• While nations faint for its present trauma, COVID-19 is nothing compared to other pandemics of the family tree in history. Pandemic diseases are man’s long since companions throughout history.
• However said, disease outbreaks come in their numbers as the world ages by and human civilization surges on. It is nonetheless a fact that not all of them reaches a stage of being pandemic.
• As history may tell, this report outlines some of the world’s most deadly pandemics from the Antonine plague to COVID-19
The History of Pandemic Diseases
From Oxford dictionary:
/panˈdɛmɪk/ : (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world.
With the world’s rapid increase in population, disease outbreaks are unavoidable in our modern era. Despite improved health sciences and facilities. And as said earlier, not all of them are able to hit a pandemic stage as COVID-19
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Timelines of Historical Pandemics
Diseases and illness cut across the human civilization, an evident token of our mortal flaw. Urban civilization, widespread trading activities and platforms create opportunity for humans and animals alike to have interactions that speed up such epidemics. Influenza, smallpox, malaria and leprosy to mention a few first appeared in early years.
However, the more civilized we become – with exotic trading routes, larger municipal and metropolitan cities and increased contact with different human, animal and ecosystem populations, the more likely pandemics would evolve.
Below are some of the major pandemics that have occurred over time :
A close analogy of the trend of pandemics reveal an increase in healthcare with improved techniques that help mitigate the impact these diseases bring. This is because, there is a gradual reduction in the number of deaths recorded in history to date.
Tracking Disease Infectiousness
Over the years, scientists make use of a measure for tracking infectiousness. This is called ‘the reproduction number’ which is also known as ‘RO’ or ‘R naught’. This measure tells us the average number of people each sick person would infect.
Though the Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19) has a RO of 2.5 as of now, we cannot as much foretell its dread. Its RO is likely to change over time as researchers are still learning on this new form of Coronavirus.
HISTORY OF PANDEMICS: COVID-19 ON THE FAMILY TREE.
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