The new study also suggested that there is a possibility that all human life could be eliminated due to a pandemic that, statistically, could happen within the next 12,000 years.
A new study conducted by researchers at Duke University asserted that the odds of humanity experiencing a large pandemic similar to COVID-19 are about 40%, and could dramatically increase in the coming years.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study estimated that the probability of a COVID-like pandemic is about 2% for any given year. Consequently, those born in 2000 have an estimated 38% chance to go through a pandemic in their lifetime.
A pandemic with effects similar to those of the coronavirus could return within 60 years, according to the study.
The Duke Global Health Institute also said the study found that it is possible that a pandemic could wipe out all human life on Earth, estimating a probability of such a disease occurring within the next 12,000 years.
Having studied the deadliest pandemic of modern history – the Spanish flu that claimed over 30 million lives between 1918 and 1920 – researchers suggest that it is statistically likely that a pandemic of a similar magnitude and extreme effects could occur within the next 400 years.
The scientific team outlined that their study stresses the importance of proper early responses to disease outbreaks and developing the necessary health infrastructure, both locally and globally.