Articles, Blog

How Pandemics Spread

December 9, 2019

(music) (music) We live in an interconnected,
an increasingly globalized world. Thanks to international jet travel, people and the diseases they carry can be in any city on the planet
in a matter of hours. And once a virus touches down, sometimes all it takes
is one sneeze to spread the infection throughout the community. When humans were hunter-gatherers,
roaming the wild savannas, we were never in one place long enough, and settlements were not large enough to sustain the transmission
of infectious microbes. But with the advent
of the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, and the arrival
of permanent settlements in the Middle East, people began
living side-by-side with animals, facilitating the spread
of bacteria and viruses between cattle and humans. Epidemics and pandemics come
in many shapes and forms. In 2010, for instance, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, forcing thousands of people
into temporary refugee camps. Within weeks, the camps had become
breeding grounds for cholera, a bacteria spread by contaminated water, triggering a country-wide epidemic. But the most common cause
of epidemics are viruses, such as measles, influenza and HIV. And when they go global,
we call them pandemics. Pandemics have occurred
throughout human history, Some have left scars on the tissue
and bone of their victims, while evidence for others
comes from preserved DNA. For instance, scientists
have recovered DNA from the bacteria
that transmits tuberculosis from the remains of ancient
Egyptian mummies. And in 2011, scientists investigating a plague
pit in the city of London were able to reconstruct
the genome of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for the Black
Death of the 14th century. It is thought the plague
originated in China in around 1340, spreading west along the Silk Road, the caravan route running
from Mongolia to the Crimea. In 1347, the plague reached
the Mediterranean, and by 1400, it had killed in excess of 34 million Europeans,
earning it the title, the Great Mortality. It was later historians
who called it the Black Death. However, by far the greatest
pandemic killer is influenza. Flu is constantly circulating
between the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. In North America and Europe, seasonal flus occur
every autumn and winter. As the majority of children and adults will have
been exposed to the virus in previous seasons, these illnesses are usually mild. However, every 20 to 40 years or so the virus undergoes a dramatic mutation. Usually this occurs when a wild flu virus circulating in ducks and farm poultry meets a pig virus,
and they exchange genes. This process is known as antigenic shift and has occurred throughout human history. The first recorded
pandemic occurred in 1580. The 18th and 19th centuries saw at least six further pandemics. In terms of mortality, none can compare with the Great
Flu Pandemic of 1918. The first indication of the pandemic came in the spring, when American
troops in northern France began complaining of chills,
headaches and fever. Then, the following September, at a U.S.
Army barracks near Boston, soldiers started collapsing on parade, prompting their removal
to the camp infirmary. As a surgeon there recalled, two hours after admission, they had
the mahogany spots over the cheekbones and a few hours later you can begin to see the cyanosis
extending from their ears and spreading all over the face. It is only a matter of a few hours
then until death comes, and it is simply a struggle
for air until they suffocate. On the S.S. Leviathan, a huge American transport
en route to Bordeaux, sick men hemorrhaged
blood from their noses, turning the decks between their bunks
slick with bodily fluids. Meanwhile, British soldiers returning
from northern France on furlough introduced the flu to Dover
and other Channel ports, from where the virus
was carried by rail to London. By the time the pandemic
had run its course in April 1919, an estimated 675,000 Americans and 230,000 Britons were dead. In India alone, some 10
million were killed, and worldwide the death toll
was an astonishing 50 million. But that was then. Today, planes can transport viruses to any country on the globe in a fraction of the time it took in 1918. In February 2003, for instance, a Chinese doctor arrived
at the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong feeling unwell. Unknown to him, he was harboring a new
animal-origin virus called SARS, short for Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome. Within 24 hours of checking into Room 913, sixteen other guests had been infected, and over the following days five boarded
planes to overseas destinations, spreading the virus to Vietnam,
Singapore and Canada. Flights between Hong Kong, Toronto and other
international cities were quickly grounded and thanks to other emergency measures, a pandemic was averted. By the time the outbreak
was over four months later, SARS had infected 29 countries worldwide and more than 1,000 people were dead. For all that the virus
was rapidly contained, however, there was little that could be done
about the alarming news reports carried by cable news
channels and the Internet. As bloggers added to the hysteria by spreading unfounded
conspiracy theories, tourism in Hong Kong and other
affected cities ground to a halt, costing businesses more
than 10 billion U.S. dollars. One business, however, did very well. Above all, SARS was a reminder that pandemics
have always been associated with panic. If history teaches us anything, it’s that while pandemics may start small, their impacts can be as dramatic
as wars and natural disasters. The difference today is that science gives us
the ability to detect pandemics right at the very beginning and to take action
to mitigate their impacts before they spread too widely. (music)


  • Reply Banderas Vaduva January 19, 2019 at 10:29 am

    If this video won’t make you paranoid, than I don’t seriously know what will.

  • Reply Harvy666 January 26, 2019 at 11:17 am

    TLDW: By anti-vaxxers

  • Reply Evelyn O January 27, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    And measles are being spread by the minute right now because one guy spread it through an airport

  • Reply Ahror January 27, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Why does it sound like he's being sarcastic with everything he's saying?

  • Reply Lizzie VanBuren February 2, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    This is so scary

  • Reply Artificial Idiot February 12, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Pandemics spread by anti-vaxxers. All children born with these kinds of people will die before the age of 3.

