With the endless torrent of COVID-19 updates, it’s easy to forget that there are other diseases spreading around the world.
Well, fret no more! Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and top White House coronavirus adviser, is here to remind you just how many dangerous outbreaks are happening right now.
Nipah Virus in southern India, measles in the U.S., diphtheria in Russia, and dozens more outbreaks are all pinpointed on a map that Fauci published alongside a preprint paper soon to be published in the journal Cell. It’s meant to an educational resource. The paper lays out the myriad global conditions that enabled COVID-19 to bring the planet to its knees. But, as Gizmodo astutely points out, it’s also such a bummer.
The paper itself describes how genetic mutations can make diseases more or less dangerous and infectious over time. For instance, it points out that the common cold used to cause deadly epidemics before evolving into a far milder disease.
That’s not to say that the coronavirus will do the same, as Gizmodo notes. But it is interesting to see how past epidemics and outbreaks have shaped the current landscape of global diseases.