Global Public Health



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Public Health | Respiratory Tract Diseases

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Singapore ranks as one of the healthiest countries in the world and its healthcare system has been regarded as one of the most efficient. While a minority of the population experience any chronic diseases such as diabetes or asthma, one illness, severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS has been prevalent in the country since the global outbreak in 2003. SARS is a virus causing disease that is easily transmitted through the air. In 2003, Singapore, along with much of the world, saw a high rate of infection for the disease. An in depth look revealed that three women traveling home from Hong Kong had brought the disease back with them. A quick government response and better hygienic practices in healthcare facilities led to a rapid decline in the prevalence of the disease. While SARS itself is no longer a major threat in most of the world, cases like these help us to identify problems in healthcare where we can improve. Major outbreaks like this can be devastating for even the most developed countries and finding ways to prevent them can help prevent the next epidemic.