“Better health is central to human happiness and well-being. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more.” says WHO. Health plays a major role in functioning of any living being on this planet. Without good health it is impossible to lead a happy life. Being healthy is being both physically, mentally and socially fit. Over the span of history, disease outbreaks have desolated mankind, from time to time changing the course of history and flagging the end to civilizations Scientists and researchers have for quite a long time have debated over the specific meaning of pandemic, however one thing everybody concedes to is that the word describes the widespread occurrence of disease in a particular region. Here is a list of the world’s worst pandemics that have completely changed the meaning of life.
1. Plague of Athens:
In 430 BCE, in the mid of the Peloponnesian War, a plague erupted in Athens. The illness spread to Greece and the eastern Mediterranean sweeping the population. The origin of the plague is in sub-Saharan Africa to south of Ethiopia. The Greek historian Thucydides recorded this outbreak in his epic work on the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta. According to various scholars, by its end, the epidemic killed 1/3 of the population (250,000-300,000) in the 5th century. The plague which struck Athens was the most deadly episode of illness in the era of Classical Greece history. Thucydides described the plague as,” Violent heats in the head; redness and inflammation of the eyes; throat and tongue quickly suffused with blood; breath became unnatural and fetid; sneezing and hoarseness; violent cough’ vomiting; retching; violent convulsions; the body externally not so hot to the touch, nor yet pale; a livid color inkling to red; breaking out in pustules and ulcers.” (2.49-2.50)
Thucydides wasn’t a doctor or knew anything about medicine. So he just described the symptoms but not the cause of the disease. Scientists are still debating what that disease actually was.
2. Antonine plague:
At the point when troopers came back to the Roman Empire from battling, they brought back more than the crown jewels of triumph: The Antonine Plague. This plague may have been smallpox or measles, devastated the military and may have executed more than 5 million individuals in the Roman realm. Many historians believe that this epidemic was first brought into the Roman Empire by troopers getting back after a war against Parthia. Victims were known to endure fever, chills, upset stomach and diarrhea that turned from red to dark through the span of seven days. It additionally created awful dark marks over the bodies leaving deforming scars.
3. Plague of Justinian:
During the reign of the emperor Justinian I one of the most exceedingly terrible plague occurred, killing a large number of individuals. The plague showed up in Constantinople in 542 CE, close a year after the ailment previously showed up in the external territories of the realm. The outbreak kept on clearing all through the Mediterranean world for an additional 225 years, finally disappearing in 750 CE. In view of DNA investigation of bones found in graves, the kind of plague that struck the Byzantine Empire during the rule of Justinian was bubonic, in spite of the fact that it was truly reasonable that the other two sorts of plague, pneumonic and septicemic, were also considered. Procopius depiction of the ailment more likely affirms the nearness of bubonic plague as the fundamental offender of the outbreak. He laid fault on the emperor saying Justinian was either a fallen angel or that he was being rebuffed by God for his evil ways.
4. Black death:
The Black Death was a worldwide pestilence of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia. The plague showed up in Europe in October 1347, when 12 boats from the Black Sea docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. Individuals accumulated on the docks were met with a frightening shock: Most mariners on board the boats were dead; those still alive were gravely sick and covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus. This plague spread through fleas on infected rodents. Since they did not understand the biology of the disease, many people believed that the Black Death was a kind of divine punishment—retribution for sins against God such as greed, blasphemy, heresy, fornication and worldliness.
5. Philadelphia Yellow fever:
Yellow fever, or American plague as it was known at that point, is a viral sickness that starts with fever and muscle torment. Internal bleeding in the digestive tract causes bloody vomit. Next, victims regularly become jaundiced as their liver and kidneys stop to work. Famous early American Cotton Mather described it as “turning yellow then vomiting and bleeding every way.” This virus is carried and transferred by mosquitoes.
In the pre-fall of 1793, victims from a yellow fever pestilence in the Caribbean fled to Philadelphia. Within weeks, individuals all through the city were encountering side effects. The cold front eliminated Philadelphia’s mosquito population and the death toll fell to 20 per day by October 26.
6. Spanish Flu:
The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, the deadliest ever, infected approximately 500 million individuals around the world. This flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before quickly spreading around the world. At that point, there were no successful medications or immunizations to treat this influenza strain. Residents were requested to wear masks, schools, theaters and organizations were closed and bodies accumulated in improvised mortuaries. The main rush of the 1918 pandemic happened in the spring and was mild. The sick, who experienced such typical flu symptoms as chills, fever and fatigue, usually recovered after several days, and the number of reported deaths was low. However, a second, profoundly infectious flood of flu showed up intensely in the fall of that equivalent year. Victims died within hours or days of developing symptoms, their skin turning blue and their lungs filling with fluid that caused them to suffocate. The flu increased the death toll, wiping out entire families and leaving countless widows and orphans.
Considering the situation of those times we can clearly see that they didn’t have any treatment for the diseases. Thus, they weren’t able to stop it from spreading. Millions and millions of people have lost their life because of the diseases that keep emerging each era. But now science is advancing. From detecting the first gravitational waves to picturing the black hole, science has made great triumph. It has shown what humans have been imagining for a long time. But what is stopping science to find the vaccine for the present COVID situation?
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