Why were some pandemics controlled easily and others not?

A brief history of pandemics

The world in the past and present have come across many pandemics break out. That ended with the understanding of medical specialists and scientists. As they deal with how the pandemic will diagnose, managed, and stopped from spreading.

Diseases are also different kinds of pandemics from each other, as some viruses can cause more harmful effects on various people. COVID-19 causes severe symptoms in people over 65 and those with weak health conditions, while the 1918 influenza virus affected a young and healthy population.

The spread rate is an essential figure to note to understand if a virus can stop or not from spreading. The report confirms cases and explains why in-past some of the viruses were easy to control and why others weren’t.

Comparing various pandemics 

There is an estimate of 10 nonillion individual viruses on our planet. Viruses are present in every aspect of our natural world. These nonliving entities can only replicate with the help of a host. That’s one of the reasons why some viruses are strong and they transfer easily through the air this makes it hard to stop 

It is not easy to compare pandemics, as they all have their nature and occur in specific circumstances and have different nature of the environment in which the pandemic grows.

In the past, viruses were hard to spread like now because people had no easy excess, to travel to different parts of the world. If the virus existed in anyone. It will infect a minimum amount of people or species who then isolate till death. Just like the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic occurred at the time of world war 1, the travelling soldiers were somehow the cause of spreading it. It can be one of the parameters which were well observed during the recent pandemic of 2020 COVID-19

One of the reasons why some pandemics turn out to be easy to control is scientific understanding. The medical advancement from the previous pandemic helps to protect and stop pandemics. In some cases, it turns out to be effective if some natures of the pandemic virus are alike the last one.

Hygiene practices are also major practice to stop the spread of pandemics. However, it is not sure that the pandemics can be avoided entirely by such practices as it still exists in the environment.

The time taken to develop an effective vaccine can also be a reason to extend the life span of a pandemic.

The key parameters that make some pandemics easy and others hard to control are:

  • Social distancing was easy 
  • Using past methods that back then were effective 
  • Hygiene taking precautions was easy
  • Vaccines aren’t made fast 

The disease spread proved that if parameters aren’t executed the pandemic is hard to stop

The study is concerned with seven major pandemics that the world faced. If a pandemic outbreaks, it spreads fast within the city and then through it to the outer world, as seen in the SARS pandemic that broke out in 2003 and with another pandemic Ebola in Conakry, Monrovia, and Freetown from 2014 to 2016.

The different disease transmission data for seven major epidemics:

  • 1918 and 2009 influenza (H1N1): infected body surfaces, through respiratory droplets 
  • Avian influenza A (H5N1 and H7N9): spread by direct contact with an infected person or any dead poultry and birds or prolonged contact with infected beings
  • Bubonic plague: through flea bites
  • Ebola: transfers through contact with infected blood or body fluids
  • MERS-CoV: through respiratory droplets
  • SARS-CoV: through respiratory droplets
  • COVID-19: through respiratory droplets or any kind of bodily secretions.

The global case rates and case-fatality rates of the seven major epidemic ever:

  • 1918 influenza (H1N1): 50 million infected; CFR 2%-3%.
  • Avian influenza A (H5N1 and H7N9): H5N1 had 649 people infected; 60% CFR; and H7N9 had 571 infected cases; 37% CFR.
  • Ebola: over 30,000 people infected; and an average 50% CFR.
  • MERS-CoV: 2,502 infected cases; and 34% CFR.
  • SARS-CoV: 8,422 infected cases; and 15% CFR.
  • COVID-19: 35.5 million cases were recorded by October 05, 2020; and 1.04 million deaths by the month of October 05, 2020
A graph of COVID 19 pandemics
A graph of COVID 19 pandemic

The statistic predicts that when the parameters were made the pandemic easily was controlled but in recent days it is hard to follow some major things like social distancing, hygiene, and develop vaccines for such a huge population in a minimum amount of time.

The pandemic won’t stop from spreading unless precautions are taken but still using the past medical techniques might turn out to be sensitive whereas social distancing helps, and keeping hygiene in concern turns out to control till the discovery of a vaccine. Which completely immunes people from the pandemic to spread.

Read more Articles by Ahmed khan about the importance of reading. Hope the article helps you out, share and comment. Thank you

7 thoughts on “Why were some pandemics controlled easily and others not?”

  1. Good insights. This does clarify a lot of things about current pandemic. Keep increasing our knowledge through these insightful thoughts.

    Reply

Leave a Comment