Medical professionals and researchers were on the front line of the fight
against the pandemic. Ordinary people also joined the fight, looking for a way
out of the darkness and taking whatever measures they could. New methods of
treatment and diagnosis and preventive measures have brought hope to society,
and our daily life has gradually been returning to normal.
Our experience will be the foundation for the fight against tomorrow’s infectious diseases.
The treat of infectious diseases lies next to our everyday life.
Human beings have struggled against infectious diseases one after another.
We have overcome every hardship to hold on to our precious daily lives.
This page presents a journey to trace the history of such struggles.
As an opportunity to turn the past efforts and lessons into hope for the future,
let us take a step forward to think and fight together.
This pandemic, which is said to be a once-in-a-century sanitary crisis, will remain deep in people’s memories. Amid the widespread social anxiety over the invisible enemy, which was an virus, the WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020.
Lockdowns and other movement restrictions placed in many countries significantly changed people’s daily activities.
Changes in lifestyle, fear of infection, the pain of losing loved ones, and so on. Anxiety with no way out spread throughout the world.
Medical professionals and researchers were on the front line of the fight against the pandemic. Ordinary people also joined the fight, looking for a way out of the darkness and taking whatever measures they could. New methods of treatment and diagnosis and preventive measures have brought hope to society, and our daily life has gradually been returning to normal.
The history of human beings is a history of struggles against infectious diseases.
Threats posed by bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.
By having overcome and learned from them, and used them for our lives tomorrow,
we have reached where we are today.
The plague is caused by infection with plague bacilli. In ancient Rome and medieval Europe, it was called the black death, which raged several times, killing millions of people. In the 14th century Europe, about one-third of the population at the time is said to have lost their lives. In fighting against the plague, people came up with the ideas of quarantine and personal protective equipment, and began to make efforts to improve the sanitary environment.
Smallpox, which is caused by the smallpox virus, has existed since B.C., and is said to have contributed to the decline of the Aztec and Inca empires in the 16th century. In the 18th century, a smallpox vaccine was developed thanks to studies by Edward Jenner, leading to the WHO’s declaration of its eradication in May 1980.
Cholera is a disease caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with cholera bacilli. Since the beginning of the 19th century, it has developed into explosive epidemics several times, seriously affecting the lives of people around the world. In particular, the spread of the disease was often reported in an environment lacking water sanitation. This reminded people of the importance of water and food sanitation.
The Spanish flu (H1N1 subtype influenza A) suddenly broke out in 1918 and spread throughout the world. With around 500 million people estimated to be infected worldwide, the pandemic claimed the lives of over tens of millions of people. This experience led to the beginning of new practices, such as wearing of masks and isolation of patients for treatment.
SARS / MERS
In 2002, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), a new type of coronavirus, spread manly in Asia and Canada. In 2012, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) broke out mainly in the Middle East and spread to specific regions and countries due to human mobility. Since both were caused by coronavirus and a high risk of a mass outbreak was confirmed, international cooperation was called for to respond quickly, share information, and take other necessary action.
New strains of
It is known that a new strain of influenza emerges once every 10 to 40 years. The new strain of influenza A (H1N1) that broke out in Mexico in April 2009 and spread throughout the world caused a lot of confusion in governments, companies, citizens, etc. before it was judged as the level of an ordinary seasonal influenza and eventually settled. Due to its high infectivity and speed of spread,the flu had a significant impact on society and the economy at that time, and measures to suppress the epidemic, such as developing vaccines and communicating preventive measures, were implemented on a large scale.
So far, some of the fights between human beings and infectious diseases have been
There are still many issues that remain to be solved around the world.
Do you know that there are bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics?
This is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is the cause of the deaths of more than 700,000 people worldwide each year. Also known as the silent pandemic, if no special measures are taken, the number of deaths from AMR is estimated to exceed that of cancer by 2050, reaching 10 million a year. Governments and health administrative organizations have identified AMR as a high-priority social issue at the national and regional/national levels that urgently need global action.
Three major infectious
These are known as the three major infectious diseases, still killing several millions of people each year, mainly in the low- and middle-income countries. Although the spread of infection has been slowing down as a result of scientific advancement and a lot of international support over the past many years, it is still difficult to eradicate these infectious diseases.
Infectious diseases caused by parasites or bacteria prevailing mainly in tropical regions are called “neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)” because they have not been considered as major diseases in advanced countries. NTDs are seen in 149 countries and regions around the world, threatening the lives of more than 1 billion people and causing billions of dollars in damage to those low- and middle-income countries each year.
Infectious diseases, such as the three major infectious diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis
and malaria, and the neglected tropical diseases,
not only spread economic hardship to individuals but also cause poverty
for the entire country or region.
Breaking this negative spiral of poverty and infectious diseases is necessary
for economic growth of the endemic countries and stabilization of the global situation.
Goal 3 (Target 3.3) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to eradicate these diseases by 2030.
Infectious diseases easily cross national borders and threaten the lives and health of people
around the world.
To be prepared for “the moment” that may occur at any time,
SHIONOGI has been struggling against infectious diseases for more than half a century.
SHIONOGI will continue to keep our eyes on and challenge the threat of infectious diseases.
We hope that our efforts and the healthcare solutions we offer will help save the lives of many people
and contribute to their living peaceful lives.
To be prepared for tomorrow’s infectious diseases and to think and fight together with you
SHIONOGI Infectious Disease Weeks