12 of the World Worst Epidemics and Pandemics Disease in History – Spark Gist

World 12 Worst Pandemics Outbreak in History – Pandemic is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic.

The world have experience worst disease outbreak for long time and millions have died during this occurs. Cholera, bubonic plague, smallpox, HIV, and influenza are some of the brutal killers’ diseases in human history.

And outbreaks of these diseases across international borders, are properly defined as pandemic, especially smallpox, which throughout history, has killed between 300-500 million people in its 12,000 year existence.

 1. Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Novel Coronavirus began in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human beings. It was named Covid-19, as a shortened form of “coronavirus disease of 2019.” This new virus spreads incredibly quickly between people; no one currently has immunity to Covid-19 because no one had coronavirus until 2019.

First it was an epidemic disease; it is spread out of China to the world within months.  In March 2020, WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic and by the end of that month, the world saw more than a million people infected and nearly 50,000 deaths.  As US records the highest country with infected people and Italy records the highest country with death rate.

The outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic is impossible to predict, at the time of this writing. But we can learn from the Spanish flu, the AIDS pandemic, and pandemics in history to determine our best courses of action and fate.

With the outbreak coronavirus, people now know the best practices to follow during a pandemic, from CAREFUL HAND-WASHING TO SOCIAL DISTANCING TO STAY AT HOME. All the countries of the world have set a compulsory stay-at-home measures, lockdown schools, businesses, and public places, while companies and many more independent researchers working on tests, treatments, and vaccines. The survival of the human race is now the primary concern in the world.

2. West African Ebola epidemic (2014-2016) 

Health care workers put on protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.  Ebola ravaged West Africa between 2014 and 2016, with 28,600 reported cases and 11,325 deaths. The first case to be reported was in Guinea in December 2013, then the disease quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The bulk of the cases and deaths occurred in those three countries. A smaller number of cases occurred in Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, the United States and Europe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

There is no cure for Ebola, although efforts at finding a vaccine are ongoing. The first known cases of Ebola occurred in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, and the virus may have originated in bats.

3. HIV and AIDS Pandemic (2005-2012)

HIV/AIDS recorded a death rate of 36 million and still counting from 1981 till date. It was first identified in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981.

Currently there are between 31-35 million people living with this HIV which majority of them are found in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, where roughly 21 million people are infected (5%). As awareness grew and researches were carried out, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to living long and even given birth with non-HIV children.

A great improvement in the handling of this pandemic was seen between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

4. The Flu Pandemic of 1968

It is also called the “the Hong Kong Flu,” the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza. A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.

5. Asian Flu (1956-1958)

Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype, that originated in China in 1956 to 1958. In its two-year spree, Asian Flu travelled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates for the death toll of the Asian Flu vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2 million deaths, 69,800 of those in the US alone.

6. The Flu Pandemic of 1918

The flu of 1918 recorded one of the highest death rate. The Flu pandemic of 1918 was different from the flu outbreak due to its victims, where influenza had always previously only killed juveniles and the elderly or already weakened patients, it had begun striking down hardy and completely healthy young adults, while leaving children and those with weaker immune systems still alive.

Between 1918 and 1920 a disturbingly deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20 – 50 million people. Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone.

7. The Cholera Pandemic (1910-1911)

Cholera Pandemic began in India where it killed over 800,000 people, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past pandemics, quickly isolated the infected and giving them treatments, and in the end only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.

8. The Flu Pandemic of 1889-1890

Normally called Asiatic Flu or Russian Flu was caused by the outbreak of the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2 and found to be caused be the Influenza A virus subtype H3N8. The Asiatic Flu or Russian Flu was the first true epidemic in the era of bacteriology and much was learned from it.

The first cases of flu pandemic of 1889 were observed in May 1889 in three separate and distant locations namely; Bukhara in Central Asia (Turkestan), Athabasca in north-western Canada, and Greenland. Rapid population growth of the 19th century, specifically in urban areas, helped in the spread of the flu spread, and the outbreak had spread across the globe before now. In the end, the Flu Pandemic claimed the lives of over a million individuals.

9. Third Cholera Pandemic (1852–1860)

Like the first and second pandemics, the Third Cholera Pandemic originated in India, spreading to the Ganges River Delta before tearing through Asia, Europe, North America and Africa and ending the lives of over a million people. The third major outbreak of Cholera in the 19th century lasted for 8 years.

A British physician named John Snow, while working in a poor area of London, tracked cases of cholera and eventually succeeded in identifying contaminated water as the means of transmission for the disease. Unfortunately his discovery in 1854 went down as the worst year of the pandemic, which claimed the life of 23,000 people in Great Britain.

10. The Black Death (1346-1353)

The Black Death, a 7 years plague was thought to have originated in Asia, it spread through the continents through the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people.

Ports being major urban centre at the time were the perfect breeding ground for these rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake. This pandemic records the highest death rate in history.

11. Plague of Justinian (541-542)

The Plague of Justinian was an outbreak of the bubonic plague that afflicted the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean port cities, killing up to 25 million people in its year long reign of terror. Generally regarded as the first recorded incident of the Bubonic Plague, the Plague of Justinian left its mark on the world, killing up to a quarter of the population of the Eastern Mediterranean and devastating the city of Constantinople, where at its height it was killing an estimated 5,000 people per day and eventually resulting in the deaths of 40% of the city’s population.

12. Antonine Plague (165 AD)

The Antonine Plague was an ancient pandemic that affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy and is thought to have been either Smallpox or Measles, though the true cause is still unknown. This unknown disease was brought back to Rome by soldiers returning from Mesopotamia around 165AD; unknowingly, they had spread a disease which would end up killing over 5 million people and decimating the Roman army.

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