Beautiful Egypt 362 – «Germ and Parasite» – 2/9/2020

Beautiful Egypt 362 – «Germ and Parasite» – 2/9/2020

The article “The Black Death” spoke about the Bubonic plague, then we talked about the smallpox pandemic in the article “Variola Major and Variola Minor”. Today, let us introduce other types of pandemics that ravaged the world.


Cholera Pandemic

It is called “Cholera”, “Epidemic Cholera”, or “Asiatic Cholera”. Cholera is an infectious intestinal disease caused by a germ called “Vibrio Cholerae” (vibrio or comma-shaped as a curved rod) that is transmitted to humans through food or drink contaminated with cholera from others. People with cholera experience profuse diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and emaciation.

Cholera is a fast-killing epidemic that causes low blood pressure within a short time, maybe within an hour of the onset of symptoms. Moreover, an infected person could be killed within hours, up to 18 hours, or within days.

The cholera outbreak occurred seven times: the first was from 1816 to 1826, in Bengal, then it spread to India and caused countless deaths; then it moved to China, Indonesia and the Caspian Sea. As for the second time, the cholera outbreak occurred from 1829 to 1851 in Russia, Hungary, Germany, England, France, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario in Canada, the states of New York and California in the United States of America, the Pacific coast, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Thecholera pandemic broke out for the third time from 1852 to 1860, killing more than a million people in Russia! It spread eastward into Indonesia, China and Japan, and then quickly spread to the Philippines, South Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Chicago, and London. The years 1863-1875 witnessed the outbreak of a fourth wave in Europe and Africa, and then in North America. The fifth time that the pandemic broke out was from 1881 to 1896, killing more than a million people in Europe, the Americas, Russia, Spain, Japan, Persia and Egypt. The sixth time was from 1899 to 1923 where the pandemic decimated 500,000 Russians and 800,000 Indians. Then the pandemic broke out for the seventh time from 1961 to 1970 in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, the countries of the Soviet Union and North Africa. The outbreak of the disease continued until 2009, and then it broke out in Yemen in 2017.


Malaria Pandemic

In the past, people believed that the bad air coming from swamps carried malaria; that is why it was called Swamp Fever. Malaria is a deadly infectious disease caused by a parasitic organism of the Plasmodium Parasite family that is transmitted by the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes that carry it, which bite between dusk and dawn, they reproduce inside the human body, in the liver, then they infiltrate the blood where they attack and destroy the red blood cells. People with malaria have symptoms of fever, headache and vomiting, within 10-15 days of infection, meanwhile causing anamia and enlarged spleen. Some types of parasites that cause malaria cause kidney failure, convulsions, and coma that may lead to the loss of human life.

In 1880, the French physician Alphonse Laveran discovered the parasite that causes malaria. For that discovery, he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1907. The malaria pandemic appeared in South America in the early seventeenth century and in the Netherlands in 1829, then Egypt was exposed to it from 1942 to 1944, and India in 2006.

If the pandemics, some of which we mentioned in the articles, have claimed the lives of millions of people in the world, now some doctors have begun to point out a new threat, through the testimonies they gave in the World Health Organization sessions, conferences, scientific articles, and specialized programs.

Indeed, talking about “Beautiful Egypt” has no end.



General Bishop

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center