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Pandemic series: a major naturally-originated pandemic by 2026?

Other questions in this series have asked separately about influenza and H5N1, and the emergence of new mosquito-borne, airborne, and blood-borne diseases.

Those questions all concern disease that originate naturally, i.e. without any accidental or deliberate human modification and release (which is the subject of separate questions). Here we ask the general question:

Will there be "naturally spawned" pandemic leading to at least 100M reported infections or at least 10M deaths in a 12-month period by the end of 2025?

Infection and death numbers will be as taken from the WHO, CDC, or other credible source; if not entirely clear, we will assume "naturally spawned" unless there is credible evidence otherwise as of June 1, 2026.


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. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

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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Community Stats

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.