Top 7 Greatest Health Pandemics of All Time
(Originally Published March 4, 2019)
UPDATED: March 12, 2020
Good Day Friends!
Unless you’ve been totally off the grid for the past few weeks, it’s been impossible to miss all the news related to the Coronavirus. You may have heard that yesterday, The World Health Organization officially designated the coronavirus outbreak a Pandemic. But what is a “Pandemic”?
Pandemic is simply defined as “The worldwide spread of a NEW disease”. The word “New” in that definition is very important, because if it wasn’t there, every flu season we would be a Pandemic!
The World Health Organization doesn’t throw around “Pandemic” lightly though… the last time they classified an outbreak as a Pandemic was more than 10 years ago, in 2009, which was the H1N1 Swine Flu, and that disease is thought to have killed more than 12,000 people in the U.S. and possibly up to 200,000 people worldwide.
Now, don’t get us wrong, COVID-19 (the medical term for the virus) is scary, and we’re all for taking precautions and taking care of ourselves, but we’ve been seeing more than a little hysteria surrounding this particular situation and we feel a little perspective is in order.
To date, there have been more than 124,000 people in at least 114 countries infected with COVID-19, and around 4,600 have died. Sounds like a lot, right?
Well, the coronavirus was first isolated by scientists in Wuhan, China in early January 2020, so it’s been around for roughly 2-3 months.
In the United States, we’ve seen roughly 1,300 cases and 38 deaths. When we put it in perspective with other causes of death, it’s totally inconsequential here in the U.S.
In the same 3 months, more than 3,000 people have been murdered here in the Land of the free. At least 12,000 people have died from the normal Flu, and at least 150,000 people have died from heart disease.
This means that more people die every hour from heart disease here in the U.S. than have died from the COVID-19 outbreak to date.
And with the worldwide response to the spread of the virus kicking into gear over the past few weeks, the spread of the disease in the United States is expected to be mostly contained to small pockets, and likely will not spread widely.
There are some things we can all do to help contain the virus, which are:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Stay home when ill -Use tissues to cover coughs/sneezes, and then discard the tissue in the trash.
- Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects/surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
So, if we’re all careful and take the recommended precautions, we should hopefully avoid COVID-19 making the list of the Top 7 Pandemics of all time, which we’ve compiled for you below.
Now, to the “Top 7” list and we will see you down below and promise to cheer you up.
Top 7 Greatest Health Pandemics of All Time
1. Antonine Plague (165 AD) – The Antonine Plague of 165 to 180 AD, also referred to as the Plague of Galen (named after the Greek doctor to discover it), was an ancient pandemic, that was carried back to the Roman Empire by troops coming home from crusades in the East. Researchers have suspected it to have been either smallpox or measles, however the true reason is still unknown. The pandemic may have killed a Roman head, Lucius Verus, who kicked the bucket in 169 and was the co-official of Marcus Aurelius, whose family name, Antoninus, has progressed toward becoming related with the plague. The sickness broke out again nine years later, as indicated by the Roman history specialist Cassius Dio or Dio Cassius (155-235), causing up to 2,000 passing’s per day in Rome, one fourth of the individuals who were influenced, giving the illness a death rate of about 25%. The total number of deaths have been assessed at five million, and the disease killed as much as 33% of the population in a few regions and crushed the Roman army.
2. Plague of Justinian (541-542) – The Plague of Justinian (541–542 AD) was a pandemic that greatly affected the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, especially its capital Constantinople, the Sasanian Empire, and port cities around the entire Mediterranean Sea. One of the deadliest plagues in history, the devastating pandemic resulted in the deaths of an estimated 25–50 million people in two centuries of recurrence, equivalent to 13–26% of the world’s population at the time of the first outbreak. The plague’s social and cultural impact during the period of Justinian has been compared to that of the similar Black Death that devastated Europe 600 years after the last outbreak of Justinian plague.
3. The Black Death (1346-1353) – The Black Death is thought to have begun in the arid plains of Central Asia, where it went along the Silk Road, through Crimea by 1343. From there, it was probably transmitted by rodent and insects living in the dark. Rodents were regular passengers on merchant ships, spreading all through the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. The Black Death is suspected to have killed 30–60% of Europe’s complete population in all, the plague may have decreased the total population from an expected 450 million down to 350–375 million in the fourteenth century. It would take another 200 years for the population to recuperate.
4. Asian Flu (1918) – The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920; also known as Spanish flu) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. Infecting 500 million people around the world, including people on remote Pacific Islands and in the Arctic, resulting in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world’s population.) The large amount of deaths makes it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.
5. Tuberculosis – TB has been and remains a worldwide pandemic that claims a life every 25 seconds. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million people die every year from this disease. It is an infectious disease that attacks the respiratory system and other organs and destroys body tissue. It is usually transferred through the air by coughing or sneezing. It usually occurs in third world countries and is particularly destructive in areas of the world where HIV/AIDS is present, as it often causes fatalities in populations suffering from this autoimmune disease; which brings us to our next pandemic on the list…
6. HIV/AIDS – Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV; 20% did not realize that they were infected. Over the 10-year period from 1999 to 2008, it resulted in about 17,500 deaths per year. In the United Kingdom, there are a reported 90,000 cases and 450 deaths; in Australia, approximately 27,545 cases, and in Canada, 63,110 cases. A reconstruction of its history shows that the HIV pandemic was probably originated in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, around 1920. AIDS was first recognized in 1981 and by 2009 had caused nearly 30 million deaths.
7. Smallpox – The history of smallpox extends into about 10,000 BC. The earliest credible evidence of smallpox is found in the Egyptian mummies of people who died some 3000 years ago. Smallpox has had a major impact on world history, not least because indigenous populations of regions where smallpox was non-native, such as North and South America and Australia, were rapidly decimated and weakened by smallpox During the 18th century the disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Between 20%-60% of all those infected—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.
That was quite depressing and a little scary, and how is a pandemic with the word ‘DEATH’ in it not number one? There is nothing positive about any of these. All sarcasm aside, I think we all agree that we NEVER want to see anything like these Top 7, or any epidemic or Pandemic ever again. LEt’s hope the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be contained and controlled. Good health is our greatest asset of importance in life. Now CBD cannot cure or prevent everything, but it can assist in your daily living and contribute to a personal healthier and happier life.
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Here’s to Your Health!
Tim & Tom
(The Trust Brothers)