13 Lesser-Known Pandemic Facts

13 Lesser-Known Pandemic Facts - General Knowledge - News

13 Lesser-Known Pandemic Facts

Pandemic Facts That Have Historically Affected Humankind

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first of its kind. Throughout history, various viral diseases have caused widespread panic and loss of life.

1918-1919 Spanish Flu

  • Caused by: H1N1 influenza A virus
  • First detected in: March 1918, Kansas, United States
  • Global impact: About 500 million people were infected worldwide, with 100 million possibly succumbing

H1N1 Pandemic (2009-2010)

  • Formerly known as: Swine flu
  • Similarities to Spanish Flu (1918-1919): The same type of virus caused the pandemic, leading to widespread fear and lockdowns
  • Countries affected: Mexico and the United States were initially hard hit, followed by a global spread

Black Death Pandemic (1346-1353)

  • Deadliest pandemic in history: More than 50 million people succumbed to the Bubonic plague
  • Worst-hit region: Europe, with England and France calling truces to their wars due to the severity of the outbreak
  • Symptoms: Black tissue in lymph nodes due to gangrene, which explains the pandemic’s name “Black Death”

1918 Spanish Flu

  • Notable survivors: Walt Disney, Mary Pickford, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Haile Selassie I, and Edward Munch
  • No reported deaths in American Samoa: The Governor of American Samoa, John Martin Poyer, ordered quarantine due to the massive and deadly nature of the disease

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1)

  • Pandemic that hit the world between 2002 and 2004: Caused by the SARS-CoV-1 virus, resulting in about 9% patient mortality
  • Heroic efforts of an Italian microbiologist: Carlo Urbani was the first to discover SARS-CoV-1 in Vietnam and reported it to the World Health Organization, but tragically succumbed to the disease as well

Black Death Pandemic and Jewish Communities

  • Very few deaths related to the disease among Jewish communities: Experts attribute this to the impeccable hygienic practices observed by Jews
  • Christian communities interpreted differently: They believed the pandemic was a result of a Jewish conspiracy, leading to anti-Semitic violence in Europe

Encephalitis Lethargica Pandemic (1915-1926)

  • Known as: Encephalitis lethargica
  • Directly caused the death of more than 500,000 people worldwide: Attacked the brain and left patients in a statue-like condition
  • Causes: The causative agent has never been discovered

Bubonic Plague Pandemic (14th Century)

  • Identified as: Y. pestis, the bacterium causing the disease
  • Pandemic recurred for 30 consecutive years: Bubonic plague killed over 15 million people
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