Future Pandemics

Pandemics are infectious diseases that spread uncontrollably across populations, killing people over vast areas such as continents and even worldwide. Examples of recent pandemics include influenza and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Some examples of potential pandemics in the future are described below.

Viral hemorrhagic fevers – Fevers such as Rift Valley fever, Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever are highly infectious and fatal diseases that have the potential to turn into pandemics. However, these diseases are relatively difficult to transmit, requiring direct contact with a carrier, who does not survive for very long before becoming very ill or dying. Furthermore, a short incubation period means carriers develop symptoms quickly and can be rapidly identified and quarantined to help prevent spread to other people. Efforts are being made to contain the current Ebola epidemic that people fear will become pandemic and spread from Africa to the Americas and Europe. This involves various interventions, ranging from screening and isolation techniques through to the development of vaccines that are being trialled in an attempt to cut the spread of Ebola by at least 70%.

Antibiotic resistant microbes – Many microorganisms such as tuberculosis, and Staphylococcus aureus have developed resistance to antibiotics. These pathogens are referred to as “superbugs” and many experts fear they will lead to the re-emergence of diseases that are currently thought to be under control For example, almost half a million cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are thought to occur globally every year, with the highest rates seen in Chin and India. According to estimates form the World Health Organization (WHO), around 50 million people are currently infected with MDR-TB worldwide, with the majority of those cases being resistant to at least three antibiotics.

Common bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus have also developed resistance to vancomycin and other antibiotics. Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have become significantly more common over recent years.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – In 2003, SARS was identified as a highly contagious and dangerous form of atypical pneumonia. Rapid intervention from local and international health authorities meant localized epidemics were contained and transmission eventually stopped, but the disease has still not been completely eliminated.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 27). Future Pandemics. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 13, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Future-Pandemics.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Future Pandemics". News-Medical. 13 July 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Future-Pandemics.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Future Pandemics". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Future-Pandemics.aspx. (accessed July 13, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Future Pandemics. News-Medical, viewed 13 July 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Future-Pandemics.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Study reveals decline in alcohol consumption during and after pandemic