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Pandemic series: a significant flu pandemic by 2025?
Probably the highest risk for a natural pandemic is posed by new versions of influenza. Since 1500 there have been 13 or more influenza pandemics according to this list, with five in the past 120 years, in 1889, 1918, 1957, 1968 and 1977 (since then there is also a listing for a 2009 pandemic at the WHO.)
The definition of a "pandemic" varies among sources; here we will define a "significant pandemic" to be a single-year epidemic that causes more than about five times the annual estimated 250K-500K deaths due to seasonal influenza. Of the 6 most recent pandemic, probably two (1918 and 1957) fulfill this criterion. We then ask:
Will there be more than 2.5M deaths worldwide in a single 1-year period due to an influenza strain of natural origin by 2025?
Resolution is positive if numbers reported by the CDC, WHO, or other official organizations put an estimated total number of fatalities above 2.5M in a single 1-year period that ends prior to Jan 1, 2025. (If only ranges are available, question will resolve as positive if the bottom end of the range exceeds 2.5M.)
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.
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