COVID-19: The Deadliest Pandemics From The Past You Should Know About
Here are some of the deadliest pandemics that have caused havoc in the history of mankind
Coronavirus has completely engulfed every continent except for Antarctica. The global death toll due to this pandemic has crossed 6,000 with over 173000 confirmed cases. Governments are taking stringent actions because unfortunately, the researchers across countries have yet to come up with a vaccine to combat the pandemic. Countries are going on lockdowns, people are advised to stay indoors and stock up on basic needs, cinemas are closing down, events are getting canceled, theme parks, night clubs are closing down out of fear of the deadly virus’s spread. (Check the full list of UAE's measures for coronavirus here.) But did you know it is not the first pandemic that has massively affected mankind?
Here are some of the pandemics that have caused havoc among mankind.
1. Spanish Flu:
The Spanish Flu was the deadliest pandemic in modern history that spread worldwide between 1918 and 1919, according to the Centres For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). It was caused by the H1N1 virus, with genes of avian origin, that killed at least 50 million people around the globe. The CDC reported that the high mortality rate in healthy people between the ages of 20 and 40 was a unique feature of the pandemic.
The pandemic lowered the average life expectancy in the U.S. by more than 12 years. The victims were reported to have severe lung damages, deadly pneumonia, and lung tissue inflammation. The Spanish flu killed hundreds of thousands of Americans died and body storage scarcity hit massive crises level.
2. The Asian Flu:
The 1957 Asian flu was the second major influenza pandemic to occur in the 20th century; it followed the influenza pandemic known as Spanish flu. Asian Flu was an outbreak of H2N2 avian influenza that originated in China in 1957, spread worldwide that same year during which an influenza vaccine was developed, lasted until 1958 and caused between one and four million deaths. The H2N2 strain was first discovered in Singapore before cases were reported in Hong Kong and, eventually, the U.S.
The rapid development of a vaccine within a year against the H2N2 virus and the availability of antibiotics to treat secondary infections limited the spread and mortality of the pandemic.
3. The Black Death:
Open almost any history textbook on western civilisation and it will claim that the Black Death, or plague, felled one-third of Europe’s population. The Black Death was a disturbing global pandemic that struck Asia and Europe in the mid-fourteenth century. The Bubonic Plague took the lives of nearly 75 to 200 million people since it outbreaks in 1346.
The Black Death is believed to have been the result of plague, an infectious fever caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The disease was likely transmitted from rodents to humans by the bite of infected fleas.
4. Swine Flu:
The swine flu began in 2009 with an influenza virus known as H1N1. The virus was first detected in the U.S. and spread quickly. Around 61 million cases were reported between April 2009 and April 2010, according to the CDC.
Worldwide more than 575,000 people died from the illness.
Coronavirus is not the first pandemic to occur in the world.
One of the most dangerous pandemics is still on the rise e.g. HIV/AIDs. First identified as a disease in 1981, people are still combating this pandemic. According to the Centre For Disease Control And Prevention(CDC), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has resulted in 65 million infected persons and 25 million deaths worldwide. WHO stated that more than 37 million people were suffering from HIV in 2018 and 7,70,000 were killed.
While coronavirus rules the chart of being the most infectious disease right now and literally claiming lives, yet it is not the first one. As humans have spread across the world, so have infectious diseases. Even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though not every outbreak reaches the pandemic level as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has.