List of epidemics

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List of Epidemics[edit | edit source]

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This article presents a list of epidemics that have significantly impacted human populations throughout history. Epidemics are widespread occurrences of infectious diseases that can lead to serious public health concerns and have profound social, economic, and political consequences. This list includes both epidemics and pandemics, which are epidemics that spread across multiple countries or continents.

Pre-20th Century[edit | edit source]

  • Plague of Athens (430-426 BCE): A devastating epidemic that struck Athens during the Peloponnesian War, causing the deaths of an estimated one-third of the population.
  • Antonine Plague (165-180 CE): A smallpox or measles outbreak that affected the Roman Empire, killing an estimated 5 million people.
  • Plague of Justinian (541-542 CE): A bubonic plague outbreak that affected the Byzantine Empire, killing an estimated 25-50 million people.
  • Black Death (1347-1351): A pandemic caused by the bubonic plague that swept across Europe, Asia, and Africa, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75-200 million people.
  • Cocoliztli Epidemic (1545-1548): An outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in Mexico that killed an estimated 5-15 million people.
  • Great Plague of London (1665-1666): A major outbreak of bubonic plague in London, England, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 100,000 people.

20th Century[edit | edit source]

  • Spanish flu (1918-1920): A deadly influenza pandemic that infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide and caused the deaths of 50-100 million people.
  • Asian flu (1957-1958): A pandemic caused by the H2N2 subtype of the influenza A virus, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 1-2 million people.
  • Hong Kong flu (1968-1969): A pandemic caused by the H3N2 subtype of the influenza A virus, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 1-4 million people.
  • AIDS pandemic (1981-present): A global pandemic caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 32.7 million people as of 2019.

21st Century[edit | edit source]

  • SARS outbreak (2002-2003): An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a viral respiratory illness caused by the SARS coronavirus, which resulted in 8,098 confirmed cases and 774 deaths.
  • H1N1 influenza pandemic (2009-2010): A pandemic caused by the H1N1 subtype of the influenza A virus, resulting in an estimated 151,700-575,400 deaths worldwide.
  • Ebola epidemic in West Africa (2013-2016): An epidemic of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, which resulted in 28,646 reported cases and 11,323 deaths.
  • Zika virus epidemic (2015-2016): An outbreak of Zika virus, which caused widespread concern due to its association with birth defects and neurological disorders.
  • COVID-19 pandemic (2019-present): A global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has led to widespread illness, death, and social, economic, and political disruptions. As of September 2021, there have been over 229 million confirmed cases and more than 4.7 million deaths worldwide.

External links[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Summary[edit | edit source]

Epidemics and pandemics caused by an infectious disease. An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time; in meningococcal, infections, an attack rate in excess of 15 cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks is considered an epidemic.

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