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2020 was the year of health crises. Here are 5 virus outbreaks that shocked us out of our wits

Published on:24 December 2020, 11:25am IST
2020 was one hell of a year, and sadly we saw more viruses taking over the world than ever before. Here are five of them that shocked us out of our wits.
Shreya Gupta
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2020 virus outbreaks
2020 wasn’t easy, give yourself an applause for surviving . Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Do you remember the new year’s eve before 2020, when we were all so excited and enthusiastic to welcome this year. Not only because it was a new beginning, but it also marked the end of a decade. But who would have thought that as soon as we enter the ‘new’ year, things would change drastically, leaving us cooped up in our homes for the unforeseen future?

Covid brought life to a standstill in every country and everyone’s life, and not to forget it definitely taught us many lessons. But apart from covid, there have been plenty of other virus outbreaks across the world that scared us, to say at least.

So, let’s look at a few of them that left a deep impact this year:

1. SARS-CoV-2

Yes, we had to start this list with SARS-CoV-2 aka coronavirus! This virus is named SARS-coV-2 because of its genetic similarity with the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Coronavirus became a global pandemic in March 2020, after almost a 100 years of spanish flu that took the lives of over 500 million people! And as of now, covid has already taken the lives of over 1.7 million people.

2. New strain of covid-19

All these years, we have failed to accomplish our goal of ‘new year, new me’, but it seems covid has definitely been successful. While there’s not much information available about this new strain of the virus, it certainly is 60-70% more infectious than the previous one.

covid-19 new strain
This new virus strain might not be more lethal but it is highly contagious. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The new avatar of the virus is causing concerns all over the world, forcing countries to go under lockdown again. In a recent turn of events, India has also banned all flights to and from the UK, over the threat of yet another outbreak. Moreover, Mumbai has also reinforced night curfew, leading to cancellation of all new year and christmas celebrations!

3. Hantavirus

According to the CDC, in May 1993, an outbreak of an unexplained pulmonary illness occurred in the United States, which is now called hantavirus. And now the virus has made a comeback again. In March this year, a man in China’s Yunnan province died after testing positive for hantavirus.

Since this virus is quite deadly with about a 40% mortality rate, it has created a huge panic amongst all the citizens across the globe. Previously in 2011, there was a scare of hantavirus in Karnataka, when a few people succumbed to the virus. So, you see 2020 was the year that all the viruses had to come together to target humankind.

4. Brain eating amoeba

As if covid wasn’t enough to handle, now this brain eating amoeba called naegleria fowleri is frightening the world all over again. Currently, cases are spreading rapidly in the US.

According to the CDC, this amoeba can be generally found in warm freshwater and soil. And people can get contaminated with the infected water through the nose, while swimming or diving in warm freshwater spots.

Also, read: Just recovered from coronavirus? Take these precautions to prevent reinfection

5. Yellow fever

Yellow fever is caused by an arbovirus that is usually transmitted by vectors such mosquitoes. And on 2nd november this year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported to WHO about 48 suspected cases of yellow fever, with 30 deaths. The fatality rate is a whopping 62.5%.

fever
This is all we know about yellow fever as of now. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While the investigation is still on, the most common symptoms reported were fever, vomiting, seizures, and unconsciousness.

This year has been filled with viruses and diseases, but hope is all we have for the coming year to be happy and healthy in every way!

Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.