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Emerging Pandemic Diseases: How We Got to COVID-19
Infectious diseases prevalent in humans and animals are caused by pathogens that once emerged from other animal hosts. In addition to these established infections, new infectious diseases periodically emerge. In extreme cases they may cause pandemics such as COVID-19; in other cases, dead-end infections or smaller epidemics result. Established diseases may also re-emerge, for example by extending geographically or by becoming more transmissible or more pathogenic. Disease emergence reflects dynamic balances and imbalances, within complex globally distributed ecosystems comprising humans, animals, pathogens, and the environment. Understanding these variables is a necessary step in controlling future devastating disease emergences.
I was interested that there are only 4 COV SARS viruses.
I also like the glossary:
“Terms Related to Emerging Infectious Diseases
Antigenic immunodominance: Ability of a protein epitope to elicit an immune response greater than the response to one or more adjacent epitopes
Cell tropism: Ability of a pathogen to infect a particular cell type
Endemic: Noun and adjective denoting prevalence of human infection
Enzootic: Noun and adjective denoting prevalence of animal infection
Epidemic, Pandemic: Noun and adjective denoting highly incident disease (epidemic) or spread that is global or covers very large geographic areas (pandemic)
Epizootic, Panzootic: Noun and adjective analogous to epidemic and pandemic, but with respect to animal diseases
Fomite: An inanimate object that transmits infection, e.g., a towel or doorknob
Host-Switching, Spillover: Process by which a pathogen adapted to one host species becomes adapted to another host species
Disease emergence: Appearance of a disease in a new host
Zoonosis: A human infection caused by an animal pathogen that may be either a dead-end infection or that may initiate person-to-person spread”
Look at the history!
Table 1 Emerging Infectious Diseases in History
|430 BCE||“Plague of Athens”||∼100,000||First identified trans-regional pandemic|
|541||Justinian plague ( Yersinia pestis)||30–50 million||Pandemic; killed half of world population|
|1340s||“Black Death” ( Yersinia pestis)||∼50 million||Pandemic; killed at least a quarter of world population|
|1494||Syphilis ( Treponema pallidum)||>50,000||Pandemic brought to Europe from the Americas|
|c. 1500||Tuberculosis||High millions||Ancient disease; became pandemic in Middle Ages|
|1520||Hueyzahuatl ( Variola major)||3.5 million||Pandemic brought to New World by Europeans|
|1793–1798||“The American plague”||∼25,000||Yellow fever terrorized colonial America|
|1832||2nd cholera pandemic (Paris)||18,402||Spread from India to Europe/Western Hemisphere|
|1918||“Spanish” influenza||∼50 million||Led to additional pandemics in 1957, 1968, 2009|
|1976–2020||Ebola||15,258||First recognized in 1976; 29 regional epidemics to 2020|
|1981||Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis||rare deaths||First recognized in 1969; pandemic in 1981|
|1981||HIV/AIDS||∼37 million||First recognized 1981; ongoing pandemic|
|2009||H1N1 “swine flu”||284,000||5th influenza pandemic of century|
|2015||Zika||∼1,000? ∗||Pandemic, mosquito-borne|
Selected important emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of the past and present, 430 BCE–2020 CE. Mortality estimates are in most cases imprecise; see text.
∗ Zika mortality has not been fully established. Most deaths are fetal or related to outcomes of severe congenital infections.