We humans are enjoying every bit of this Planet Earth. Every passing day we are achieving something new in field of technology, Space, Medicine , robotics and what not. Sometime we feel like GOD but some unforeseen events dismisses our this myth time to time. Sometimes our technological and medical advancement becomes to small to handle these kinds of disasters and one of such we are living now in form of Pandemic Corona. It is not something that we have come across such disease first time but these kind of things make us ponder over our achievements and its usage to save human life.
What do we call a Pandemic ?
Before we move further to know few more such events and how they changed human history , we shall know what a pandemic is ?
When a disease or situation grows out of proportion but remains limited to a particular areas, is called Epidemic but when this epidemic disease spread across wide geographical area or countries or whole world , it is called a Pandemic.
Famous pandemics which challenged human existence
Above mentioned list is just to mention the different type of pandemics which effected human race in worst possible way. there been more than a few dozen incidents of such outbreaks which costs so many human lives.
1. The Black Death of Europe (1347 – 1353)
Europe always been the playground of plague disease. The Black Death commonly known as Bubonic Plague
traveled from Asia region to Europe by most probably by Chinese silk route . Some estimates suggest that it wiped out over half of Europe’s population.
The cause of this disease was bacterium Yersinia pestis that is likely extinct today and was spread by fleas on infected rodents.
Plague spreads in three forms. In the first people suffer an infection of the lungs, which leads to breathing difficulties. Whoever has this corruption or contamination to any extent cannot escape but will die within two days. In second from boils erupt under the armpits and the third form in which people of both sexes are attacked in the groin.
Black death is not the only plague which affected Europe and Asia, there been several incident and one of the most famous among them is London’s plague in 16th century. which killed around 100,000 people in great Britain.
2. Spanish Flu (1918 – 1920)
Spanish flu is commonly called 1918 Flu pandemic. It lasted for almost 3 years and infected 500 Million people across world , which is roughly quarter of that times world Population and killed almost 100 million people across the world.
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in between, but the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults.
Spanish flu mostly affect Europe ,USA, Japan, Brazil, Iran, New Zealand, Ghana and Ethiopia. China was the least affect with this pandemic at that time
3. Asian Flu (1957 – 1958)
This is another type of flu which en-gripped Asian region at start and spread across world in 2 years. Origin of this flu was china and claimed more than a million lives.
Cure:- Influenza virus is treatable but the virus variation is too much so the exact diagnosis is the key to successful treatment
4. AIDS ( 1981 – till present )
Most known pandemic to humans is the AIDS and it is still challenging our medical proves. It started in 1981 with 5 pcases in USA. HIV is believed to have originated in non-human primates(Chimpanzee and Monkey) in West-central Africa and were transferred to humans in the early 20th century.
AIDS is cause by Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus.
Between the time that AIDS was identified (in the early 1980s) till present caused an estimated 35 million deaths worldwide.
Cure :- There is currently no cure, nor an effective HIV vaccine. Treatment consists of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) which slows progression of the disease.
5. H1N1 Swine Flu (2009 – 2010)
SwineFlu or influenza is an infectious disease caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs (Swine) and because of its origin it is called Swine flu
Swine flu was also detected in USA just like the AIDS, subsequent cases of swine flu was detected in India in 2015 which caused around 1841 deaths till 2015.
USA, Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Maldives and the north Ireland are the most affected countries by Swine flu which killed estimated half a million people across the Globe over a period of time since its origin in 2009.
Cure:- Vaccines are available to cure Swine flu, a single doze of vaccine creates enough antibodies to protect against the virus within 10 days. This virus doesn’t show any fatal effect on pigs.
6. Ebola (1976 – till present)
EVD or Ebola virus disease , formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare but severe, often fatal illness in humans. Ebola virus affect all primates including Humans. This disease has a high risk of death with almost 50 % mortality rate among infected.
The disease was traced back in 1976, in two simultaneous outbreaks: one in South Sudan and the other in Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River from which the disease takes its name. so far WHO has reported 24 outbreaks of Ebola. the largest outbreak occurred in 2013 in West Africa which claimed 11323 death and since then it outbreak in interval in African region. Mostly this disease is limited to Africa continent,, only few cases of it being detected worldwide.
Cure:- So far there is no sure shot vaccination against Ebola but last year in 2019 scientist breakthrough a 90 % effective vaccine but since then it didn’t happened as a major outbreak. Only time will tell the effectiveness if this vaccine
7. Corona Virus COVID-19 (Present )
In 21st Century of Human Evolution, corona virus has created most fear worldwide. The exact origin of this virus infection is considered as WUHAN, China . It has spread in more than 90 countries within a short span of 2 months. So far 316059 cases has been detected with Corona Virus Infections and killed around 13,560 people across globe mostly in China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Spain and France.
Governments across the globe has locked down counties to stop the contamination . India despite being a huge population is managing corona virus spread effectively throug various initiatives. PM Narendra Modi has anounced such a Major Event named Janta Curfew to break the chain of it’s spread by staying indoor for 14 hours straight in entire India.
Despite being most infected country China managed to recover most of infected people with considerably limited fatalities which seems unbelievable and seems like it is hiding something from the world. Check the list of countries with highest fatalities
Cure:- At present prevention is the cure , So Far there is no vaccine available to cure Corona , many trails are underway and scientist hoping that in coming 3-4 months we will have an effective vaccine against COVID-19
Individual contribution in Pandemic Control
In all these diseases FLU is the most common and been most deadliest in all but it seems that Corona is catching up.
Human existence has been always challenged by many such diseases but so far we have managed to survive all the odds but we never know when we run out of chances. Experience of many centuries survival doesn’t seems to help us in any way when it comes to pandemic diseases. Only cure we have at the moment is awareness and crushing the spread of such outbreaks at its origin.
We shall always follow guidelines of World Health Organization and local administration to curb the infections so it doesn’t become a behemoth.
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