- 10 most deadly epidemics over the centuries have reshaped the world
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10 most deadly epidemics over the centuries have reshaped the world


The Washington Post has published an interactive article on epidemics and other pandemics that hit the world and caused hundreds of millions of deaths around the world over time. The American newspaper monitored 19 epidemics that the world has suffered through centuries, the last of which was the outbreak of the Corona virus emerging (Covid 19).

The author of the article started his interactive article by saying that the new Corona virus took only a few months to sweep the world, so it is impossible to guess how many people will die and how societies will change because of it.

History tells us that past epidemics have completely reshaped the world after killing hundreds of millions of people, causing empires to collapse, crack governments and exterminate entire generations.

The author counted 19 pandemics and pandemics, the Antonine plague, the third pandemic, the New World pox, the SARS virus, the swine flu pandemic, the 1918 flu, the Black Death Plague, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Ebola virus, the Russian flu, the Justinian plague, the Asian flu, and the plague Italian, yellow fever, symptoms of AIDS, Hong Kong flu, the Great Plague of London, cholera, and finally Covid-19.

However, the newspaper focused in its interactive article on ten of these epidemics, as follows:

1- The Antonine Plague: In the year 180-165 BC,
many historians attributed the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire to the Antonine plague, which spread in Rome during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the fifth emperor of the Antonine Nerfian dynasty.

No one knows for sure the cause of this plague, but the symptoms observed by a doctor called Gallen - painful skin sores, high body temperatures, diarrhea and sore throat - strongly suggest that it was the result of measles and smallpox.

2- Plague of Justinian: 542-541 BC.
It is believed that this epidemic is the first of its kind in the series of blood or hemorrhagic plagues in the world, and its name derives from the name of the Byzantine Emperor who spread during this period of this disease from infected fleas and transferred rodents around the world.

3- The Black Death: in the year 1347-1352,
describing the monthly monthly magazine Today - published in London - describing this pandemic as the greatest disaster ever. The number of people who have died from their puppies has reached an amazing number, which is approximately two hundred million people.

Journalist Michael Rosenwald, the author of the interactive article, says the speed of the epidemic is still baffling historians and epidemiologists alike. The bubonic plague was the cause of the outbreak, just as it was with the plague of Justinian.

4- Smallpox New World: In the year 1520,
when explorers set foot in the lands of the New World (a term given to the North and South American continents) they carried with them anything other than horseradish (turnip) and grapes. They also brought with them smallpox, measles, and other viruses for which the inhabitants of those areas had no immunity.
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According to the estimates of the American Journal of Economic Perspectives (Journal of Economic Perspective), these epidemics perished between 80-95% of Native Americans in the 100-150 years that followed in 1492.

5- The Great Plague of London: In 1665
again, the pandemic is blamed on the harmful mice and fleas that found its way through the streets of London and where waste and waste accumulated, especially in the poor neighborhoods of it, according to the English National Archives.

6- Cholera epidemic: In the year 1817-1923, a
few communities survived from this highly contagious bacterium, which was transmitted through fecal contaminated water and caused severe diarrhea and vomiting. This epidemic broke out in London in 1854.

7- Yellow fever: late 19th century
viral disease endemic in South America and sub-Saharan Africa. The infection is transmitted through the female mosquito, and this name has been given because it often turns the skins of the infected ones to yellow.

In 1793, the epidemic broke out in the city of Philadelphia, which was then the capital of the United States. It has claimed the lives of nearly 10% of the population.

The cause of the infection was not known until 1900, when US military scientists identified mosquitoes as a vector.
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8- Flu 1918: In the year 1918-1920
there is a degree of similarity between Covid 19 and influenza 1918, which is sometimes called the Spanish flu, since its source was in the State of Spain. However, the author of the interactive material is the reason for this nomination because Spain was the only country that was honest about the outcome of the victims of that pandemic that spread during the First World War.

And that flu spread in two first waves, starting in 1918 before ending in 1920. About five hundred million people were affected by the epidemic, and fifty million of them died around the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a leading US national public health institution.

9- Asian Flu: 1957-1958 The
first person to draw attention to this flu was Dr. Maurice Helleman, who was later considered the spiritual father of vaccines. He was working for the Walter Reed Military Research Foundation in 1957 when the New York Times published an article about a serious flu pandemic in Hong Kong, in which she referred to the presence of children in a medical clinic whose eyes seemed free from any expression or life, a metaphor for death.

According to the Smithsonian magazine, something in the eyes of these children alerted him to something, "and his intuition then told him that these deaths are a new influenza pandemic."

Helliman then requested that samples of the virus be sent to drug manufacturers in the United States quickly so that she could produce a pandemic vaccine. Although seventy thousand people died in the country, some indicated that the death toll there could have reached one million had it not been for the vaccine that Hillman had advised to manufacture.

10- Swine flu: 2009
Before the outbreak of the new Corona virus (Covid 19), swine flu was the latest epidemic to hit the world, affecting 21% of the global population. Swine flu is a mixture of many different flu strains that have never been seen together. Most of the people affected by this epidemic are children and young adults, says Michael..
Source: The Washington Post
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