COVID-19 Pandemic is not the end of the World: A Global Perspective

AUTHORS

Faisal Muhammad ORCID 1 , 2 , *

1 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2 Department of Social Work, School of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, University of Information Technology and Sciences, Dhaka, Bangladesh

How to Cite: Muhammad F. COVID-19 Pandemic is not the end of the World: A Global Perspective, Jundishapur J Health Sci. Online ahead of Print ; 12(3):e104267. doi: 10.5812/jjhs.104267.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Jundishapur Journal of Health Sciences: 12 (3); e104267
Published Online: October 18, 2020
Article Type: Letter
Received: April 27, 2020
Accepted: October 6, 2020
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Dear Editor,

This is not the first time that the world experiences epidemics and pandemics. However, going back to history, nothing has killed more people than infectious diseases (Table 1). The COVID-19 pandemic shows how vulnerable we are, and we can learn how to avoid similar pandemics in the future (1). History reveals many pandemic and epidemic diseases around the globe, including Chikungunya, Cholera, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease, Influenza, Lassa fever, Meningitis, MERS-CoV, Nipah virus infection, Plague, SARS, Smallpox, Yellow fever, and Zika virus disease, among others (2).

Table 1. Top 20 Epidemics and Pandemics in the History
NameYearEstimated DeathsOriginType
Prehistoric epidemic3000 BCUnknownChinaEpidemic
Plague of Athens430 BC75,000-100,000GreeceEpidemic
Antonine Plague 165-180AD5 millionNear EastPan & Epi
Plague of Cyprian 250-271 AD5000Roman EmpirePandemic
Plague of Justinian 541-542 AD25-100 millionEastern EmpirePandemic
The Black Death 1346-135375-200 millionCentral/East AsiaPandemic
Cocoliztli Epidemics 1545-15485-15 millionMexicoEpidemic
American Plagues16th centuryUnknownAmerica/EuropePandemic
Great Plague of London1665-1666100,000LondonEpidemic
Great Plague of Marseille1720-1723100,000FranceEpidemic
Russian Plague1770-1772100,000RussiaEpidemic
Philadelphia Yellow Fever 17935000United StatesEpidemic
Flu Pandemic1889-18901 millionRussiaPandemic
American Polio 19166000United StatesEpidemic
Spanish FLU1918-192017-50 millionUnknownPandemic
Asian Flu1957-19581 millionChinaPandemic
HIV/AIDS 1981 to date35 millionUnited StatesPan & Epi
H1N1 Swine Flu 2009-2010151,700-575,400MexicoPandemic
West African Ebola 2014-201611,325Sudan/DR. CongoEpidemic
Zika Virus 2015-to dateUnknownUgandaEpidemic

History reveals the worst pandemics that have killed millions of human beings around the globe. The Spanish flu was an influenza pandemic that spread around the world between 1918 and 1919. The CDC estimates that about 500 million people (1/3 of the world's population) became infected with the virus, and about 50 million deaths occurred worldwide (3). The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history between 1347 and 1351 that killed an estimated 75 to 200 million people across Europe and Asia. The Black Death re-surfaced in London in 1665 for the Great Plague of London and killed 20.0% of London's population in just 1.5 years, with an estimated 100,000 deaths (3). The "Asian Flu" began in East Asia in 1957. The influenza virus of the H2N2 strain was first discovered in Singapore and killed about 1.1 million people worldwide (3). The Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968 originated in China. Caused by an influenza virus (H3N2), it was the third pandemic flu outbreak to occur in the 20th century and killed at least one million people globally. The "swine flu" occurred in 2009 with a novel influenza virus, H1N1. The virus was first detected in the US and spread quickly to the US and the world. Between 2009 and 2010, there were 60.8 million cases and at least 575,400 deaths worldwide. HIV/AIDS was first discovered in the early 1980s. AIDS was first detected in American gay communities and has killed about 32 million people worldwide since it was discovered (3).

In this modern era, the outbreaks (Pandemic, Sporadic, or Epidemic) are almost constant; however, not every outbreak reaches the pandemic level, as is in the case of COVID-19. It is normal to have the outbreak of infectious diseases everywhere as human beings have spread across the globe. Nowadays, it is easy to move from one part of the world to another within a short period, and this can help (directly or indirectly) in the easier transmission of infectious diseases across the world. Nevertheless, healthcare progress has helped in achieving possible measures to prevent, tackle, or give a quick response to an outbreak in any part of the world.

Footnotes

References

  • 1.

    Walsh B. Covid-19: The history of pandemics. 2020, [cited April 15,]. Available from: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200325-covid-19-the-history-of-pandemics.

  • 2.

    WHO. Disease Outbreaks. 2020, [cited April 15]. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/en/.

  • 3.

    Miguel K. Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions. 2020, [cited February 28]. Available from: https://abc7news.com/pandemic-epidemic-coronavirus-definition-what-is/5974174/.

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