COVID-19 and the deadliest viruses in history

COVID viruses

COVID-19 has been proven to be the most deadly and contagious than most other viruses epidemics of the 20th and 21st centuries.

As per the World Health Organization COVID’s true toll is two to three times higher than official figures suggest. Though, some estimates show that the post-World War I Spanish Flu killed more than 50 million people in 1918-19.

Comparisons with other viruses:

Flu epidemics

  • WHO estimates that seasonal flu, even without hitting the headlines, accounts for between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths globally every year out of around five million serious cases
  • According to counts carried out in the 20th century, Asian flu in 1957-1958 and Hong Kong flu in 1968-1970, each of which killed around one million people. These cases of flu are said to be two major non-seasonal flu pandemics.
  • However, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919, the greatest catastrophe of modern pandemics to date, was also caused by a new virus.

Read more: Second Covid-19 wave may become deadlier with virus mutation

AIDS and hepatitis

  • AIDS is the most noxious contemporary epidemic. Since 1980 nearly 36.3 million people all over the world have died of the disease. It shakes the immune system and cannot be alleviated.
  • A number of vaccines are being made to cure this disease but all in vain. No fruitful vaccine has been found, but taking retroviral drugs regularly can powerfully stop the sickness in its paths and seriously reduce the risk of contagion.
  • Moreover the hepatitis B and C viruses also have a high death toll. They are mainly transmitted by blood, succeed in wiping out more than one million people yearly, most often in poor countries.

Covid-19 and tropical viruses

  • The causalities caused due to COVID-19 are much greater than that of the deadly haemorrhagic fever Ebola, which was first recognized in 1976.
  • Periodic Ebola outbreaks have killed some 15,300 people, in four decades, all in Africa.
  • Meanwhile WHO estimation shows the death rate caused due to dengue. Dengue is passed away by mosquitos, has been on the rise for the past two decades but kills only a few thousand people every year, 4,032 in 2015.

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