Researchers have predicted that another pandemic as bad as Covid-19 would plague the world in the next 60 years and it will be much more prevalent.
According to a team lead by scientists from the University of Padua in Italy who researched the development of illnesses worldwide over the previous 400 years to forecast future danger, Covid-19 is one of the deadliest viral outbreaks in more than a century.
They discovered that severe pandemics aren't as rare as previously thought, are growing more common, and the next one will occur by 2080.
According to US experts, the chances of a pandemic with similar consequences as Covid-19 at a worldwide scale are around 2% in any given year.
This indicates that someone born in the year 2000 has a 38% chance of having one and will have had another by the time they are 60.
They didn't go into detail about why the risk is rising but believe it's likely related to population expansion, changes in food systems, environmental degradation, and more frequent human-disease-carrying animal interaction.
The researchers also discovered that the chances of another big epidemic are 'only increasing' and that we should be more prepared for future threats.
Marco Marani, the study's lead author, and his colleagues utilized novel statistical approaches to estimate the size and frequency of illness outbreaks that did not require immediate medical attention.
Previous Historical Outbreaks
Over four centuries, they looked at the plague, smallpox, cholera, typhus, and a variety of novel influenza viruses.
They discovered significant heterogeneity in the rate at which pandemics have occurred in the past and trends in the frequency of outbreaks.
This allowed them to forecast the likelihood of similar-scale catastrophes occurring in the future.
'The most significant conclusion is that major pandemics such as COVID-19 and the Spanish flu are quite plausible,' said Duke University co-author William Pan.
'Knowing that pandemics are no longer uncommon should make efforts to avoid and manage them a higher priority in the future.'
The probability of a similar pandemic occurring again varied from 0.3 percent to 1.9 percent each year in the case of the greatest epidemic in modern history, the Spanish Flu, which killed approximately 30 million people from 1918 to 1920.
In other words, the numbers indicate that a pandemic of such magnitude is statistically likely to occur within the next 400 years.
The researchers also discovered that the likelihood of severe epidemics, such as Covid-19 or the Spanish Flu, is quickly increasing.
As part of the current research, they looked at the rising rate at which novel viruses like SARS-CoV-2 have broken loose in human populations over the last 50 years.
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