Since 3000BC there have been records of epidemics (spread over limited areas) and pandemics (involving many countries). This is a summary of the 3 most deadly episodes since the early 1900s’. This information is just meant as historic background to the current Covid 19 pandemic. It is interesting to note that in many cases, vaccines were never developed but in each case, the disease spread eventually stopped likely due to a combination of deaths and development of immunities.
A reminder that this is not meant to downplay the seriousness of Covid 19. It is measnt as a historical perspective only. I hope that all of our precautions will prevent Covid 19 from reaching the numbers of these other deadly viruses.
1918 The Spanish Flu. The origin of this disease has not been agreed upon. It did NOT come from Spain. At the time of the outbreak, the world was plunged in World War I. The spread and lethalisty of the disease was a consequence of the cramped conditions, poor neutrition and poor health conditions of the soliders and civilians. Spain was a neutral country at the time and the Spanish press published early accounts of the disease.As a result, readers assumed the disease originated in Spain and the name stuck.
Global Infected: 500 Million (estimate)
Global deaths: 50 Million (estimated)
US Deaths: 675,000
Most effected age group: 20-40
Asian Flu 1957-1958
The earliest reports were about outbreaks in Singapre in Febrary and in Hong Kong in April 1957. It is unclear how many total people were infected.
Global deaths: 116 Million (estimate)
US deaths: 116,000
H1N1 – Swine Flu 2009-2010
This virus was believed to have originated in Mexico.
Global infected: 1.4 Billion
Global deaths: 284,000
US Deaths: 12,469 (80% younger than 65)
A reminder that as of 3/30/3030, Covid 19 statistics are:
Global infected: 771,985
Global deaths: 37,016
US deaths: 2,935