- Elena Trapp
(Note: The word “epidemic” is used to refer to a disease spreading rapidly within a certain population or region. “Pandemic” refers to a disease with global spread, and we’ll use it here only for diseases that health officials have declared as such.
1918-1919 flu pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 500 million people worldwide — one-third of the global population — became infected with an influenza virus called H1N1, which originated in birds. At least 50 million people, including 675,000 in the U.S., died.
1957 flu pandemic
- Elena Trapp
Worldwide, around 1.1 million people died, including 116,000 in the U.S., according to the CDC.
1968 flu pandemic
HIV/AIDS pandemic (ongoing)
HIV causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, which weakens the immune system by destroying cells that fight diseases and infections. The latest research suggests the virus originated as far back as the 1800s in Central Africa.
In 2018, 37.9 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS and 770,000 people died of HIV-related causes.
Scientists don’t yet have a reliable cure for HIV. However, the virus can be controlled through antiretroviral therapy — which, if taken as prescribed, can greatly extend the life expectancy of an HIV patient, and can keep them from transmitting the virus to a sexual partner.
The AIDS pandemic is ongoing, especially in areas of the world where access to treatment is limited. But the number of deaths from HIV-related illness peaked in 2004.
2002-2003 SARS outbreak
2009 flu pandemic
Globally, between 151,700 and 575,400 people died, according to CDC estimates.
2012 MERS outbreak
2014 Ebola epidemic
The fatality rate for Ebola is much higher than for influenza: In that outbreak alone, 11,308 people who contracted the virus (39 percent) died, according to the CDC.
2020 COVID-19 pandemic
On March 11, President Donald Trump placed strict limitations on travel from 26 European countries, and added the United Kingdom and Ireland to those restrictions on March 14.
It’s still too early to tell how quarantines, travel restrictions and sick workers will affect the global economy long-term. In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis’ March 16 decision to close restaurants, bars and gyms is likely to have far-reaching consequences.
• In case, like many, you haven’t been able to get your hands on Purell, Tito’s Handmade Vodka tweeted that their products don’t make effective hand sanitizer. “Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol,” the company said March 5. “Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC.”
- “Love on Top” (Beyonce)
- “Landslide” (Fleetwood Mac)
- “Raspberry Beret” (Prince)
- “Jolene” (Dolly Parton)
- “Africa” (Toto)
- “Truth Hurts” (Lizzo)
• Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
• Avoid directly touching frequently contacted surfaces, such as elevator buttons or door handles, in public spaces.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
• Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
• For the latest COVID-19 information from CDPHE, visit covid19.colorado.gov.
• If you have general questions about COVID-19, call the CO-HELP call line at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, for answers in many languages, or email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the COVID-19 case totals as of March 23.