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Globalization and Health

Globalization is a critical component in international public health. It is impacted by various patterns of migration, extensive trade, altering dietary practices, and ecological catastrophes; all of which affect the health of populations and contribute to the spreading of disease.

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Globalization has emerged concurrently with urbanization, which offers a variety of public health benefits. A planned urban society has access to safe and clean drinking water with appropriate sanitation and waste removal mechanisms. Electricity provides an opportunity to create safe living conditions. Furthermore, modern urban societies have access to adequate and varied nutrition.

All these aspects contribute to overcoming health challenges and the spread of a disease that has afflicted society for centuries based on detrimental living conditions. However, globalization also has adverse effects on public health. Emerging infectious diseases are more common with an increased potential for transmissibility due to the interconnected nature of trade and migration. Reemerging infections are becoming a problem as well. Urbanization has led to increased pollution which affects public health. Accessibility to nutrition is actively contributing to the possibility of foodborne outbreaks and health conditions such as obesity due to increased food consumption (Jacobsen, 2014).

In 2015-2016, the CDC has noted a multistate foodborne outbreak of Salmonella Poona. More than 907 people were infected with reports coming from 40 states. 204 people were hospitalized with six reported deaths. Approximately 11 large illness clusters were identified which helped identify the source. Epidemiologic analysis showed that cucumbers were the origin of the infection, with 7% of the outbreak strains being drug-resistant.

They were distributed in retail and restaurant locations. They were imported into the United States from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce. Two separate recalls of potentially dangerous batches of cucumbers were announced as the outcome of the investigation. The cause of the illness was undetermined. Some suggestions include potential cross-contamination in the shipping distribution chain (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).

Global trade was a significant factor in the outbreak. Large food shipment and distribution chains open possibilities for foodborne illnesses. This occurs due to poor quality control, lack of standards on agricultural practices, and possibilities of cross-contamination as happened in this case. Therefore, more standards and regulations should be implemented for global trade and import of food products to avoid such occurrences.

Florida as a state adheres to national guidelines provided by CDC and other agencies on the emergency preparedness response to bioterrorism. It has become a relevant issue in the modern world post-September 11 and anthrax attacks that shook the nation in the early 2000s. Awareness and preparedness for bioterrorism attacks, not just from government agencies but the population as well, ensure that everyone is protected. State guidelines suggest that each family has an emergency plan that is practiced as well as knowing emergency plans at places of employment and education. Preparation can be ensured by having a disaster kit. Everyone should understand the realistic possibilities of a bioterrorism attack and learn information about various biological agents (Florida Health, n.d.).

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Miami-Dade County does not seem to have a specific preparedness for terrorist attacks. It is recommended to follow state guidelines or a general emergency and disaster preparedness plan. However, there is documentation teaching about the dangerous biological agents and how to identify potential bioterrorist attacks as well as which agencies to contact (Florida Health Miami Dade County, n.d.). This could be helpful for the survival of the population in case of an attack.

I have not taken any steps to prepare for such events as a bioterrorism attack. I have a general awareness of emergency preparedness for events such as hurricanes. However, like most people, I am not actively seeking to prepare against biological attacks due to the seemingly inconceivable chance of such an occurrence. Such preparation requires time and resources for adequate knowledge and protection, which I feel will never be useful.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Multistate outbreak of Salmonella poona infections linked to imported cucumbers.

Jacobsen, K. H. (2014). Introduction to global health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Florida Health. (n.d.). Emergency preparedness response and bioterrorism

Florida Health Miami Dade County. (2013). Bioterrorism guide: Category A agents. Web.

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