Public Health Emergency

Any event that presents a widespread danger to public health, and which requires response by local, state or national public health officials, is considered a public health event. This includes widespread or severe disease outbreaks and incidents of contamination.

  • An epidemic is disease outbreak covering a large area; a pandemic is a worldwide disease outbreak.
  • Influenza pandemics are the most common public health emergency, although other diseases, such as MERS and SARS, have also become widespread at times and could potentially impact mid-Michigan.
  • Public health emergencies are events of disease or contamination that affect, or have the potential to affect, a large number of people.

Vulnerability


Public health emergencies are often hardest on the elderly, those with disabilities, or who are chronically ill. The homeless are also a concern in public health emergencies, since they do not have the same access to medical care as the general public, and may live in unhygienic conditions.