Contagion: Reflecting on the Horrors of Pandemic

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Institute of Medical Research (IMR) is a biomedical research centre under Ministry of Health Malaysia. IMR carry out scientific and adequate research for causes, treatment and prevention of diseases in Malaysia. It also functions to conduct research in understanding and providing evidences for any outbreak cases and carry out effective control programmes. Other than that, new biomarkers are identified to be use in early detection and diagnosis of diseases, monitoring of diseases progress and therapy. IMR is the first body that is responsible for pathology service in Malaysia. In my opinion, the role of IMR is similar as Centre of Disease Control (CDC) but IMR is for Malaysia but CDC is globally.

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For the movie Contagion, it has an interesting event during a pandemic. The movie shows how realistic and scary a pandemic can be. Various agencies had played important roles in dealing with the pandemic that includes World Organisation Health (WHO), Centre of Disease Control (CDC), doctors, medical researchers and journalists. The virus is very virulent where it can be spread rapidly throughout the population. The pandemic has involved many death cases among the scientists who try to discover the origin of the disease. The investigation regarding to the outbreak must be conducted through descriptive and observational study design. In handling an outbreak, firstly, we must know the baseline. A group of data must be collected and analyse thoroughly that includes the victims, places, dates and many more. The data are then compared with previous weeks or months to understand the current figures. Any possibilities regarding to the outbreak or disease can also be identified and taken into consideration. This is important to determine the origin of the virus if the information on how the virus are transmitted is not known.

In the movie, the pandemic has created a chaotic situation in the community due to the high rate of death and they were worried about their safety. In addition to the fake news made up by a journalist in his blog, it has created a larger conspiracy causing the community to be more panicked. In this case, it is important to make sure the credibility of sources when spreading any news especially when it comes to public safety. The public will easily trust even though it is not real. Relevant public health information must be informed to the non-health sectors to minimize social and economic disruption and to maintain as well as build public trust towards public health authorities.  

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