Pandemics occur every 100 years? Myth or Fact?


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Masks are an effective tool to slow the spread of germs.

Pandemics: Many of us today never thought we would live during a pandemic. Quite obviously, we have been, and more than likely will be experiencing one for the next several months. 

The World Health Organization defines a pandemic as “ The worldwide spread of a new disease.”

The theory behind pandemics occurring every 100 years when given a quick glance is very believable. The Bubonic Plague-1720, Cholera Outbreak-1820, The Spanish Flu-1920 and now the COVID-19 in 2020 are all examples that make this statement damning.

However, many pandemics have occurred in between those 100 years and the pandemics previously mentioned are not every 100 years exactly.  The Cholera Outbreak actually started in 1817, not 1820. The Spanish Flu never lived to see the year 1920 on the world stage; it was only from 1917-1918. The Plague spread largely just in France, so in that view, it could be seen as not being a pandemic but more of an epidemic which is like a pandemic but in a much smaller community. 

Many pandemics have also occurred between these 100 year “patterns,” and they were not just “sickly” and short ones either. H2N2/ Asian Flu infected and killed approximately 1.5-2 million from 1957 to 1958. Another example is The Yellow Fever in the late 1800s. This evidence makes it clear that pandemics do not have a pattern, but are merely just coincidences.