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SARS, MERS, Spanish flu: how viral pandemics ended



Any pandemic and epidemic will ever end, and COVID-19 too. Just like the other coronavirus diseases and flu that terrified the world ended. For example, SARS, MERS or Spanish flu. There may be several factors due to which they ended, and they can be intertwined, writes

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A pandemic is an epidemic that spans more than one continent. In the history of mankind, there have been many pandemics, like epidemics. Their origin could be bacterial, as in the case of the medieval plague, or viral, as in the case of the coronavirus, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. There is something that could comfort us: pandemics and epidemics do not last forever.

COVID-19 is not the first serious coronavirus disease that appeared in the 2002st century. In 19, the SARS virus, a disease of the respiratory tract, appeared. Its origin is akin to the new coronavirus that we are fighting now. Like COVID-30, SARS apparently appeared in Asian bats, from which it was then transmitted to humans through some other animals. Affected countries, numbering more than 2003, introduced measures against the pandemic and halted the spread of SARS in 2012. After a year, this virus reappeared in a small number of cases, and since then this virus has not been heard. The same can be said about his "relative" - ​​coronavirus, which causes inflammation of the lungs and kidneys, called MERS. In 2015 - XNUMX, this virus “walked” in the Middle East and South Korea, but then again returned to its original carrier - camels, from which it was once transmitted to humans.

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Spanish flu: a sudden end

Coronaviruses are not the only viruses that appear “out of nowhere”, cause a lot of problems, and then disappear. The most telling example is the Spanish flu of 1918-1920. Perhaps this was the worst pandemic of all that a person has encountered since the time of the medieval plague. Despite its name, most likely this virus also came from Asia and was transmitted to humans from birds. The Spanish flu spread in three waves, killed tens of millions of people, and then, literally in a few days, disappeared. But why?

Stop the spread of viruses

There may be several factors that have ended epidemics and pandemics, and they may be intertwined. The first factor is anti-epidemiological measures. The virus needs a carrier, because without it it cannot reproduce. If we prevent the transmission of the virus from person to person, its spread will decrease and the epidemic will decline. Or a vaccine appears. The second factor is that even in the case of the most serious diseases, most of the population cope with them thanks to their immune system. Having been ill, people acquire immunity thanks to antibodies in the blood, which protect them from the next infection. Thus, the number of carriers of the virus is decreasing.

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Possible Plus - Virus Mutation

Finally, the third factor is changes in the virus itself, that is, mutations of its genes. Viral nucleic acids mutate perfectly. Theoretically, of course, it is likely that the mutation will lead to something even more terrible, but in practice this happens infrequently. On the contrary, over time, new strains of the virus appear all the less dangerous for their carriers. This is logical, since it is precisely those strains of the virus that do not kill their carrier that are more likely to spread further among people. So let's hold on. No matter how terrible the history of pandemics and epidemics may be, at their end the virus, as a rule, simply disappears. Or does not disappear, but causes only mild diseases and becomes one of the albeit unpleasant, but quite ordinary seasonal viruses.

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