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Plagues of the 21st Century


The single biggest threat to human being's continued dominance on the planet is the virus. - Joshua Lederberg, Nobel Prize winning biologist. He also said: We live in competition with microbes - bacteria and viruses. There is no guarantee that we will be the survivors.

This pack of nasty microbes that have wreaked havoc in recent times will help you spread the facts and give you some perspective. Spread awareness and knowledge of these deadly, modern plagues.

Plagues of the 21st Century themed gift box includes these mini microbes: COVID-19, Zika Virus, Measles, Pandemic Flu and SARS.

Clip them onto your backpack, keys or anywhere! Includes key chain clips.

Educational map of Microbes of the World and infographic on Hand Washing best practices included.

Click here to view an animated cartoon about plagues and how they spread.


  • Plagues of the 21st Century Plagues of the 21st Century GMUS-BX-0125
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Product Details

Additional Information

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Sizes Giantmicrobes are based on actual microbes, cells, organisms and other critters, only 1,000,000 times actual size!
Gigantic (GG) 16-24"
XL (XL) 10-15"
Original (PD) 5-8"
Keychain (KC) 2-4" with clip
Materials Plush from all new materials. Stuffed with polyester fiber fill. Surface washable: sponge with water & soap, air dry.
Packaging Each plush microbe includes a printed card with fun, educational and fascinating facts about the actual microbe or cell.
Safety Every product meets or exceeds U.S. and European standards for safety. For ages 3 and up.

All about Plagues of the 21st Century

COVID-19 - COVID-19 arrived in 2019 and quickly spread globally along with confusion, rumors and fear. Scientists around the world collaborated and rapidly developed therapies and vaccines as nations went “medieval” quarantining citizens. What should you do when a mysterious microbe comes knocking? Start by staying calm, learning the facts and getting vaccinated.

COVID-19 is respiratory, spreading mainly in coughs and sneezes. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Millions of people still experience Long Covid, associated with a wide range of health conditions and encompassing more than 200 symptoms involving nearly every organ system.

ZIKA - The Zika virus causes devastating birth defects and neurological disorders. It is transmitted to people by the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes, which live in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Most infected people have no symptoms, while some have a fever, rash and muscle pain.

Zika became a public health emergency in 2016 when it emerged in Brazil and spread globally. Increases in human population and travel combined with climate change have helped this disease spread. There are still no treatments or vaccines available. Zika has not vanished so do your best to avoid this mosquito. The larger lesson is that we have to prepare for the emergence of new menacing microbes.

MEASLES - Measles is a highly contagious virus that remains a dangerous health threat. Many people catch this microbe each year despite a vaccine that's spot-on. Although its telltale symptoms are red spots and a mild fever, it is in fact a respiratory disease that can lead to fatal pneumonia and brain damage.

The good news is that most children are inoculated against measles, typically along with mumps, rubella and chickenpox when they receive their MMRV shot. The bad news is that cases have recently skyrocketed. Measles is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable childhood deaths, yet weak healthcare in developing countries and misinformed vaccine resistance have led to its resurgence. Vaccinations can stop this modern day plague.

PANDEMIC FLU - The flu, or influenza, is capable of killing rapidly and efficiently, more so than any other known virus. The seasonal flu sickens millions annually. But new flus can lead to global pandemics. All flus originate in wild ducks, gulls and other water birds. When certain strains spill over to infect mammals, deadly hybrid flus can emerge.

Swine flu, the H1N1 strain, is a mix of pig, bird and human flu viruses. H1N1 caused the last four flu pandemics including the 1918 Spanish Flu, nightmarishly fatal to over 50 million people who had no immunities against that unfamiliar strain. The flu is full of surprises, so we best pay attention and prepare.

SARS - Years before COVID-19 arose to plague our world, the first coronavirus to inflict serious illness upon people was SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome. In 2003, SARS jumped from its animal host to humans. From China it spread to 32 countries, infecting over 8,000 people with respiratory disease and killing 774.

The SARS epidemic was deadly but it did not rise to the level of a pandemic. Scientists were quick to identify this novel virus and health experts were efficient in isolating cases. Humanity was also lucky. That coronavirus vanished and was nearly forgotten, that is until its cousin COVID-19 emerged in a much bigger way.

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