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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-86

Pandemics those struck and those averted: How humanity survived!

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Consultant of Ophthalmologist, Yenepoya Specialty Hospital, Kodialbail, Mangalore, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
3 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Madhurima K Nayak
B-9, KMC Staff Quarters, Light House Hill Road, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjmsr.mjmsr_15_20

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Humanity has been exposed to and challenged by epidemics and pandemics from times immemorial. Humans have either lost the battle or won over these pandemics. Bacterial pandemics such as typhoid, plague, and cholera wiped off cities and civilizations altogether. Notable viral pandemics include influenza and smallpox. Influenza has been etched in the history of mankind as a recurring pandemic due to its antigenic variation. A few viruses such as yellow fever, ebola, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Nipah virus, and Zika virus have caused epidemics in the new millennium, although they have been identified a long time back. Human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS is a slow pandemic present since the 1980s, and COVID 19 is the pandemic that the world is facing presently. An effort is made to recall, compare various infectious pandemics, and to understand how humanity has fought back. Furthermore, we try to unravel lessons from history, global, and local health measures such as GSIRS, International Health Regulations, and Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network that were introduced to tackle many such pandemics and an ongoing effort to overcome the present-day pandemic – COVID-19.

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