International Day Of Epidemic Preparedness

December 27th is observed annually as International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. It’s a day for communities, governments, and ordinary citizens to consider the possibility of disease outbreaks and to do what they can to prepare for them. This is vitally important, as the recent COVID-19 outbreak has clearly shown.

Throughout history, humans have battled infectious diseases, and this will likely continue well into the foreseeable future. However, as past struggles with diseases have shown us, we are quite resilient and can take on any challenge presented to us, especially when we have the chance to prepare for it.

The History of International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

In December 2019, the first mysterious cases of pneumonia were reported in China. The following month, the genetic sequence of COVID-19 was shared with the entire world. Throughout 2020, this disease spread across the globe — causing a pandemic that led to the deaths of millions of people.

On December 27th, 2020, the first-ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness was called for by the United Nations General Assembly. This day was established to advocate for the importance of disease prevention and preparedness. It also urged government agencies, scientists, and healthcare professionals to work together.

Some Interesting Facts About Epidemics

Before we continue with the discussion of this day, we thought we’d take a small diversion from our main article and list some of the things we’ve learned about epidemics. We think the following facts will shine a spotlight on epidemics and help people understand them a little better.

  • The 1918 Spanish Flu is believed to have originated in Kansas in the U.S.
  • Spain took the blame for the 1918 Flu because their king was sick, and they allowed an uncensored press to report on the flu.
  • The word “quarantine” comes from the Italian word “quarantina,” which means a period of 40 days.
  • During the Black Death, the Italian city of Venice required ships suspected of carrying disease to anchor for 40 days before they could land.
  • English Sweating Disease was a condition that caused excessive sweating and often led to death.
  • English Sweating Disease raged for more than six decades before its last major outbreak in 1551.
  • Many modern scholars believe English Sweating Disease was caused by the Hantavirus.

Observing International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

The main way to observe this day is for agencies around the world to work together to prepare for current and future epidemics. One way this can be done is for agencies to collaborate to share resources and craft new legislation.

This is also a good day for governments to provide their citizens with universal healthcare to prepare them for the next pandemic. And people can spread the word about this day by using the hashtag #InternationalDayOfEpidemicPreparedness.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 27 Friday
Next year (2025)
December 27 Saturday
Last year (2023)
December 27 Wednesday
Health & Body, United Nations