The following list highlights just 7 of the deadliest viruses and pandemics we have to deal with in the past, and there have been quite a few.
Below I have highlighted the significant bits for you, just in case your schedule is tight.
Click the link you want to start with or, by all means, continue.
- 2003: SARS-CoV
- 2009: Swine Flu Pandemic
- 2012: MERS or MERS‐CoV
- 2012: Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
- 2014: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- 2016: Zika Virus
- Forever Evolving: The Influenza Virus (Flu)
- We Have Survived Many Pandemics Before
- There Is Pressure On Health Services & A Shortage Of Intensive Care Beds Every Flu Season
- Media Coverage Often Stokes Fear & Anxiety
- Take Good Care of You
All extremely serious, all still out there, most of which can cause irreversible damage and sometimes result in death, with or without medical treatment.
We again find ourselves in 2021 having to deal with yet another pandemic caused by a new strain of the coronavirus virus, COVID-19, and the thing is, it won’t be the last.
(HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus & AIDS = Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
The initial HIV slowly attacks the bodies immune system executing its attack in 3 different stages.
Over the years, HIV damages it’s host’s immune system to such an extent that it is completely taken over by the virus rendering it dysfunctional, helpless and ineffective, ultimately resulting in full-blown Aids.
There are three stages to this disease which are as follows:
Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
- Swollen lymph nodes
- aching muscles
- fever & Chills
- mouth ulcers
- excessive night sweats
- excessive tiredness
- irritability and fatigue
Stage 2: Chronic HIV infection.
This stage may show no outward presenting symptoms and can last anywhere between 10 to 15 years, although some people can move faster through this stage.
Stage 3: AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
- excess and sudden weight loss
- persistent fever leading to night sweats
- excessive tiredness and fatigue
- neurological disorders, including depression and loss of memory loss.
- Continued reassurance of swollen lymph glands in the neck, groin and armpits
- diarrhoea and sickness
- sores can occur in the mouth or on the genitals and anus
- blotches on and under the skin (red, brown, pink)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
SARS-CoV is a viral respiratory illness caused by a different type of coronavirus to COVID-19.
- high fever
- coughing and
- shortness of breath
2009: Swine Flu Pandemic
The Swine Flu virus was declared a flu pandemic and affected 208 different countries worldwide.
- respiratory difficulties
- sore throat
- runny and blocked nose
2012: MERS or MERS‐CoV
As a severe respiratory illness also identified as a coronavirus Mers first came to light in the Arabian Peninsula.
- high fever
- breathing difficulties
Thank goodness Whooping cough is quite rare these days and occur mainly in younger children this infection begins with symptom very much similar to that of the common cold,
- acute coughing bouts
- runny nose
- red, watery eyes
- sore throat
- slight temperature
Acute fits of coughing begin around a week later than these initial symptoms.
2014: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
EVD runs its course in two stages, starting; stage 1, known as the dry stage, which eventually progresses onto stage 2, the wet stage.
Dry Stage, symptoms include:
- aches and pains
- muscle aches and pains
- fatigue and general tiredness
- stomach pains
Wet Stage, symptoms include:
- bleeding, haemorrhaging and brushing
2016: Zika Virus
The Aedes mosquitoes transmit the ZIKV virus, and the symptoms are usually very mild or hardly present at all.
However, becoming infected whilst pregnant usually causes a congenital disability known as microcephaly, along with other severe fetal brain abnormalities.
Symptoms when present can include:
- joint pain with usually swelling in hands and feet
- conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- back pain
Forever Evolving: The Influenza Virus (Flu)
There are lots of different types of influenza virus, e.g. Spanish flu, Bird flu.
The flu virus can spread quickly and easily between people and usually go away on its own more often than not.
However, people with underlying health conditions, compromised immune systems, including the elderly, can become gravely ill, resulting in serious complications that can cause death.
Therefore it is essential to note that death does not occur from the influenza virus itself but secondary complications such as secondary bacterial pneumonia.
- fever ( a temperate at or above 38C)
- sore throat
- coughing and sneezing
- runny or blocked nose
- loss of taste and smell
- loss of appetite
- aching body and muscles
- tiredness and lack of energy
- sickness & diarrhoea
It’s worth noting that catching the flu from a specific flu virus will not give you immunity against another strain.
We Have Survived Many Pandemics Before
It is also important to remember that we are a resilient species that have managed to live through all the above viruses, survived (not all, but most) and lived to tell the tale.
You are a resilient being, naturally and powerfully armed with your inbuilt defence mechanisms, Your Immune System and your Brain.
It is also important to point out that flu season comes around every year between October and March.
There is Always Pressure on Health Services & A Shortage of Intensive Care Beds Every Flu Season
Every year since the Swine Flu Pandemic in 2009, the Britain National Health Service, in particular, has been reported as being in some form of crisis, underfunded, under extreme pressure with a lack of beds and qualified staff.
At some time or another, they advised and requested hospitals to either cancel, reschedule, and not book any non-emergency operations during certain months of the flu season.
Such planning makes sure that intensive care beds, regular beds, wards, staff and services are available in anticipation of the inevitable influx of patients with flu-related emergencies and illnesses.
It appears that every year the health services struggle in their duty to cope with the numbers of patients and all the different strains of Influenza.
As with most viruses, people with any underlying health conditions, the elderly or anyone at any age with any disease leading to a compromised immune system will find themselves more vulnerable and more susceptible to serious health complications arising from any strain of the flu virus.
Media Coverage Often Stokes Fear & Anxiety
News headlines that include the words’ crisis, under pressure, shortage of beds, emergency, pandemic, death are not new. They have been used repeatedly in the US and the UK every winter for many years.
These alarmist words’ have been used, again and again, every year. They sow fear, misunderstanding and miss information as the entire story never really gets told.
I decided to write this post to dispel some of the fear people may be feeling right now with COVID-19, the masks, social, distancing, job losses, evictions, businesses closed.
Fear is not a friend of health; it fosters anxiety, stress and depression symptoms that can lead to more serious mental illness and physical illness and disease.
Take Good Care of You
I cannot stress enough how important it is, more so now than ever (2021), that you look after your whole self, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Improved mental health and emotional well-being are essential because it also helps prevent, recover from and fight illness and disease.
Taking the very best care of your immune system, ensuring good nutrition and providing it with all the essential vitamins and minerals it requires is vital for all the above reasons.
Healthy relationships, exercise, keeping hydrated, and plenty of fresh air are other essential factors that also need considering.
Taking all the above things into consideration is the approach needed for your overall health and ensuring that your immune system can efficiently and effectively fight infection and disease.
Please, feel free and join the discussion; your thoughts and comments are always encouraged and always very much appreciated.
*Please note that this post’s information is intended for general information only and not used as a substitute for healthcare professionals’ expertise and judgment.