On In Health & Fitness

15 Of The Deadliest Epidemics In Human History

Not every day it happens that we come across something that makes us thankful towards life but we're guaranteeing you that this article is one of them. Have you ever wondered what are the odds of just being a human? In case you've never contemplated that, let us inform you that the odds are a staggering 40 million to one. And if you think that's crazy, consider how crazy it seems that all it takes to end a human life is a simple cell or a parasite that enters our body and wrecks havoc inside it. So we must be thankful that we live in an age where we are blessed with advanced medical technology and the chances of an epidemic or pandemic breaking worldwide are pretty low. So today we'll be looking at the 15 of the deadliest epidemics that were a cause of human deaths. 

#15 Ebola - 11.000 deaths.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the worst cases of outbreaks when it comes to Ebola. Sadly, the disease claimed almost 11,000 lives in Africa. It's extremely contagious and is expensive to treat and hence the treatment isn't available worldwide. 

#14 The Moscow Plague - 100,000 deaths.

In 1770, the Moscow Plague, which was an outbreak of the bubonic plague, wiped out around 50,000 - 100,000 people which were one-third of the population of the city of Moscow.

#13 The Plague of Athens - 100,000 deaths.

The Plague of Athens wiped out at least 100,000 people around 430 BCE. Thucydides, a historian wrote about the disease in great detail so that it can be identified in the future as to what exactly was the disease but till date, there are arguments going on over the same. 

#12 The second plague pandemic - 100,000 deaths.

The second plague pandemic spread when British troops returned home from India - their colony at that time. Widely considered as one of the first modern-day pandemics, the second plague pandemic killed more than 200,000 people between 1827 - 1832.

#11 Swine Flu - 200,000 deaths.

Swine Flu outbreak between 2009-2010 almost took over 200,000 lives. The reason for such high number of deaths was because medical researchers never ever saw something like the virus before. The reason it is called Swine Flu is because the closest relatives of the H1N1 virus is found in pigs.

#10 The Great White Plague - 1.5 million deaths.

The Great White Plague was perhaps the scariest thing in Europe between 1600 and 1800. It killed approximately 1.5 million people over that span - approximately 30% of all European deaths. The culprit? Tuberculosis. 

#9 The Typhus Outbreak - 3 million deaths.

The Typhus outbreak seems a weird one because the disease was caused by body lice, something which doesn't seem that serious. But considering that it took over 3 million lives, one should learn the lesson of seeing a doctor as soon as he/she sees something unusual. 

#8 Antonine Plague - 5 million deaths.

If there's was a plague which had the capacity to cripple an empire, it was this one. The Antonine Plague took over 5 million lives of people living in Roman Empire and as if the number wasn't large enough, the economic and political implications were to cripple Rome. 

#7 The Third Pandemic - 12 million deaths.

Seems like there's no end to bubonic plagues on this list. The Third Pandemic originated in China and lasted from 1855 - 1959 - almost 100 years! The pandemic eventually spread to other nations and resulted in over 12 million casualties. 

#6 Spanish Flu - 20 - 40 million deaths.

One of the most ruthless and devastating pandemics ever, the Spanish Flu wiped out between 20 - 40 million people in just two years! The reason for the 'Spanish' in the name is because it was only the Spanish media which were giving uncensored coverage on the disease. It was later identified as a strain of the H1N1 virus. 

#5 HIV/AIDS - 35 million deaths.

HIV is a virus form which attacks the immune system, rendering it useless causing AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Although modern medicine has made it possible to fight AIDS, the disease was at its worst during 2005 when it claimed the lives of 3.1 million people that year itself. All in all, in total, AIDS has caused around 35 million deaths worldwide. 

#4 Plague of Justinian - 100 million deaths.

Plague of Justinian is one of the first pandemics in recorded history and at its pomp, have killed over 5000 people per day! The plague lasted over 225 years and killed over 100 million people during its lifetime. 

#3 The Black Death - 200 million deaths.

This is perhaps the deadliest and the most notorious pandemic that has ever been. Caused by the bacteria named as Yersinia pestis, the Black Death claimed lives of over 200 million people. The symptoms were oozing, bleeding and high fevers and it's estimated that approx 30-40% of Europe's population was wiped out as a result.

#2 Smallpox - 300 million deaths.

The last two diseases on our list are the ones which are still evident today so we'd suggest our readers to immediately consult a doctor if one notices the symptoms. Smallpox is a disease caused by the Variola virus which results in rashes all over the skin and in many cases, leads to death. Although these days smallpox is quite rare, that doesn't mean it's non-existent. With over 300 million lives claimed, smallpox is the second deadliest pandemic demic in human history.

#1 Malaria - 300 - 600 million people.

In case you were looking for a reason to kill that mosquito that's nagging you, here it is. Malaria has been one of the most steadily destructive pandemics there is because of the simple reason that the virus is resistant to drugs. The origin of the disease dates back to over 300,000 years ago and over the years, have claimed about 300-600 million lives, making it the deadliest pandemic ever.Did you like the content? Make sure you share the list with your friends to educate them on this too.