Human Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases in humans can take a number of forms, with some such as COVID-19 having the potential to cause significant impacts to public health.  Some outbreaks of ‘containable’ human infectious diseases spread slowly and can be more easily delayed or stopped.

Sadly, some result in pandemics which are able to infect more people over a large geographical area very quickly and cause more severe illness and fatalities in a large proportion of the population.

A pandemic is defined as an infection that hasn’t been seen before and there is no natural immunity. It is an infection that affects, spreads easily and survives in humans.

Possible Consequences

  • Many people affected – up to half the UK population experiencing symptoms
  • potential to result in higher than usual number of deaths
  • Significant public anxiety
  • Increased demand resulting in health and social care services being stretched
  • Vulnerable people at a higher risk
  • High levels of staff absenteeism affecting the
    provision of essential services
  • Normal daily routines become affected
  • Disruption to education
  • Closure of businesses affecting the economy

What can you do?

  • Follow Public Health Wales and Government guidance
  • Keep healthy – a healthy lifestyle will be a great defence against flu and other illnesses
  • Identify a flu friend – somebody who would collect your medication, food and other supplies allowing you to stay at home when ill
  • Know and understand you children’s school arrangements for such matters
  • Be hygienic – cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and always wash your hands
  • Look out for advice and guidance from the NHS and make sure you follow it

What are we doing in Gwent?

  • Work together to support the increased demand on the NHS and social care
  • Put in place arrangements to prevent, detect, and manage outbreaks and to implement effective
    health protection and control measures across Gwent
  • Manage the local provision of newly developed vaccines once they become available
  • Raise public awareness within our communities and promote good infection control measures
  • Manage higher than normal level of fatalities
  • Maintain and further develop organisations multi agency pandemic flu plans and ensure lessons are
    learned from current and previous incidents

Public health advice for human infectious diseases is continually reviewed by experts.  By following the advice of public health organisations, we can help to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Further information can be found online at - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Public Health Wales (