QUIZ Pandemics: How much do we really know?

If the key to our salvation is knowledge, then I suppose that we should all be aware of the dangers that lurk in the shadows. If only to be better prepared to confront them. Test yourself and you might just learn something useful!



You successfully completed this new quiz. You definitely know more about the history of pandemics and epidemics in the world.

A message of hope: if got over it once, we can do it again!



You successfully completed this new quiz. You definitely know more about the history of pandemics and epidemics in the world.

A message of hope: if got over it once, we can do it again!


#1. There aren't any differences between an epedimic and a pandemic. They are the same.

FALSE. When a disease rapidly infects thousands within a community, population, or region, it is classified as an epidemic. When an epidemic spreads across multiple countries or continents it is referred to as a pandemic, a severe and worst-case scenario demanding immediate action.


#2. Which pandemic has repeatedly ravaged countries over the course of history and was known as the “Black Death”?

Recurrences of the bubonic plague over two centuries will eventually kill about 50 million people, 26% of the world population. 541 A.D. is believed to be the year of the first significant appearance of this plague, which featured enlarged lymphatic gland and was carried by rats and spread by fleas.

Good to Know: In the 16th century, the 42 monastic cemeteries in the city of Évora (Portugal) were overflowing so much with bones due to the numerous plague epidemics that hit Portugal, that Franciscan monks decided to unearth the bones of the dead and use them to create the Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos). It is registered in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.


#3. Smallpox was the first virus epidemic to be controlled thanks to the discovery of a vaccination

In the late 18th-century, a British doctor named Edward Jenner discovered that milkmaids infected with a milder version of the virus, called cowpox, seemed immune to smallpox. Jenner famously inoculated his gardener’s 9-year-old son with cowpox and then exposed him to the smallpox virus with no ill effect.

It will take nearly two more centuries, before the World Health Organization announced in 1980 that smallpox had been completely eradicated from the face of the Earth.


#4. This highly contagious disease, also known as the Hansen's disease, causes sores and deformities. Though it's been around for a long time, it ravaged Europe during the Middle Ages. Its name is...

A slow-developing bacterial disease that causes sores and deformities, leprosy was believed to be a punishment from God. This belief led to moral judgments and ostracization of victims. Now known as Hansen’s disease, it still afflicts tens of thousands of people a year and can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics.

Rickets is an affliction observed during infancy and childhood and is characterized by the softening of bones, leading to abnormal bone growth and is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body.


#5. Originally, "Quarantena", is a Venetian word that referred to…

Black Death, the Bubonic Plague, will lead to the “invention” of quarantine.

Entering through Sicily in 1347 A.D. when plague sufferers arrived in the port of Messina, it spread throughout Europe rapidly.

Hence a rule was enstated obliging sailors to be held on their ships for 30 days, which became known in Venetian law as a trentino. As time went on, the Venetians increased the forced isolation to 40 days or a quarantino. This will be the origin of the word quarantine and the start of its practice in the Western world.


#6. What is the name of this mask?

The Medico della peste (The Plague Doctor), with its long beak, is one of the most bizarre and recognizable of the Venetian masks, though it did not start out as carnival mask at all but as a method of preventing the spread of disease. It originated from 17th-century French physician Charles de Lorme who adopted the mask together with other sanitary precautions while treating plague victims.

The long nose would hold herbs and flowers that would filter the air and cover up the horrible smells of plague victims. The mask was usually worn with a long black coat, white gloves, and a staff to be able to move patients without having to come into physical contact with them. All this in the hope that these precautions would prevent the contraction of the disease.


#7. Which of the following in NOT an infectious disease

Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies. They’re normally harmless or even helpful. But under certain conditions, some organisms may cause disease. Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. Infectious is not necessarily contagious.


#8. In what year did WHO's Constitution come into force?

When diplomats met to form the United Nations in 1945, one of the things they discussed was setting up a global health organization.

The Constitution was adopted by the International Health Conference held in New York from 19 June to 22 July 1946, signed on 22 July 1946 by 61 States.

WHO’s Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day.


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