21st century epidemics seem less deadly than 20th century

The so-called ‘Spanish flu’ left about 50 million dead worldwide between 1918 and 1919, and is considered the deadliest in history in such a short period of time.


Before the new Covid-19 coronavirus, which has left more than 100,000 deaths in the world so far, the 21st century experienced other epidemics but less deadly than those of the previous century. The so-called ‘Spanish flu’ left about 50 million dead worldwide between 1918 and 1919, and is considered the deadliest in history in such a short period of time.
21st century epidemics seem less deadly than 20th century
Ugobleno News Update: - Before the new Covid-19 coronavirus, which has left more than 100,000 deaths in the world so far, the 21st century experienced other epidemics but less deadly than those of the previous century.

These are the main epidemics of the 21st century:

2013-2016 and 2018: Ebola in West Africa

The Ebola virus, first identified in 1976, caused a hemorrhagic epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between the end of 2013 and March 2016. It is a less contagious virus than others but with a very high mortality rate (50%).
Balance: 11,300 dead.
The virus reappeared in August 2018 in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 52 days without cases, the DRC had to declare on April 13, 2020 the end of the epidemic but there was another death and it will be necessary to wait at least 40 days to be sure that it ended.
Balance: at least 2,273 dead.

2009-2010: AH1N1 flu 

Balance: 18,500 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the medical journal The Lancet, there are many more, between 151,700 and 575,400.
The flu, first called the swine flu by the WHO, appeared in Mexico in March 2009. On June 11, it was declared a pandemic, but it was ultimately much less deadly than expected.
Several countries organized massive vaccination campaigns, but were subsequently criticized, like the WHO, for excessive mobilization, taking into account that seasonal flu kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people each year (WHO figures).

2002-2003: SARS

Balance: 774 dead.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) appeared in 2002 in southern China. It was transmitted from the bat to man through the civet, a wild mammal that is sold alive in Chinese markets.
SARS, which is highly contagious and causes sometimes fatal pneumonia, particularly affected Hong Kong (80% of cases) and 30 other countries, but with a limited number of victims and a death rate of 9.5%.

2003-2004: avian influenza

Balance: 400 deaths
First affected chicken farms in Hong Kong and then transmitted to humans but left a limited balance of victims.

These are the great epidemics of the 20th century:

From 1981 to the present: AIDS

Balance: 32 million deaths, according to UNAIDS.
In 2018, some 770,000 died from diseases related to HIV, which affects the immune system.
Today 24.5 million people have access to antiretroviral treatments for AIDS.

1968-1970: Hong Kong Flu

Balance: one million deaths (figure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC).
Between 1968 and 1970 this disease, which killed children, arose in Asia and reached United States and then Europe.
It is considered the first modern pandemic because it was transmitted thanks to rapid air transport.

1957-1958: Asian Flu

Balance: 1.1 million deaths (CDC figures).
The virus, which caused serious lung problems, appeared in China in February 1957 and after several months it spread to America and Europe. The main victims were older people.

1918-1919: Spanish Flu

Balance: Up to 50 million deaths (CDC figures).
This so-called ‘Spanish’ flu, active in 1918 and 1919, is considered the deadliest in history in such a short period.
It left five times more dead than the battles of the First World War. It was first detected in the United States and then spread to Europe and the world. Its death rate was more than 2.5%, according to the CDC.
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