The whole world is in the grip of COVID-19, and people are placing their hopes on a vaccine to eliminate it, the fact that most of the infections encountered by our ancestors are still with us. Let see some of the deadly pandemics which have struggled in the world and affected the different generations.
Bubonic Plague: A rare but serious bactarial infection that’s transmitted by fleas. The bubonic plague caused by the bacteria yersinia pestis. It can spread through contact with infected fleas. This pandemic was earliest recorded in 541 AD.
According to WHO’s academic research report, the plague has killed millions, and The plague of 1346-1353 is considered the deadliest outbreak of all. But few die today, the figure between 2010 to 2015 has reached 584.
It is believed the disease, which causes swollen and infected lymph nodes, called buboes, was finally brought under control by strict quarantining and improved sanitation, among other things.
Also read: COVID-19 is Airborne, says The CDC
In this concern, Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London, says “But none of this could have happened without an understanding of how transmission occurred, This is something that still applies today.”
Smallpox: Smallpox is caused by infection with the variola virus. The virus can be transmitted directly from person to person. Direct transmission of the virus requires fairly prolonged face to face contact. It was earliest recorded in 1520.
Smallpox killed at least 350 million – no-one dies today.
The smallpox vaccine was introduced by a British doctor Edward Jenner in 1796. the disease has been completely eliminated – although it took nearly two centuries to do so.
Prof Riley regards this feat as one of the greatest achievements of mankind – rivalling the Moon landings.
Cholera: A bacterial disease causing severe diarrhoea and dehydration, usually spread by contaminated food and or drinking water.
According to the research report of the WHO, Cholera has killed millions of people in seven pandemics, it majorly affected in 1817.
Cholera can be found in low-income countries, It has been erased in the west through improved hygiene and sanitation.
“You plumb your way out of cholera,” says Prof Riley. “If the plumbing goes wrong, it can spread very quickly.”
Influenza: A common viral infection that affects the lungs, nose and throat. People with chronic disease or weak immune systems are at high risk.
People have impacted through the various pandemic between 1800 to 2010.
Influenza, sometimes also referred to as spanish flu, its most deadly outbreak was impacted in 1918, killing 50-100 million people worldwide.
As per the reports of WHO, there are estimated 650000 people die every year because of seasonal flu strains which are distinct from pandemic flu.
Flu continues to pose “a pandemic threat”, says Prof Riley.
HIV/Aids: HIV causes AIDS and interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections. The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
HIV/AIDS takes too much length of time to show its symptoms and its high fatality rate, because it spreads fast and people don’t necessarily know they have it. Though it doesn’t have any vaccine or cure.
As per the research figures by WHO, an estimated 690000 people died of HIV/AIDs in 2019.
HIV could be regarded as an “worst case scenario virus”, says Prof Riley.
Sars and Mers: Sars coronavirus is a more easily contained virus and it was identified first in 2003. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) – the first hdeadly epidemic caused by a coronavirus – killed more than 800 between 2002 and 2003, according to te WHO.
A little later came Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers), also a coronavirus, which has killed 912 people. Most cases have occurred in the Arabian Peninsula.
COVID-19: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc in more than 200 countries of the world. According to the current updates more than 1.06 million people have died due to this deadly virus worldwide and more than 36.5 million people have been infected by it. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed hope that the coronavirus epidemic may end ‘within two years’.
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanos Ghebreyesus said on Friday that the epidemic could end within two years. However, for this, he stressed the need to unite with countries around the world and succeed in becoming a universal vaccine. In a press conference, the WHO chief hoped that the corona epidemic would not last longer than the ‘Spanish flu’ of 1918.
Dr. Ryan said that the movement of people has resumed in India, in which there is a danger of increasing infection. At the same time, WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said that the total number of corona cases in India is not very high according to the population of 130 crores, but it is important to keep an eye on the rate and pace of infection.