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The 10 deadliest epidemics throughout history

The Great Flu Epidemic (1918)

The Great Flu claimed between 20 million and 40 million lives. This disease killed more people than WW1.

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The 10 deadliest epidemics throughout history

The 10 deadliest epidemics throughout history

https://www.health24.com/Medical/infectious-diseases/News/the-10-deadliest-epidemics-throughout-history-20170928

health24.com

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Key Ideas

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 in Britain alone.

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.

Cocolitzli epidemic (1576)

Cocolitzli refers to a collection of pests. Symptoms were much like Ebola but included a dark tongue, jaundice, and neck nodules.

Cocolotzli caused millions of deaths in the territory of New Spain, which is present-day Mexico.

Plague of Justinian (541-542)

This pandemic affected the Eastern Roman Empire, specifically Constantinople and port cities along the Mediterranean sea. Necrosis of the limbs was one of the terrifying symptoms.

An estimated 25 million people died. The plague returned in waves but was not as severe as this one.

Antonine Plague (165-180 AD)

Also known as the plague of Galen, this plague was possibly caused by smallpox or measles.

Almost 2 000 deaths per day were recorded in Rome. The total death toll was about 5 million.

The Third Plague Pandemic (1855)

This bubonic plague pandemic started in the Yunnan province in China. Over the next 20 years, rats carried the infectious fleas responsible for the disease to Hong Kong and port cities around the world.

It caused almost 10 million deaths.

The Black Death (1334)

The Great Plague started in China and spread all along trade routes to Constantinople and Europe.
An estimated 60% of the European population was wiped out.

The Great Flu Epidemic (1918)

The Great Flu claimed between 20 million and 40 million lives. This disease killed more people than WW1.

HIV/Aids global pandemic  (1960s – present)

It is believed that HIV originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo around 1920 when the disease was spread from chimpanzees to humans.

The first cases of AIDs were reported in 1981, and since then, HIV has resulted in an estimated 65 million infections and 25 million deaths.

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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 population died.
The disease, suspected to have been typhoid fever, weakened the Athenians significantly and played a big role in their defeat by the Spartans.

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 Roman empire.  This plague continued until about 180 A.D., claiming Emperor Marcus Aurelius as one of its victims.

15 more ideas

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.
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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