In the next 60 years, humanity is threatened by a new pandemic, similar in consequences to COVID-19, said scientists from the University of Padua in Italy. The research results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using the method of statistical analysis, experts analyzed the spread of diseases around the world over the past four centuries, such as plague, smallpox, cholera, typhoid and various types of influenza. It turned out that extreme pandemics are not so rare, and the next global outbreak will happen by 2080.
So, the probability that a person born in 2000 will witness a new epidemic was 38%. Among the reasons, according to the authors of the work, are population growth, environmental pollution and changes in the food system.
The risk of a recurrence of the deadliest flu epidemic in history - the Spanish flu - is increasing by 0.3-1.9% annually. Experts predict a pandemic of this magnitude could occur within the next 400 years. However, the likelihood of new diseases like COVID-19 may triple in the coming decades, and in 12 thousand years the world will face a pandemic that could completely wipe out its population.