Covid-19 and the Pandemics of the Past: A Comparison

Outbreak of deadly pandemics has been one of the most prominent highlights of the past. Many evolved as a curse to humanity leaving behind tears to shed over the losses as a result of the deadly Pandemics of the Past. Each and every pandemic is different in terms of mortality rate, vaccination period, and its impact on the human world.

The year 2019 witnessed beginning of another outbreak named as COVID-19, and soon after its existence got the acknowledgement by WHO, a chaos was observed.

A whole questionnaire surrounded the existence of COVID-19. Researchers, scientists, and medical professionals all over the world started gathering relevant information related to the virus. With each passing day, the number of cases grew and comparisons of COVID-19 with other viruses also rang in, wondering how deadly COVID-19 is as compared to other pandemics.

First one to top the list of deadly viruses was influenza which occurred in 1918, and infected nearly a third of world’s population before it was buried down. Coronavirus was compared with influenza due to similar pattern of symptoms.

When we study Pandemics of the Past, we find that Influenza is no doubt the deadliest of pandemic ever known in the history.

Then comes the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that too made its way to the world from China. It was a virus deadlier than COVID-19 spreading through respiratory droplets with a death rate higher than COVID-19.

Seasonal Flu can be considered as another type of an outbreak which caused severe health symptoms but it came in seasons which made it less contagious. People became immune to seasonal flu because they had experienced it before.

With no immunity and zero knowledge about the vaccine, H1N1 FLU broke in and caused 12,000 fatalities in the US. Then came EBOLA, extremely dangerous virus which killed up to 50 percent of those who caught the virus but its spread was not as easy as it is in coronavirus which made it less contagious.

Following comparisons bring the conclusion that that COVID-19 may appear more contagious that seasonal flu but it is definitely evolving as less deadly when it comes to the other previous outbreaks of pandemics such as EBOLA and influenza.

The fact that many people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic due to a strong immune system supports the conclusion that COVID-19 is evolving as less contagious.

This brings hope that the unbelievable circumstances brought by COVID-19 will soon be ended and the world will be back to its normal self. It is now interesting to see if human life will adjust with the novel coronavirus anytime soon.

Related Research Work:

Petersen E, Koopmans M, Go U, Hamer DH, Petrosillo N, Castelli F, Storgaard M, Al Khalili S, Simonsen L. Comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemics. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Sep;20(9):e238-e244. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30484-9. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32628905

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