For a few decades, in the 1970s and 1980s after the adoption of most of our current battery of vaccines, many western countries went through a honeymoon period of much lower rates of disease outbreaks. Small Pox was eliminated from the world, polio persisted only in impoverished countries far away, and measles was listed eradicated from The United States.
That honeymoon period is over. New diseases and old have returned to cause illness and death. Ebola continues to pop up in Africa in areas where sanitary conditions are poor and unchecked violence prevents healthcare workers access to those at risk. Zika, measles, cholera, tuberculosis, MERs, and many other diseases also thrive in third world countries where vaccines and clean water are hard to come by. Thanks to increasing ease in travel, international trade, lower vaccination rates, and rising temperatures around the world, these diseases are making their way to every corner of our globe faster and faster and faster.
There was a Cholera outbreak on Canada’s Vancouver Island in March of 2018 after years of being considered eradicated in the area. Measles cases were listed under watch in November 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control in New Zealand, Israel, and Moldova. Numerous food recalls have been made in the latter half of 2018 due to contaminated produce and meat products by Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli. Some of the contaminated food cases have resulted in death.
In the last two years, the CDC has sent out medical investigators more than 750 times to evaluate suspicious heath events.
How to protect yourself from food-borne illnesses and contagious diseases:
- Wash your hands before you handle food—it’s easy to pick up bacteria and viruses from casual contact with other people and surfaces.
- Wash produce before you cook or eat it—a 10% white vinegar solution will remove most viruses, bacteria, parasites, & pesticides. Soak in a bowl of 10% vinegar solution or put the solution in a spray bottle.
- Cook your food properly—cook all meat and eggs thoroughly before eating.
- Wash your hands after you handle food.
- Sneeze into your (sleeve covered) elbow.
- If you or someone else is sick, don’t shake hands.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Get all the vaccines you’re eligible for—prevention is so much better than getting sick.
CDC nurse Joy Oshiro is stressed to the breaking point. College students are dying and no one knows why. And her new partner Dr. Gunner Anderson is frustratingly annoying—and sexy, but mainly just plain annoying—and proving difficult to avoid. He spent three years with Doctors Without Borders, and disillusioned is just the tip of his issues.
They’ll need to learn to trust each other if they have a chance at figuring out who is behind the attacks. She makes him laugh, makes him forget—for a little while. But each new clue keeps them one step behind the terrorists, with buildings and evidence being destroyed just as they near.
Now they’re in a race against time to not only find a cure, but also to avoid becoming the next targets themselves.
Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “Fiction has to be believable”. Julie writes romantic suspense and romantic thrillers. Her most recent titles include SMOKE & MIRRORS book #2 and SLEIGHT OF HAND book #3 of the Outbreak Taskforce series. You can find her at www.julieroweauthor.com , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor