SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Truth in the Time of the Signs

Plagues and Pestilences

In the developed world, in our age of advanced medical technology and innovation, we can hardly imagine a time when the flu could be deadly, but the current global Covid 9 / Coronavirus pandemic reminds us that we will always be behind ‘nature’, chasing cures and our ease of travel across national borders propagates the rapid spreading of infections in a way that has only recently become possible.  The number of deaths as a result of Covid 19 is moving so rapidly that it will be another year before this site can give any accuracy to the totals, however we should remember recently;  

Typhus fever in World War 1 – This disease is spread by lice and during WW1 typhus caused three million deaths in Russia alone.

The Great Flu Epidemic (1918) – The Great Flu Epidemic has been recorded as the most devastating epidemic in history. With a death toll of somewhere between 20 million and 40 million, this disease killed more people than WWI.

The Asian Flu Pandemic (1957) – The Asian Flu Pandemic was an outbreak of avian influenza that originated in China and spread worldwide. The estimated death rate was one to two million.

HIV/Aids global pandemic  (1960s – present) – Since the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) were reported in 1981, infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has grown to pandemic proportions, resulting in an estimated 65 million infections and 25 million deaths.[1]

Many of the once thought eradicated diseases are still with us and in February 2018 the WHO (World Health Organisation) declared; “These diseases were previously eradicated or made to cause fewer deaths, but are now threatening to make the comeback of the century.”

Influenza – Seasonal flu continues to affect countless regions, and is the one disease that consistently affects all regions, regardless of location or economic standing, as it is so infectious. It seems that this is one disease humans may not ever completely be able to shake.  Another influenza pandemic is inevitable. In this interconnected world, the next global flu outbreak is a matter of “when” not “if” — with far reaching consequences.  A severe pandemic could result in millions of deaths.  Nothing about influenza is predictable, including how and where the next pandemic will emerge.

Cholera – War-torn regions such as Yemen are still struggling with vicious cholera outbreaks. In April 2017, it was reported by Healthmap that more than 350,000 cases of cholera were recorded, with an average of 5,000 new cases every day.  Cholera kills nearly 100,000 people annually.

Syphilis – The ancient sexually transmitted disease (STD) is increasing, especially in the US.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that syphilis cases increased 18% between 2015 and 2016.

Listeriosis – The first documented case of listeriosis was in 1924, now, every year, 600 million people — almost 1 in 10 people in the world — fall ill and 420,000 die after eating contaminated food.  The bacteria was common in animals, and has only affected humans recently and there is no current vaccine.  Complications associated with Listeriosis, including contracting meningitis or developing septicaemia, are responsible for the high mortality rate of this preventable disease.  South Africa has been experiencing a large outbreak of listeriosis since December 2017.  It is still unclear, in late 2018, what food sources could be responsible.

Measles – The WHO observed a four-fold increase in measles cases in Europe alone in 2017, when compared to measles cases of the previous year.  The WHO’s findings also indicate that measles outbreaks affect 1 in 4 European countries.  More than 20 000 cases of measles were reported in 2017.

Yellow fever – 34 confirmed deaths related to yellow fever have occurred in Brazil alone, from July 2017 to January 2018.  This may not seem like a large number, but is still cause for concern.  More than 100 cases are currently being investigated, to curb any chance of an outbreak.  To illustrate how quickly an epidemic can spread, 962 confirmed cases of yellow fever occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016 as a result of an outbreak in Angola at the end of 2015.

Bubonic and pneumonic plague – Madagascar terrified the world with a confirmed bubonic plague outbreak in 2017.  The WHO recorded a total of 2,348 cases and 202 deaths. In addition, there were 1,791 cases of pneumonic plague.  South Africa, along with Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, La Réunion and Tanzania have all been flagged as countries required to possess a plague preparedness strategy.

Polio – Polio can cause total paralysis in hours, with the disease invading the nervous system.  Since 1988, the WHO reports that cases of polio have decreased by 99% since 1988.  However, regions still most affected by polio outbreaks to date are Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, all of which have experienced dismal strategies to try and eradicate the disease.  “Failure to stop polio in these remaining areas could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world,” the WHO explains.

Malaria – Each year, WHO estimates more than 200 million cases of malaria worldwide, with over 400,000 deaths.  Approximately 90% of deaths caused by the mosquito-borne disease occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with the rest occurring in South-East Asia, South America, the Western Pacific and the Eastern Mediterranean.  In Central African Republic and South Sudan, malaria kills more people than war.  Other countries struggling with malaria include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Somalia.

Meningococcal meningitis C– Avirulent new strain is circulating along Africa’s meningitis belt — threatening 26 countries — at a time of acute global shortages of the meningitis C vaccine. The risk of large-scale epidemics is dangerously high and more than 34 million people could be affected.  More than 10% of people who fall ill with Meningitis C die.  Survivors often face severe neurological consequences.

Diphtheria– is making an alarming comeback in countries suffering from significant gaps in healthcare provision.  Venezuela, Indonesia, Yemen, and Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar) all reported diphtheria outbreaks in 2017.[2]


What does this mean?

We have been warned about the results of our disobedience for thousands of years;

Deuteronomy 32: 23 – 24 – “I will heap calamities on them and spend my arrows against them.  I will send  wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague.

Habakkuk 3:5 – Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps.

Luke 21: 11– These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.  Then he said to them:.. There will be great… famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events..

Revelation 22:18 – I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book.

What else does the Bible tell us?– The Future

What does that mean for you?– Good News


[1]Health24 – 28thSeptember 2017

[2]WHO –  9thFebruary 2018

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