A health crisis or public health crisis is a difficult situation or complex health system that affects humans in one or more geographic areas (mainly occurred in natural hazards), from a particular locality to encompass the entire planet. Health crises generally have significant impacts on community health, loss of life, and on the economy. They may result from disease, industrial processes or poor policy.
Generally there are three key components in health crises:
- Public health problem 
- Problem health coordination
- Alarm care. Poor communication of risks to the population origine social upheaval.
- 1858: Swill milk scandal
- 1905: American meat scandal due to the publishing of Upton Sinclair's book "The Jungle".
- 1963: Birth defects by Thalidomide 
- 1981: Toxic Oil Syndrome or simply Toxic Syndrome 
- 1996: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease 
- 1998: Doñana disaster, also known as the Aznalcollar Disaster or Guadiamar Disaster 
- 2001: Anthrax attacks in the United States, also known as Amerithrax 
- 2002: Prestige oil spill 
- 2003: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 
- 2004: Avian influenza (H5N1), sometimes avian flu, and commonly bird flu 
- 2006: Côte d'Ivoire toxic waste dump 
- 2007: Lead paint on toys from China 
- 2008: The 2008 Chinese milk scandal was a food safety incident in China, involving milk and infant formula, and other food materials and components, adulterated with melamine.
- 2008: Canada listeriosis outbreak and Chile
- 2009: Pandemic H1N1/09 Influenza 
- 2010: Haiti earthquake 
- 2012: Fraud on breast implants Poly Implant Prothèses (PIP) 
- 2014: Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa 
Prevention and control
- Using the health warning systems. A health system responsive to the needs of the population is required to refine the instruments to ensure adequate preparation before their hatching.
- Transparency of the institutions public or private. The perception of crisis can escape the control of experts or health institutions, and be determined by stakeholders to provide solutions propagate or concerned. This requires a difficult balancing of the need to articulate clear answers and the little-founded fears.
- Adequate information policy. Irrationality arise when information is distorted, or hidden. Face a health crisis involves: respect for society, coordination of organizations and an institution with scientific weight to the people and to the media, who acted as spokesman in situations of public health risk, to get confidence citizens. The technical capacity of health professionals is more proven than the public officials, which suggests a greater share of the former and better training of the second.
- Evaluate the previous crisis or others experiences. Crises are challenges that must be learned from both the mistakes and successes, since they serve to bring about to the devices and improve the response to other crises. It is important to perform analysis of previous responses, audit risk and vulnerability, research and testing, and drills to prepare themselves against future crises.
- Having objectives: "first, to reduce the impact of illness and death, and second, to avoid social fracture".
- Preparing contingency plans. Preparation is key to the crisis because it allows a strong response, organized, and scientifically based. Action plans must meet the professional early enough and properly trained, and politicians must be consistent in their actions and coordinate all available resources. It is essential to invest in public health resources to prepare preventive measures and reducing health inequalities to minimize the impact of health crises, as they generally always the poorest suffer most.
- Crisis theory
- Disease mongering
- Health administration
- Health care
- Health policy
- Primary health care
- Routine health outcomes measurement
- Joseph Brownstein. The Top 10 Health Scares Of The Decade. ABC News. 07/12/2009.
- Gérvas J, Meneu R. Public health crises in a developed society. Successes and limitations in Spain. SESPAS report 2010. Gac Sanit. 2010; 24(Supl 1):33-6.
- Alderson MR. Mortality, morbidity, and health statistics. New York: Stockton Press; 1988. ISBN 0-935859-31-4
- Gravitz L. A smouldering public-health crisis. Nature. 2011/06/09; 474:S2-4. doi:10.1038/474S2a
- Noji EK. The public health consequences of disasters. Oxford: OUP; 1997.
- Anand G. India’s Public Health Crisis: The Government Responds. India Real Time. 2011/07/30.
- Carles J, Cerdà M. El riesgo de una mala comunicación de riesgos. Público. 2011/06/08.
- Rouhi M. Top Pharmaceuticals: Thalidomide. Chemical & Engineering News. 20/06/2005; 83(25).
- "A Long Trial in Spain on Fatal Tainted Food". The New York Times (Madrid). August 2, 1987.
- "Bovine Spongiform Encephalopaphy: An Overview" (PDF). Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture. December 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- Achterberg, E. (1999), "Impact of Los Frailes mine spill on riverine, estuarine and coastal waters in southern Spain", Water Res. 33: 3387, doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(99)00282-1.
- Amerithrax or Anthrax Investigation, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- Prestige disaster. European Topic Centre on Spatial Information and Analysis (Eionet). 2011/08/28.
