Deadly mosquito-borne pandemic poses a greater threat to humankind than global war and could easily wipe out 10 MILLION
Bill Gates: At the top of the list of things I worry about, the risk of a very serious pandemic is quite substantial. If you say what could kill 10 million people – yes a war could, but a pandemic is probably even more likely to come and surprise us in that way.
In 1918, the flu pandemic killed 250,000 people in Britain and 65 million around the world – three times as many as World War I. If it was to hit today, it would have even more severe effects, considering how quickly it can spread between people.
The deadly flu virus attacked more than one-third of the world’s population, and within months had killed more than 65 million people – three times as many as the World War I – and did it more quickly than any other illness in recorded history.
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults.
To maintain morale, wartime censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States.
However, newspapers were free to report the epidemic’s effects in Spain, creating a false impression of Spain as being especially hard hit – and leading to the pandemic’s nickname Spanish flu.
The close quarters and massive troop movements of World War I hastened the pandemic and probably both increased transmission and augmented mutation, researchers believe.
The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10 per cent to 20 per cent of those who were infected died, with estimates of the total number of deaths ranging from 50 to 100 million people.
The next pandemic will happen – it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but a matter of when.
Read more at The Daily Mail: Deadly mosquito-borne pandemic poses a greater threat to humankind than global war and could easily wipe out 10 MILLION.