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Pandemics That Changed History: Timeline

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https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/pandemics-timeline

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Pandemics That Changed History: Timeline
As human civilizations rose, these pandemic diseases, from the bubonic plague to smallpox to influenza, struck them down.

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Spreading of diseases

Transmissible diseases existed during humankind’s hunter-gatherer days, but the shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities that made epidemics more possible.
We started build...

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430 B.C.: Plague of Athens

430 B.C.: Plague of Athens

The earliest recorded pandemic happened during the Peloponnesian War. It passed through Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt,  and it reached Athens as the Spartans laid siege. Two-thirds of the populat...

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165 A.D.: The Antonine Plague

165 A.D.: The Antonine Plague

It may have been an early appearance of smallpox that began with the Huns.
The Huns then infected the Germans, who passed it to the Romans and then returning troops spread it throughout the Roma...

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250 A.D.: Cyprian Plague

250 A.D.: Cyprian Plague

It is named after the first known victim, the Christian bishop of Carthage.
Possibly starting in Ethiopia, it passed through Northern Africa, into Rome, then onto Egypt and northward. City dwell...

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541 A.D.: The Justinian Plague

541 A.D.: The Justinian Plague

It first appeared in Egypt, then spread to Palestine and the Byzantine Empire, and then throughout the Mediterranean.
The plague changed the course of the empire, forcefully changing Emperor Jus...

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11th Century: Leprosy

11th Century: Leprosy

Though it had been around for ages, leprosy grew into a pandemic in Europe in the Middle Ages.
A slow-developing bacterial disease that causes sores and deformities, leprosy was believed to be a...

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1350: The Black Death

1350: The Black Death

Responsible for the death of one-third of the world population, this second large outbreak of the bubonic plague possibly started in Asia and moved west in caravans.
Entering through Sicily in 1...

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1492: The Columbian Exchange

1492: The Columbian Exchange

Following the arrival of the Spanish in the Caribbean, diseases such as smallpox, measles and bubonic plague were passed along to the native populations by the Europeans. With no previous exposure,...

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1665: The Great Plague of London

1665: The Great Plague of London

The bubonic plague led to the deaths of 20 percent of London’s population. As human death tolls mounted and mass graves appeared, hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs were slaughtered as the poss...

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1817: First Cholera Pandemic

1817: First Cholera Pandemic

This wave of the small intestine infection originated in Russia, where one million people died. Spreading through feces-infected water and food, the bacterium was passed along to British soldiers w...

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1855: The Third Plague Pandemic

Starting in China and moving to India and Hong Kong, the bubonic plague claimed 15 million victims. Initially spread by fleas during a mining boom in Yunnan, the plague is considered a factor in th...

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1875: Fiji Measles Pandemic

1875: Fiji Measles Pandemic

After Fiji ceded to the British Empire, a royal party visited Australia as a gift from Queen Victoria. Arriving during a measles outbreak, the royal party brought the disease back to their island, ...

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1889: Russian Flu

1889: Russian Flu

The first significant flu pandemic started in Siberia and Kazakhstan, traveled to Moscow, and made its way into Finland and then Poland, where it moved into the rest of Europe. By the following yea...

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1918: Spanish Flu

1918: Spanish Flu

The avian-borne flu that resulted in 50 million deaths worldwide, the Spanish flu is theorized to have originated in China and been spread by Chinese laborers being transported by rail across Canad...

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1957: Asian flu

Starting in Hong Kong and spreading throughout China and then into the United States, the Asian flu became widespread in England where, over six months, 14,000 people died. A second wave followed i...

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1981: HIV/AIDS

AIDS was first observed in American gay communities but is believed to have developed from a chimpanzee virus from West Africa in the 1920s. The disease, which spreads through certain body fluids, ...

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The 2003 Crisis

First identified in 2003 after several months of cases, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome infected infecting 8,096 people, with 774 deaths (from 26 countries)
It is characterized by respiratory ...

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The 2019 Pandemic

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that a new virus was officially a pandemic after barreling through 114 countries in three months and infecting over 118,000 people. And th...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Epidemic vs. pandemic

An epidemic is a broad term used to describe any problem that is actively spreading and has grown out of control.

The pandemic rel...

Disease Event Classification

Epidemiology is the branch of medicine that handles the following:

  • Incidence: the occurrence of a disease over a specified period.
  • Prevalence: how many people are affected within a population.
  • Control of diseases: an appropriate public health response.

Two measurable factors mostly define the level of disease occurrence:

  • The pattern and speed by which a disease moves.
  • The size of the susceptible population.

The terms an epidemiologist use

  • Sporadic refers to a disease that occurs infrequently or irregularly.
  • Cluster refers to a disease that occurs in larger numbers even though the actual number or cause may be uncertain.
  • Endemic refers to the constant presence and/or general prevalence of a disease in a geographic population.
  • Hyperendemic refers to persistent, high levels of disease well above what is seen in other populations.
  • Epidemic refers to a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected.
  • Outbreak is the same as an epidemic but is often used to describe a more limited geographic event.
  • Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.

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A History Of Pandemics

  • A Pandemic is defined as the proliferation of a disease over the whole country or the entire world.
  • Diseases and illnesses have troubled humanity since the earliest days, but ...

Quarantined

  • The original use of the word Quarantine was the act of anchoring a ship arrived in Venice, Italy, for 40 days before landing.
  • Infectiousness of any disease is measured by the reproduction number (R0, or R naught). For example, Smallpox has an R0 of 6 whereas Measles has an R0 of 16. 
  • Vaccination, if available, and herd immunity can curb the spread of disease.
  • Big cities, with exploding population and traffic, can lead to the rapid spread of any infectious disease.

The Third Cholera Pandemic (1852-1860)

The Third Cholera Pandemic (1852-1860)

Cholera is a bacterial infection and is mainly contracted through food and water.

The largest cholera outbreak originated in India and spread beyond its borders, killing about 23 000 people ...

The Asian Flu Pandemic (1957)

The Asian Flu Pandemic was an outbreak of avian influenza that started in China and spread worldwide.

The estimated death rate was one to two million people.

Typhus fever in World War 1 (1945)

Typhus fever is spread by lice. The war brought on poor sanitation that probably led to a higher density of lice and made the transmission more prevalent.

Typhus fever caused three million deaths in Russia alone.

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