  • Reply Comment God February 12, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    In one second 17 people will parish from this earth

  • Reply Vincent 1234 February 16, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    3:58 Virus or earth filled with graves?

  • Reply 쿠키하임 February 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Just one affected man killed 50 million people…

  • Reply SUB NOW February 22, 2019 at 1:44 am

    The Bubonic Plague: I am the most powerful virus to have ever existed.
    Influenza: Hold my beer

  • Reply Battler Yeet February 22, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    If its a pandemic then its already global

  • Reply Roman Nugent March 11, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    this video helped me with my assignment, thanks!

  • Reply Axel Bergström March 27, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Just bounced on my boy's d while watching this

  • Reply CORRUPTED ONE April 5, 2019 at 8:36 am

    ninja died because of the disease ligma

    Lets go to mars!

  • Reply Daniel Anthony Senan Gallagher April 17, 2019 at 7:32 am

    from now on im always gonna cover my mouth when i sneeze

  • Reply chip63us April 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    2010 haiti forgot to mention Clinton's sacrifices of Haiti children

  • Reply chip63us April 25, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    to bad some scienctist make viruses and expose the population

  • Reply wjcneo May 11, 2019 at 11:54 am


  • Reply Jacob Osler May 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    When your here 7 years later and someone with measles walked through sea-tac airport

  • Reply DewsJaz May 18, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Dang what would we even do if we don't get to stop a pandemic from happening.

    We were just lucky from the SARS pandemic.

  • Reply Liberalism is a disease. May 20, 2019 at 10:08 am

    You lost me at measles you should’ve put chickenpox on there too

  • Reply MOCHAMMAD THOBI'IN June 9, 2019 at 2:40 am

    its spreading babes

  • Reply Arsenal Two June 22, 2019 at 5:39 am

    But…but I just had Influenza

  • Reply akankhit sandilya July 7, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Nuclear bombs is the greatest Threat to humanit.
    Pandemic : Bwah Bwah ha ha ha

  • Reply Mommy Smoochie July 7, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    I love the animation ❤

  • Reply Luka V July 8, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    i want this to be in civilization so i can create panic and destroy the world just like i did with nukes 😉

  • Reply Bella - August 19, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    I have chills everywhere

  • Reply Fr Louie Goad September 19, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Human P
    population is due for a check.

  • Reply Kaiser October 9, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks for the Burmese subtitle

  • Reply Donald J. Trump October 12, 2019 at 11:59 am

    1 year ago I had a pandemic I my family it started when I went to the club for my training so I finished training I was so sick and then my mother gave me a medication I was sick for a whole week but every Friday I go to my grandma for a family meeting and my cousin caught on to the sickness then my mother then my baby brother then now no one in the entire family is healthy all of us right now are sick and we have headaches and we vomit and my family is cursing me for doing that I'm not Donald trump I'm a 10 year old kid

  • Reply Doc Watson October 12, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    We are not ready for a pandemic. Civilization will collapse, no where to run or hide

  • Reply rickyay26 October 20, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I hope you anti vaccers are paying attention

  • Reply Nicolas Laurin November 3, 2019 at 2:08 am

    Very interesting talk

  • Reply Jeffery Pullin November 6, 2019 at 3:49 am

    Pandemics are best spread by injecting unsuspecting people just before boarding long international flights and then a major terror attack on a city as a distraction once the plane is in the air

  • Reply lavonne younan November 6, 2019 at 4:32 am

    It was spread by the UN people !

  • Reply Martin Cifuentes Gómez November 7, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Don’t worry guys, Roberto Cifuentes a Entrepreneur has developed a new way to save all of humanity from a pandemic, NANOTECHNOLOGY, he has discovered a method to destroy viruses and bacteria, and all small living organisms, you name it, he says god gave him the idea of the Nano Particles of copper, they are very low on toxicity compared to other methods of Disinfection like this sprites or soaps or different things, they are friendly with the nature and he can produce up to 500 kilos of those nano coppers in a month, and he just has 1 production center and is in 1 city for now, the nano particles are highly effective, they will kill trillions of bacteria and viruses, visit his page, it’s called Nano process, by the way he is not the chess master guy. With the adequate technology he can combine nano particles of copper to some white blood cells and immune system cells so that this diseases can be stopped with a vaccine, even if you are infected this theoretical vaccine can cure you of any disease, and with the right tech it can even cure cancer, don’t believe me? Sounds to good to be true? Well it’s because god gave him the idea and the government of France is planning on buying from him, and he is a great guy, he helps children a lot, children in bad economical situations or that their parents abuse those children, again, visit his page nanoprocess and look at those things for yourself.

  • Reply Lim Hong kwee November 9, 2019 at 2:30 pm


    That takes me back

  • Reply Amberiper November 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    This is what happens when you don’t evolve into genetic shuffle you uncultured plague inc. players

  • Reply Amberiper November 13, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Watch SARS be some kids Initials who forgot to evolve into genetic shuffle

  • Reply king homu November 16, 2019 at 4:37 am

    dont ever ask me why i hate people again

  • Reply CodesterProductions, Roblox Rants November 20, 2019 at 4:49 am

    When your grandma, best friend, and professor are all sick at once with a bad flu and YouTube recommends a 7 year old video on pandemics.

  • Reply Daniel Selle November 20, 2019 at 7:59 pm


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