History's Worst Pandemics: Trivia Quiz!

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Historys Worst Pandemics: Trivia Quiz! - Quiz

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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic is generally believed to have originated in which country?

    • A.

      Spain

    • B.

      France

    • C.

      The USA

    Correct Answer
    C. The USA
    Explanation
    The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic is generally believed to have originated in the USA. Although it is called the Spanish flu, it did not actually originate in Spain. The reason it became associated with Spain is because Spain was one of the few countries that openly reported cases of the flu during World War I, while other countries censored their reports to maintain morale. The first known cases of the flu were actually reported in the USA, particularly in military camps where soldiers were being trained for World War I. The virus then spread to other parts of the world through the movement of troops.

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  • 2. 

    And why was Spanish flu so-called?

    • A.

      Because the Spanish press were the first to report the outbreak

    • B.

      Because the first infections occurred in Spain

    • C.

      Because the first known fatality was a Spaniard

    Correct Answer
    A. Because the Spanish press were the first to report the outbreak
    Explanation
    The Spanish flu was so-called because the Spanish press were the first to report the outbreak. Although the first infections did not actually occur in Spain, the country became associated with the flu because it was one of the few nations that did not censor news about the outbreak during World War I. As a result, the Spanish press reported extensively on the flu, leading to the misconception that it originated in Spain.

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  • 3. 

    In two successive waves, the 1918 pandemic infected how many?

    • A.

      Ten million

    • B.

      One hundred million

    • C.

      Five hundred million

    Correct Answer
    C. Five hundred million
    Explanation
    During the 1918 pandemic, the infection spread rapidly, affecting a large number of people. The correct answer, "Five hundred million," indicates the total number of individuals who were infected in two successive waves of the pandemic. This staggering number highlights the widespread impact and severity of the disease during that time.

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  • 4. 

    What was probably a smallpox outbreak that killed at least one million Romans in the middle of the 3rd century AD?  How was it known at the time?

    • A.

      Caesar’s Revenge, caused by the ghost of Julius Caesar

    • B.

      The Red Death, after the fever it caused

    • C.

      The Plague of Cyprian, after the Christian bishop who first described it

    Correct Answer
    C. The Plague of Cyprian, after the Christian bishop who first described it
    Explanation
    The correct answer is The Plague of Cyprian, after the Christian bishop who first described it. This outbreak is believed to be a smallpox epidemic that occurred in the 3rd century AD and resulted in the deaths of at least one million Romans. It was named after Saint Cyprian, a bishop who documented the symptoms and impact of the disease.

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  • 5. 

    What recurring pandemic is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis?

    • A.

      Ebola

    • B.

      Influenza (flu)

    • C.

      Plague

    Correct Answer
    C. Plague
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Plague. The question asks for the recurring pandemic caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The Plague, also known as the Black Death, is a recurring pandemic that has caused multiple outbreaks throughout history. It is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which is primarily transmitted through fleas that infest rats. The Plague has had devastating effects on human populations, causing widespread illness and death.

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  • 6. 

    The most well-known of all plagues, the Black Death, occurred in the middle of which century?

    • A.

      The 12th century

    • B.

      The 13th century

    • C.

      The 14th century

    Correct Answer
    C. The 14th century
    Explanation
    The Black Death, one of the most well-known plagues in history, occurred in the 14th century. This pandemic, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, swept through Europe between 1347 and 1351, resulting in the deaths of millions of people. The Black Death had a significant impact on society, leading to social, economic, and religious upheaval. It is often considered a turning point in European history, marking the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.

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  • 7. 

    What new types of viruses were first discovered in 1931 in the USA?

    • A.

      Rhinoviruses

    • B.

      Coronaviruses

    • C.

      Computer viruses

    Correct Answer
    B. Coronaviruses
    Explanation
    Coronaviruses were first discovered in the USA in 1931. These viruses are a type of RNA virus that primarily infects animals but can also cause respiratory infections in humans. They are named after their crown-like appearance under an electron microscope. Coronaviruses gained significant attention in recent years due to the outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

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  • 8. 

    Who is credited with developing the world’s first vaccine in 1796?

    • A.

      Edward Jenner, working with cowpox and smallpox

    • B.

      Louis Pasteur, working with anthrax and chicken cholera

    • C.

