Ebola Outbreak:What it means for the Medical Industry

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the Ebola Outbreak and the recent scares here in the US. We know what an outbreak would mean for a country like ours, and even what it means to those countries that are plagued by this threat all the time.

But do you know what it means for the Medical Industry?

A lot of people we’ve spoken to recently say the same thing: The Medical Industry would suffer because of an outbreak- any outbreak- of infectious diseases.

And we can understand their concern. Humor me for a moment and think back to the last zombie or disease movie you’ve watched. The world is quickly over-run with disease and chaos because hospitals fill up; people are in mass transit, spreading the virus far and wide. Before the government has a chance to do anything about it, the world is plunged into darkness.

Now, let’s come back to reality; if the last few Ebola scares we’ve heard about in the US are any indication, the medical industry is far too smart and prepared for something like that to happen.

In reality, the Medical Industry isn’t just prepared, but will actually thrive on an outbreak. Let’s break it down:

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. There are currently no vaccines and no official cures, but there are treatments and vaccines in evaluation.

According to the World Health Organization, the key to successfully controlling outbreaks is Community Engagement.

“Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization.”

That means a general increase across the entire board. Speaking from the Supply side of the industry; we see an immediate increase in the sales of Medical Equipment and Laboratory supplies, we in turn produce more of those supplies across the board increasing the product availability to the needs of the industry. As one-sided as this theory sounds, a flourishing medical industry is no simple matter.

It really goes beyond what we gain as a manufacturer of medical products. More products mean more opportunities for labs to find cures or isolate those who need treatment. More Labs with the right kind of equipment, increases the overall chance of cures being found. A general increase in the revenue of the Medical Industry means more funding for products, qualified care-givers, extensive research, and so on.

Outbreaks of diseases take a toll on the world. But they also give way to advancements in technology, medicine, common practices, and much more.

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