The COVID-19 Coronavirus – its Place in Pandemic History
This infographic explores a topic which everybody is talking about – the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Since China first reported on 31st December 2019 about COVID-19 to the World Health Organisation the virus has spread rapidly around the world.
In this infographic, we explore what COVID-19 is, look at common symptoms, provide some statistics and also a timeline of pandemics over the last one hundred years.
What is the COVID-19 Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a new virus, one of many in the coronavirus family. These viruses typically cause cold symptoms and respiratory infections in both animals and people.
Humans have immunity to many coronavirus family members, which they have encountered over the years. Many coronaviruses are mild, some such as MERS, SARS and COVID-19 are much more severe.
The name COVID-19 is named from the following components:
- COVI – coronavirus
- D – disease
- 19 – the year the virus was discovered
A main danger of COVID-19 is that it has very high levels of infection and easily spreads from person to person.
Common Symptoms of COVID-19
Any of the following symptoms may arise within 2 to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19:
- Breathing difficulties – many infected suffer from lung and chest infections, which cause breathing difficulties
- Cough – particularly a cough, which is tickly, repetitive and difficult to stop
- Fever – hot to the touch on chest, forehead, back, etc. with temperatures over and above 100.4°F/38°C or higher
- Muscle Pain – as with seasonal flu, COVID-19 frequently leads to muscle aches and pains
- Tiredness – many infected feel very tired and sleep for large periods of the day
Here are some statistics which are emerging about the COVID-19 virus:
- Incubation period – 2 to 14 days
- Mortality rate – 3.4% – This is of reported cases, many patients infected don’t even know they have the virus, so the actual level is somewhat lower
- First symptom to hospital admission – around 7 days
- Average hospital stay – around 10 days
- Awareness levels – in a Statista survey of 10 countries, 95%+ of respondees had heard of the coronavirus by 1st March 2020
Last Century of Pandemics Timeline
There have been five main pandemics in the past one hundred years. These are summarised in the table below:
|Spanish flu (H1N1)||1918 – 1920||A virus which originated in birds, mutated and then infected pigs, which went on to infect humans.||3.4%||500 million||17 million (est)|
|HIV / Aids||1920 – Present – AIDS identified
|Originating from Chimpanzees, HIV kills humans by repressing immunity systems. Nobody dies of HIV, but they die of AIDS-related conditions.||42.7%||75 million||32 million|
|Asian flu (H2N2)||1956 – 1958||(H2N2) from East Asia was nicknamed “Asian Flu”. This virus comprised of 3 different genes and was the mildest of the 20th century pandemics.||0.23%||478 million (est)||1.1 million|
|Hong Kong Flu (H3N2)||1968 – 1969||(H3N2) originating from Hong Kong. The population was said to have some immunity from the N2 in the Asian flu pandemic.||0.5% (est)||200 million (est)||1 million (est)|
|Swine flu (H1N1)||2009 – 2010||A new flu (influenza) virus, which was a combination of swine and avian (bird) flu, which infected pigs and then cross-infected spread to humans.||1.2%||50 million||575,400|
Previous Coronavirus Family Outbreaks
Although not pandemics, there have been previous outbreaks of coronavirus family members. These are summarised below:
|SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)||2002-2003||A corona family virus, which caused severe symptoms including pneumonia.||10%||8,098||774|
|MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)||2012 – Present||A corona family virus, with a high mortality rate, which has severe symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath and fever.||34.4%||2494||858|
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