Recent statistical research has shown that major epidemics are more frequent than expected. Scientists have found that the probability of a pandemic with an impact level similar to COVID-19 is about 2 percent. every year.
Each of us has 38 percent. Chances of experiencing a major pandemic at least once in their lifetime, and these chances increase over time.
“The bottom line is that major epidemics like COVID-19 and the Spanish flu are relatively likely,” said William Ban of Duke University.
The team looked at historical records of the epidemic from 1600 to the present. Scientists have found 476 documented epidemics, about half of which have a known number of victims. About 145 resulted in fewer than 10,000 deaths, while 114 others are known to exist, but we do not know the number of casualties. Importantly, currently active infectious diseases were excluded from the analysis – no COVID-19, HIV or malaria.
Detailed modeling with a generalized Pareto distribution was used, and it was found that the annual number of epidemics is highly variable and that severe epidemics, such as Hispanic from 1918-1920, were about 0.3-1.9% likely to occur. every year for the past 400 years.
Over the past 50 years, we have observed a high level of new pathogens circulating in humans. SARS-CoV-2 is the most obvious example, but even in the last few decades we’ve had swine flu, bird flu, Ebola, and many more.
Combined with recent estimates of increased rates of disease emergence from animal reservoirs related to environmental change, our finding suggests a high probability of seeing a COVID-19-like pandemic, which could double in the coming decades, William Bann added.
Even as humanity begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember that another serious pandemic may be right around the corner.
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