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Top 10 Pandemics That We Have Survived. - Health - Nairaland

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Top 10 Pandemics That We Have Survived. by Matheusmartin: 3:04pm On Oct 19, 2021

Accounts of the first known case of the HIV virus differ with some claiming it to have been in Norway in the late 60’s, and others saying the first known case was from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976. Most scientists believe it was developed from a Chimpanzee virus that transferred to humans in West Africa in the 1920’s but the first case of the virus in the United States was reported in 1981.Without understanding of what the virus was or how it was spread fear began to grow as it quickly became a global crisis claiming the lives of over 36 million people since its discovery.There was no cure, and for years there was no real way to treat it, but in the 1990s new drugs and procedures were discovered and eventually ways of controlling the virus came into effect.

Today there are approximately 35 million people living with HIV, with over 60% of those being in Sub-Saharan Africa. People have learned to manage it, and, with regular treatment, most are able to live normal, productive lives. In early 2020 it was reported that through state-of-the-art stem cell replacement programs two people have been cured, both considered in “long term” remission and showing no active signs of the virus. Unfortunately, global pandemics have been a part of life throughout history, but we have seen that man has overcome and will do so again . . . with dedication, compassion, and intelligence we are not only able to survive but thrive as well.
Re: Top 10 Pandemics That We Have Survived. by Matheusmartin: 3:04pm On Oct 19, 2021

There were 7 cholera pandemics in total and this was considered the worst. Lasting for 8 years this outbreak, similar to the first and second outbreaks, was believed to have originated in India then spreading to Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

In London, the disease was eventually tracked, thanks to British Physician Johnathan Snow, to a contaminated water source in 1854, the same year the pandemic reached its apex in Great Britain bringing about the deaths of 23,000 people. Snow began mapping the reported cases and noticed a cluster of them centering around a water pump located in a single neighborhood. It is said that this revelation was the turning point that eventually helped get the spread under control.
Before its end the Cholera Pandemic of 1852 took the lives of over a million people.


Much like the aforementioned third pandemic, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also thought to have found its roots in India where over 800,000 people died, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe.

Having learned from the past American health authorities got a jump on the outbreak. They moved fast, locating and isolating the infected to help prevent the spread. Only 11 recorded deaths took place in the United States and the overall death toll was low in comparison to previous outbreaks.

As facts on the spread of Cholera became more understood the threat of this deadly bacteria was largely reduced in the early 1920’s, although many parts of India are still effected by it today.
Re: Top 10 Pandemics That We Have Survived. by Matheusmartin: 3:05pm On Oct 19, 2021

Unlike the current Chinese coronavirus which we now know originated in China, contrary to the name it is not believed the Spanish Flu strain of influenza began in Spain. At the time the virus was making its way across the globe, Spain was considered a neutral nation and thus had no censorship of the press. With no real restrictions stories of the outbreak were published in earnest, and, since Spain was the one talking about the disease, they were falsely believed to be the origin of it.

When the pandemic began World War I was still in effect enhancing the effects of the spread on soldiers who were often in tight conditions and suffering from malnutrition. It is estimated that over 500 million people were infected, and the mortality rate was upwards of 10-20% causing nearly 25 million deaths within the first 6 months. The odd thing was that, unlike other strains of influenza, the Spanish Flu didn’t seem to just target the young and elderly, but also healthy young adults.

When it finally came to an end in 1920 this one had made its way over a third of the globe and had taken the lives of nearly 50 million people.
Re: Top 10 Pandemics That We Have Survived. by Matheusmartin: 3:05pm On Oct 19, 2021

One of the most famous plagues in history, The Black Death, ripped its way through Africa, Asia and Europe between 1346 and 1353. This run of the Bubonic Plague devastated the European landscape wiping out an estimated 50% of the population.

Spread by fleas it travelled across continents via rats that stowed away on merchant ships. The estimated death toll was between 80 to 200 million with bodied being burned or placed in mass graves.

With so many dead, it grew more difficult to find skilled labor. If there was an upside to the massive death toll it is that the demand for workers brought about better pay. It also lead to higher quality in food production and is been credited in contributing to advancements in technology.

Today it is believed that this particular strain has died off, no longer posing a threat to the population.
Re: Top 10 Pandemics That We Have Survived. by Matheusmartin: 3:28pm On Oct 19, 2021

Called the first known pandemic by some, the Plague Of Justinian, named after the Roman emperor in Constantinople, Justinian I , it was believed to have killed nearly half the population of Europe.

The virus was the first recorded outbreak of the bubonic plague and, over an 8 year span, it wreaked havoc across Roman Egypt, the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Europe.

At its height it is estimated this plague killed nearly 5,000 people a day in the city of Constantinople. The virus continued to eb and flow in waves over the next decade and it is estimated that 25 to 100 million lives were lost before it was all over, although some argue those numbers are likely high. Still, the impact was felt across the Roman Empire countryside. Its social impact was also wide reaching as the effects on farmers lead to a demand in grain and an increase in prices. It also weakened the Byzantine Empire at what would have been a critical point, as Justinian’s armies were set to retake the western Mediterranean cost and all of Italy in an attempt to reunify the Eastern Roman Empire to the Western Roman Empire.


When Roman soldiers returned home from Mesopotamia and the war with Parthia, they brought back more than just the spoils, they brought back a plague that killed nearly 5 million people before it had run its course.

Believed to be Smallpox or Measles this one ravaged the Roman army before moving on to parts of Egypt, Greece, Italy and Asia Minor. With their army laid waste the land was wide open to other attacks. Civil unrest grew and barbarians began invading. This outbreak is thought to have directly contributed to the fall of the Pax Romana era, a period when Rome was at the height of its power.

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