      Maurice Hilleman, working with measles, mumps and many others

    Correct Answer
    A. Edward Jenner, working with cowpox and smallpox
    Explanation
    Edward Jenner is credited with developing the world's first vaccine in 1796. He worked with cowpox and smallpox to develop a vaccine that could protect against smallpox. Jenner's experiments involved inoculating individuals with material from cowpox lesions, which provided immunity against smallpox. This breakthrough in vaccination paved the way for the development of other vaccines and revolutionized the field of immunization.

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  • 9. 

    The first recorded pandemic took place in Babylon in 1200 BC.  Symptoms included cough, fever, shaking, and extreme fatigue. What was the most likely disease?

    • A.

      Influenza

    • B.

      Measles

    • C.

      Typhoid

    Correct Answer
    A. Influenza
    Explanation
    The first recorded pandemic in Babylon in 1200 BC, with symptoms of cough, fever, shaking, and extreme fatigue, is most likely to be influenza. Influenza is a viral respiratory illness that commonly causes these symptoms and has been responsible for several pandemics throughout history. Measles and typhoid may have similar symptoms but are less likely to be the correct answer based on the given information.

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  • 10. 

    Which disease was officially declared to be extinct in 1980, having killed 500 million people between 1877 and 1977?

    • A.

      Smallpox

    • B.

      Typhoid

    • C.

      Measles

    Correct Answer
    A. Smallpox
    Explanation
    Smallpox was officially declared to be extinct in 1980 after killing 500 million people between 1877 and 1977. This disease was caused by the variola virus and was highly contagious. Through a global vaccination campaign led by the World Health Organization, smallpox was successfully eradicated, making it the first disease to be eliminated by human efforts. The eradication of smallpox is considered one of the greatest achievements in public health history.

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  • 11. 

    Which disease was declared to be a pandemic in 1981, and to date has killed at least 32 million people?

    • A.

      'Mad Cow' disease

    • B.

      Dengue Fever

    • C.

      HIV/AIDS

    Correct Answer
    C. HIV/AIDS
    Explanation
    HIV/AIDS was declared to be a pandemic in 1981 and has since killed at least 32 million people. This disease is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and attacks the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to other infections and diseases. It is transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Despite significant advancements in treatment and prevention, HIV/AIDS continues to be a global health crisis, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of new infections occur.

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  • 12. 

    Scientifically speaking, viruses are said to be 'not alive’ – is this true?

    • A.

      Yes, because they cannot reproduce without a host cell

    • B.

      No, because they are capable of evolving and mutating

    • C.

      Both – they are ‘on the edge of life’, because they are neither fully one nor the other

    Correct Answer
    C. Both – they are ‘on the edge of life’, because they are neither fully one nor the other
    Explanation
    Viruses are considered 'not alive' because they lack the ability to reproduce without a host cell. However, they are also capable of evolving and mutating, which are characteristics of living organisms. Therefore, viruses are considered to be 'on the edge of life' because they do not fit completely into the category of living or non-living entities.

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  • 13. 

    The word ‘quarantine’ comes from ‘quarentena’, which means what?

    • A.

      Restricted movement

    • B.

      Solitary confinement

    • C.

      Forty days and nights in isolation

    Correct Answer
    C. Forty days and nights in isolation
    Explanation
    The word 'quarantine' is derived from the Italian word 'quarentena' which means 'forty days'. This term originated during the Black Death pandemic in the 14th century when ships arriving in Venice were required to anchor for 40 days before passengers and crew were allowed to disembark. This practice was implemented to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Therefore, the correct answer is 'Forty days and nights in isolation'.

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  • 14. 

    Which disease, spread by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, was once known as ‘Roman fever’ because of its endemic presence in the Roman Empire?

    • A.

      Plague

    • B.

      Malaria

    • C.

      Influenza

    Correct Answer
    B. Malaria
    Explanation
    Malaria, caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, was once referred to as "Roman fever" due to its widespread occurrence in the Roman Empire. This term was used to describe the endemic nature of the disease in the region during that time.

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  • 15. 

    In 1793, an epidemic raged through Philadelphia killing 10% of the population. It particularly attacked the kidneys and liver. What was the disease?

    • A.

      Yellow Fever

    • B.

      Dengue Fever

    • C.

      Saturday Night Fever

    Correct Answer
    A. Yellow Fever
    Explanation
    During the epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793, a disease that affected the kidneys and liver and caused a high mortality rate was Yellow Fever. Yellow Fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. It causes symptoms such as fever, jaundice, and organ failure, particularly affecting the liver and kidneys. The high death toll and specific symptoms mentioned in the question align with the characteristics of Yellow Fever, making it the correct answer.

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