We’ve had health fears before.
HIV and AIDS struck in the 1980s. Magic Johnson was a poster child for how almost anyone could get the virus (HIV) and remains a poster child today of how it doesn’t have to be the end.
Education, “they” said, was the best prevention. Nevertheless, HIV and AIDS are among the leading causes of early death in the United States since 1980.
Education seems to be prevalent with our health scares since the new settlers first ran the Native Americans into a corner ... or Oklahoma.
Coronavirus is scary. I sure hope reports of how the world has a handle on it are correct, but time will tell.
A brief look back at some other health scares:
Whooping Cough killed 10 infants earlier last decade.
It may be where beer is famous, but don’t drink its water. Contaminated water in Milwaukee killed more than 100 people in that city in 1993. It’s has reportedly improved, but there are still an estimated 748,000 cases of cryptosporidium annually.
A second measles outbreak in the 1980s and early ’90s killed thousands, an estimated 2,000 to 10,000 annually from 1981-91. Good news? There are no fewer than 1,000 cases annually thanks to vaccines.
Polio. After its peak in 1952, when more than 3,000 died from the disease, many parts of the world are polio-free, although it persists in areas of Asia and Africa.
Diphtheria was awful in the early to mid-1920s, killing about 15,520 people.
The Spanish Flu hit in 1918. Ironically, the influenza virus doesn’t come from Spain and when it returned in the late 1950s it was known as the Asian Flu. Both were deadly, causing about 750,000 deaths.
Typhoid Mary was a fever named after a New York cook named Mary Mallon who spread the virus to many as an estate cook as well as at a hospital from 1906-07. Just less than 11,000 people are said to have died from it.
Scarlet Fever became an epidemic in New England in 1958. It has been reported as similar to strep throat. Regardless, antibiotics prescribed by doctors will treat either.
Cholera was a big problem in the mid-1800s with from two to six dying per day. The pandemic ended in the U.S. in 1911, but it is still present in Africa, Haiti, Southeast Asia and Central Mexico.
Yellow Fever killed 5,000 Philadelphians in the late 1700s thanks to refugees bringing the virus from the Caribbean Islands. Mosquitoes are blamed for spreading the disease, which has no cure. The positive from getting it? Someone who recovers from the illness is immune for the rest of their life.
Remember getting the Smallpox vaccination which in turn was our first tattoo of sorts? Smallpox came to America in the 1600s and almost 6,000 from Boston alone died from the disease. It vanished from the U.S. after a vaccination initiative in 1972 and such vaccines are no longer necessary.