Connect with us

Interesting

COVID-19 VS. Other Outbreaks: Which is Deadlier?

Numbers are still ongoing for the latest coronavirus…

A A A
  • How deadly each outbreak is also depends on how one can catch it, how hygienic a person is, and how quick the cure or vaccine was produced
  • The Spanish Flu wiped out a third of the world’s population
  • Two of the outbreaks originated in China

The coronavirus outbreak is just the newest in a long list of outbreaks that have happened in the past decades. These include the 1918 influenza (which infected nearly a third of the world’s population before it died out), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and the Ebola virus.

Humanity managed to survive through all of them. How deadly these diseases were depended not just on the death rate, but also other circumstances, such as how one can catch it, how hygienic a person is, and how quick the cure or vaccine was produced.

To give you a clearer picture, here’s a comparison of COVID-19 against other outbreaks.

The 1918 Spanish Flu

It infected nearly a third of the world’s population, making it the deadliest flu epidemic there ever was. According to Dr. Mark Schleiss, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with the University of Minnesota, “The 1918 pandemic strain of influenza was new and novel for most people under the age of 40 or 50, but that’s where death rate really was high — that’s different than the usual flu.”

During that time, scientists had no idea that viruses are the cause of diseases. They also didn’t have antivirals or vaccines that prevent or treat the flu. Antibiotics for treating secondary infections was non-existent as well.

Add the living conditions then – soldiers were carrying the virus around all over the world and people had poor hygiene and lived in crowded conditions.

Primary symptoms: fever, aches, nausea, diarrhea
When it was first detected: March 1918
Number of cases worldwide: 500 million
Number of deaths worldwide: more than 50 million; 675,000 in the United States
How it was transmitted: respiratory droplets
Groups most affected: otherwise healthy adults ages 20 to 40
Available treatments: None
Available vaccines: None
When did it end: Summer 1919

Seasonal Flu

We eventually developed vaccines and antiviral medications to control the severity of the flu. Because people have experienced flu before, residual immunity was developed. In the case of COVID-19, people have no immunity from it and so far, it looks more fatal and contagious than the seasonal flu.

Primary symptoms: cough, sore throat, fever, fatigue
Number of cases worldwide: 9 percent of the population, or about 1 billion infections
Number of deaths worldwide: between 291,000 to 646,000
How it was transmitted: respiratory droplets
Groups most affected: people with compromised immune systems, older adults
Available treatments: antiviral medications (Rapivab, Xofluza, Tamiflu, Relenza,)
Available vaccines: Many

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

This is actually another type of coronavirus that originated from China. What worked in containing it was monitoring individuals in close contact with those who had it. According to Schleiss, SARS did not have “fitness to persist in the human population.” This is perhaps its biggest difference with COVID-19, which seems to spread easily and can thrive in the human body.

Primary symptoms: cough, fever, respiratory symptoms, malaise
When it was first detected: November 2002 in Guangdong province of China
Number of cases worldwide: 8,098 cases across 29 countries
Number of deaths worldwide: 774; 15 percent mortality rate
How it was transmitted: respiratory droplets, contaminated surfaces
Groups most affected: 55 percent higher death rate for patients 60 and older
Available treatments: none, although steroids and antiviral medications proved effective for some patients
Available vaccines: One was almost ready just as the pandemic was already ending
When did it end: July 2013

(H1N1) flu pandemic

It was a new type of flu back in 2009 and made people panic because there wasn’t a vaccine for it and the novel strain was spreading rapidly. Like the COVID-19, there was no immunity at the onset of the outbreak.

Primary symptoms: cough, fever, cough, chills, body aches
When it was first detected: January 2009 in Mexico
Number of cases worldwide: about 24 percent of global population
Number of deaths worldwide: over 284,000
How it was transmitted: respiratory droplets, contaminated surfaces
Groups most affected: children
Available treatments: antivirals (zanamivir and oseltamivir)
Available vaccines: vaccine became available December 2009
When did it end: August 2010

Ebola Virus

The extremely deadly Ebola killed up to 50 percent of people infected. Its severe symptoms made it possible for health officials to quickly identify people who have been in contact with the infected. Therefore, they were isolated more quickly.

Primary symptoms: cough, fever, weakness, body aches and pains, diarrhea, vomiting
When it was first detected: December 2013 in Guinea, first outbreak was in March 2014
Number of cases worldwide: 28,652 cases across 10 countries
Number of deaths worldwide: 11,325 deaths
How it was transmitted: bodily fluids and close contact
Groups most affected: children
Available treatments: none. patients were given oral rehydration and IV fluids for supportive care
Available vaccines: none
When did it end: March 2016

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

This latest coronavirus is predicted to less deadly than initially thought, in the sense that a lot of the infected only have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.

Since this is still an ongoing health crisis, Johnson said that “The death rate really is something we just have to take with a grain of salt until we have enough information.”

Primary symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath
When it was first detected: December 2019 in Wuhan, China
Number of cases worldwide: over 127,000, as of March 17, 2020
Number of deaths worldwide: over 4,700, as of March 17, 2020
How it was transmitted: respiratory droplets along with feces and other bodily secretions
Groups most affected: adults over 65 with underlying health conditions
Available treatments: none as of March 17, 2020. Patients are given pain relievers to alleviate symptoms, antibiotics for secondary bacterial pneumonia
Available vaccines: none as of March 17, 2020

Others

Qatar Bans Travellers from 14 Countries Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases

The Qatari government is assuring the public that they are “taking all preventive measures” to limit the virus’ spread.

  • In an attempt to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Qatar has closed its borders to passenger planes coming from 14 different countries.
  • The health ministry assured the public that they are taking "all necessary preventive measures" to limit the spread of the dreaded disease.
  • Schools and university classes have likewise been cancelled in the country from March 10 and onwards.

Continue Reading

Interesting

A Colossal Graveyard of Lovely Pink Seashells Exists in the Caribbean

A serene resting place for the tasty sea snails.

  • Fishermen toss the pink shells of the conch aside after harvesting the meat.
  • Conch is a popular seafood here and cooked as delicious deep-fried fritters.
  • The mass of dead shells in the water affect the behavior of the living conch.

Continue Reading

Interesting

Cadbury To Start Selling ‘Vegan Chocolate’ Soon

So… Cadbury Dairy-Free?

  • Mondelez International is currently testing a dairy-free version of their Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar.
  • The said product will be mainly targeting the vegan market.
  • No official launch dates or price have been announced, so far.

Continue Reading

Popular