• Extreme pandemics aren’t as rare as we may think, according to a new study.
  • The study looked at disease outbreaks over the past 400 years to estimate the yearly probability of them recurring.
  • It found the probability of a pandemic with similar impact to COVID-19 is about 2% in any year.
  • This means that someone born in the year 2000 would have a 38% chance of experiencing one by now.
  • On this basis, a pandemic similar in scale to COVID-19 could be likely within 59 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be the deadliest viral outbreak the world has seen in more than a century, but statistically, such extreme events aren’t as rare as we may think, a new study shows.

The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used a newly assembled record of novel disease outbreaks over the past 400 years to estimate the intensity of those events and the yearly probability…

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