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Dangerous Level Of COVID-19 Pandemic Compared To Other Diseases

Dangerous Level Of COVID-19 Pandemic Compared To Other Diseases

The current COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving rapidly, with the number of new infections constantly increasing every day. The question is when can we control epidemics?

Let’s take a look at some of the known diseases in history to make a judgment for the COVID-19 epidemic.

1. The Spanish flu epidemic in 1918

Dangerous Level Of COVID-19 Pandemic Compared To Other Diseases

The 1918 Spanish flu was the most dangerous seasonal flu epidemic we have ever known. The pandemic has infected one third of the world’s population and has killed 50 million.

  • Typical symptoms: Fever, nausea, aches and pains, diarrhea
  • First appearance: March 1918
  • Global cases: About 500 million
  • Global deaths: About 50 million
  • Path of infection: Via droplets inhaled
  • Affected people group: Adults aged 20-40 years
  • Treatment: No antibiotics and antiviral drugs
  • Vaccines: Not available
  • End of epidemic: In the summer of 1919, most were due to mortality and higher immunity in the population.

2. Seasonal flu

Dangerous Level Of COVID-19 Pandemic Compared To Other Diseases

Seasonal flu occurs every year and next year will not be the same as the previous year because the virus strains change so often it is difficult to predict.

Fortunately, we have vaccines and antiviral drugs to prevent and reduce the severity of the disease.

In addition, many people have immunity to seasonal flu because they have had antibodies in their blood from previous flu infections.

  • Typical symptoms: Fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue
  • Annual global cases: 9% of the population, about 1 billion, of which about 5 million are serious
  • Annual global deaths: From 291,000 to 646,000 (death rate of around 0.1%)
  • Path of infection: Through droplets of the respiratory tract, the average person infected 1.3 people
  • Affected people: Elderly people and people with weak immune systems
  • Treatment: Antiviral drugs (Tamiflu, Relenza, Rapivab, Xofluza) help reduce the duration and severity of the disease.
  • Vaccines: There are many vaccines

3. Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS) in 2002


SARS is caused by a strain of corona virus with symptoms of severe acute respiratory failure in patients.

It first appeared in China and quickly spread to 29 other countries. SARS is also a dangerous disease with high mortality.

  • Typical symptoms: Fever, cough, irritability, respiratory symptoms
  • First appearance: November 2002 in Guangdong, China
  • Global cases: 8098 people in 29 countries
  • Number of global deaths: 774 (9.5% mortality)
  • Path of infection: Via droplets of the respiratory tract and contaminated surface
  • Affected group: People over 60 years old have a 55% higher mortality
  • Treatment: There is no specific treatment, but some antiviral drugs and steroids can be used.
  • Vaccines: Vaccines are available
  • End of epidemic: July 2003

4. Pandemic H1N1 flu in 2009

H1N1 flu

The 2009 pandemic flu was caused by the H1N1 virus strain. Although the number of infected people is quite high, the mortality rate of the disease is low.

  • Typical symptoms: Fever, chills, cough, body aches
  • First appearance: January 2009 in Mexico
  • Global cases: 24% of the global population
  • Global deaths: More than 284,000 (0.2% mortality)
  • Path of infection: Via droplets of the respiratory tract and contaminated surface
  • Affected people: Children (47% of children from 5 to 19 years old, 11% of people over 65 have symptoms)
  • Treatment: Antiviral drugs (oseltamivir and zanamivir)
  • Vaccines: Vaccines are available
  • End of translation: August 2010

5. Ebola epidemic in 2013

Ebola epidemic

The Ebola pandemic is a high-risk pandemic with 50% of people dying of the disease, but the route of infection through blood and body fluids from patients in the terminal stage of the disease makes it possible for the spread of Ebola lower.

  • Typical symptoms: Fever, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, weak people
  • First appearance: December 2013 in Guinea
  • Global cases: 28,652 people in 10 countries
  • Number of global deaths: 11,325 people (death rate of about 50%)
  • Path of infection: Through body fluids (blood, sweat, stool) and through close contact
  • Affected people: 20% of cases are in children
  • Treatment: No treatment
  • Vaccines: No vaccines yet
  • End of translation: March 2016

6. COVID-19 Pandemic in 2019

Dangerous Level Of COVID-19 Compared To Other Diseases

The COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Wuhan in December 2019 and continues to this day.

The current situation of the epidemic indicates that the possibility of COVID-19’s spread and mortality rate is much higher than that of conventional seasonal flu.

  • Typical symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath; 80% of cases have mild manifestations
  • First appearance: December 2019 in Wuhan, China
  • The number of global infections to date: More than 1 million
  • Number of global deaths so far: More than 52,000 (mortality is around 3.4%, varies by region)
  • Path of infection: Through droplets of respiratory tract, faeces, body fluids, 2.2 persons were infected on average.
  • Affected people: People over 65 years old with background disease
  • Treatment: None, supportive measures, analgesic, antipyretic are used to improve disease symptoms, antibiotics are used to prevent superinfection.
  • Vaccines: There is currently no vaccine

7. When will the COVID-19 epidemic end?

In the opinion of experts, an epidemic will end when population immunity is enhanced (basically when a majority of the population is cured and immune to the virus), along with the development of effective vaccines.

Therefore developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is really necessary at this time. Currently some vaccines have been tested in animals and are about to be tested in humans. Scientists hope that the vaccine for COVID-19 will soon be produced before the disease ends.

Until then, we need to take actions such as social isolation to reduce the number of people infected. COVID-19 pandemic is not the first or last deadly disease we encounter, so it is necessary to stay calm to deal with the epidemic and to follow the instructions of the local health authorities.

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