment were made, the impact of illness has been greatly reduced. Today, we generally see reports of increased cases of flu, colds or other illnesses, but nothing on the scale of mass outbreaks of what are considered to be rare diseases these days.

So that’s why it’s unusual to see cases of mumps, measles and whooping cough make headlines now — especially the recent incidents of mumps suffered by professional hockey players. There are generations of people who contracted mumps as children, once a common childhood illness, and reports are rare of outbreaks among the adult population. Immunization has helped to reduce such outbreaks — and helped prevent large-scale spreads of communicable disease.

There is a concern about the rising complacency among people when it comes to inoculations against disease. Fewer outbreaks can lead to less awareness and concern and perhaps fewer people getting immunized. It has caused enough concern that health care facilities are providing masks to wear for people who have not received a flu shot.

We aren’t telling people to rush out and get a needle. But we urge people to think not only about how medical advancement has, for the most part, kept large-scale outbreaks at bay, but about how your decisions can impact your community.

There’s a reason we aren’t seeing serious outbreaks today. Learn more by speaking with your doctor.

Just Posted

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Sidney

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Save-On-Foods fills up the pantry of Jeneece Place

Retailer stocks up kitchen of local facility for the fourth straight year

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Sailors reunited with family for Christmas in Victoria

HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Edmonton return following a two-month deployment

Victoria mother concerned by city’s potential straw ban

Carmell Nesbitt’s son has cerebral palsy and can only drink with plastic straws

Victoria Canadian Tire replaces toys stolen from Salvation Army

Children won’t have to go without toys this Christmas

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

Descoteau’s mother, girlfriend reflect on tribulations of murder trial in Island city

Friends a strong support system in getting through testimony details

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Most Read