How COVID-19 compares to Spanish flu, SARS and Ebola

How COVID-19 compares to Spanish flu, SARS and Ebola

PanARMENIAN.Net - Healthline has unveiled an article about how the novel coronavirus compares to other outbreaks in recent history, such as the 1918 influenza, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the H1N1 influenza in 2009, and Ebola.

Worldwide infections have grown to more than 87,000, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker, while cases inside China, stood at 80,860 as of Monday, March 16, according to the Chinese National Health Commission.

The Spanish flu epidemic of March 1918 was the deadliest flu season, infecting about one-third of the world’s population, i.e. 500 million people. Fever, nausea, aches, diarrhea were the key symptoms of the flu that spread through respiratory droplets, caused over 50 million deaths globally, and ended in summer 1919. No vaccines were available to treat the disease that affected otherwise healthy adults ages 20 to 40 and went away mostly due to deaths and higher immunity levels.

Seasonal flu, which strikes every year, claims between 291,000 to 646,000 lives globally. Key symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and there are many vaccine options available that provide immunity against multiple strains of influenza.

SARS is another type of coronavirus that came out of China and spread quickly through respiratory droplets. With fever, respiratory symptoms, cough and malaise identified as key symptoms, the infection affected 8,098 people across 29 countries and resulted in the death of 774.

A new type of flu — an H1N1 strain — arrived in 2009, and people panicked because the novel strain was spreading fast. Key symptoms included fever, chills, cough, body aches, with children accounting for the highest rates of affected populations. About 24% of global population were infected, and over 284,000 people died, before the end of pandemic in August 2010.

First detected in December 2013, Ebola was extremely deadly, killing up to 50 percent of those who got sick. But because it predominantly spread through bodily fluids like sweat and blood during the last stages of the disease, it wasn’t as contagious as COVID-19. With 28,652 cases across 10 countries and 11,325 deaths worldwide, the outbreak ended in March 2016, with no vaccine available so far.

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 began in December 2019 and still on going. Key symptoms are cough, fever, shortness of breath, and 80 percent of cases are mild. Most affected groups are adults over 65 with underlying health conditions; children seem to be spared and are experiencing milder symptoms. No treatment or vaccine is available for now.

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