- Bad weather fuelled by oil – the connection between the Spanish oil spill and climate change. WWF. 2002/11/22.
- Ojea A. Un estudio detecta problemas de salud entre los voluntarios del "Prestige". El Norte de Castilla. 2007/10/02.
- Smith, R. D. (2006). "Responding to global infectious disease outbreaks, Lessons from SARS on the role of risk perception, communication and management". Social Science and Medicine 63 (12): 3113–3123. PMID 16978751. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.08.004.
- Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Infection in Humans by The Writing Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) Consultation on Human Influenza A/H5 in the September 29, 2005 New England Journal of Medicine
- "Ivory Coast Government Panel Releases Toxic Waste Findings". Voice of America. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Mozaffarian D, Katan MB, Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease. N Engl J Med. 2006; 354:1601-13.
- Mattel to recall more Chinese-made toys. CNN. 14/08/2007.
- Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 12-03-2008. Access date 26/05/2013.
- Ministerio de Salud de Chile. Listeriosis: con medidas simples la población puede prevenirla. 28/11/2008. Access date 26/05/2013.
- Noriega LM, Gonzalez P, Thompson L, Pérez J, Marcotti A, Vial P. Informe sobre aumento de casos de infección por Listeria monocytogenes en Santiago de Chile. Santiago de Chile: Unidad de Infectología de la Clínica Alemana. 16/06/2008. Access date 26/05/2013.
- Ministerio de Salud de Chile. Informe Listeriosis. 25/08/2009. Access date 26/05/2013.
- Trifonov, Vladimir; Khiabanian, Hossein; Rabadan, Raul (9 July 2009). "Geographic Dependence, Surveillance, and Origins of the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) Virus". New England Journal of Medicine 361 (2): 115–119. PMID 19474418. doi:10.1056/NEJMp0904572. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- Health crisis in Haiti enters a deadly new phase. Bajak F. Associated Press. 2010/02/09.
- Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 15/01/2010.
- Martin Mittelstaedt. Canada first to declare bisphenol A toxic. Globe and Mail (Canada). 13 October 2010.
- McCurry J. Japan's other health crisis. GlobalPost. 2011/03/27.
- "European Commission - Health and Consumers Directorate General - 2 June 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- Medical devices: European Commission asks for further scientific study and draws first lessons from the recent fraud on breast implants. European Commission - Press release. 02/02/2012.
- Información sobre las prótesis mamarias Poly Implant PIP. Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios. 02/03/2012.
- WHO Ebola Response Team. Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa — The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections. New England Journal of Medicine. 23/09/2014.
- Farrar JJ, Piot P. The Ebola Emergency — Immediate Action, Ongoing Strategy (editorial). NEJM. 23/09/2014.
- Health Alert Network (HAN). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Atlanta. 2011/08/29.
- Valencia R, Román E, García-León FJ, et al. Sistemas de alerta: una prioridad de la vigilancia epidemiológica. Gac Sanit. 2003;17:520–2.
- Fernández K, Ciotti M, Kaiser R. La Unión Europea ante las crisis sanitarias. Rev Adm Sanit. 2006; 4:425–35.
- Abouzhr C, Adjei S, Kanchanachitra C. From data to policy: good practices and cautionary tales. Lancet. 2007; 369:1039–46.
- Risk Communication. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Atlanta. 2011/08/29.
- Gérvas J, coordinador. El sistema sanitario ante situaciones de crisis. Madrid: FCS; 2008.
- Lamata F. Crisis sanitaria y respuesta política. Rev Adm Sanit. 2006; 4:401–6.
- Spiegel PB, Le P, Ververs MT, et al. Occurrence and overlap of natural disasters, complex emergencies and epidemics during the past decade(1995–2004). Conflict Health. 2007; 1:2.
- Wolf R. What does a health crisis look like? See Houston. USA Today. 2007/06/19.
- Gérvas J, Hernández-Aguado I, et al. Successes and failures in the management of public health crisis in Spain. Gac Sanit. 2009;23(1):67–71
- Weinstein RA. Planning for epidemics--the lessons of SARS. N Engl J Med. 2004; 350(23):2332-4.
- Krugman P, Wells R. The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It. The New York Review of Books. 2006/03/23.
- Gérvas J, Hernández I. El eterno retorno de las crisis sanitarias. El País. 22/05/2007.
- Bashir SA. Home Is Where the Harm Is: Inadequate Housing as a Public Health Crisis. American Journal of Public Health. 2002; 92(5):733-8.
- Gross J. The Next Public Health Crisis: Longevity. The New York Times. 2010/10/21.
- Navarro V. Spain is experiencing a Period of intense Social Crisis. Social Europe Journal. 12/11/2012.