This outlines some of the most notable outbreaks in human history that are relevant for a better understanding of the rest of the material.
Keywords: Pandemic definition, History of pandemics, Plague, Spanish flu,Black death SARS, Ebola, Zika, Covic 19.
The word pandemic has been given different definition by different individuals – doctors, educationist, scientist, scholars and philosophers. But to a layman it is simply a disease that is globally spread. WHO defines it as an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people..
In today’s world, everyone has heard the word pandemic and can relate to it as a sickness that has ravaged a country or continent.
History shows us that the world has been faced with different types of pandemics which have claimed millions of lives since the existence of man. Pandemics like Anthenian plague of 430 B.C, which occurred during the Peloponnesian War, fought between city-states of Athens and Sparta. The Athenian plague originated in Ethiopia, and from there, it spread throughout Egypt and Greece.
Followed by the Justinian plague was a real plague pandemic (i.e., caused by Yersinia Pestis) that originated in mid-sixth century AD in Ethiopia, moving through Egypt, to Central Asian.
Followed by The Black Death Plague which was a global outbreak of bubonic plague that originated in China in 1334, it killed 150 million people worldwide.
Followed by The Spanish flu 1918- 1920 pandemic in the first decades of the twentieth century was the first true global pandemic and the first one that occurred in the setting of modern medicine.
Followed by H.I.V pandemic which started in the 1980s till date if not well managed it will lead to AIDS then death and it is mostly common among gay families.
Followed by SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which was the first outbreak in the twenty-first century that managed to get public attention, it also started in China.
Followed by the Swine flu or H1N1/09 Pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was a reprise of the Spanish flu pandemic from 1918, but with far less devastating consequences. It was suspected to be a re-assortment of bird, swine, and human flu viruses.
Followed by Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016 with fruit bats serving as a likely reservoir, this virus also took thousands of lives both in central and West Africa but at the end it was well managed and stopped.
Followed by Zika virus 2015- 2016. Zika virus was a little known, dormant virus found in rhesus monkeys in Uganda which also was well managed and stopped.
Corona virus was first recorded in Wuhan China in November 2019, but now spread throughout the world, has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and left over 4 million people infected around the globe till date. Many countries are finding it hard to manage the virus. The United States has the highest number of recorded fatality followed by India, Italy, Spain and Brazil. As at the time of writing this, many countries are struggling to find a vaccine for this deadly virus which is claiming thousands of lives every day but to no avail. This same virus has led to a global economic meltdown in the sense that people no longer go to school, work, and their businesses, even to travel. This deadly virus has infected over 20Million persons in 188 countries round the world.
In summary, as earlier defined a pandemic is a disease that is has ravaged a large group of people or a continent. Generations after generations have seen different types of pandemics e.g., Antonian plague, Spanish flu, H.I.V Ebola e.t.c that have befall them.