The 5 Deadliest Outbreaks and Pandemics in History
Updated: Jun 30
More than a year has passed since we met with Covid-19 and we are still fighting this epidemic. But the world has always struggled with such epidemics. We wrote the 5 most destructive pandemics in world!
1. Smallpox Pandemic 1877-1977
Smallpox is at the top of our list of Most Destructive Pandemics. It is the deadliest pandemic in human history. The first evidence of smallpox is found in Egyptian mummies (3000 years ago). Due to this disease, the Native American population rapidly drastically declined, resulting in rapid and easy colonization. A third of European monarchs were blinded by smallpox. Thanks to Edward Jenner, who invented the smallpox vaccine, successful vaccination campaigns eradicated smallpox, and the World Health Organization documented a global eradication of smallpox in 1979.
2. Black Death Plague 1346-1353
The Black Death wiped out an estimated 30-50 percent of Europe's population and caused deep-seated religious, social, and economic upheavals. The bacterium Yersinia pestis evolved in or near China, and according to this theory, the disease may have traveled with Mongol armies, nomads, and traders, or arrived by ship. According to another belief, during the siege of the City, the Mongol Golden Horde hurled infected corpses against the city wall of Kaffa, like biological warfare. The Black Death killed an estimated 75-200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa. Europe did not regain population until 1500.
3. Spanish Flu Pandemic 1918-1920
Spanish flu, caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus infected 500 million people, about a third of the world's population at the time. The first observations of illness and death were documented in the United States in March 1918 and spread to France, Germany, the United Kingdom. World War I censors did not publish, but Spain was neutral, reports were made, and these stories created a false impression of Spain and gave rise to the name Spanish Flu.
4. HIV/AIDS Pandemic 1981-present
HIV and AIDS rank fourth on our Most Destructive Pandemics list and still continues. The biggest cause of HIV is having unprotected sex. Another reason is to use the same non-sterile needle for another patient. The first case of HIV/AIDS was documented in 1981 and approximately 33 million people died. HIV-1 and HIV-2 are believed to have jumped from primates to humans in West-Central Africa. Unfortunately, there is no cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, but with medical treatment, the patient can lead a normal life without medical treatment, with an estimated life expectancy of 11 years.
There are 38 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS. HIV weakens your body and immune system, making it vulnerable to infections. This reminds everyone: use condoms for health.
5. Plague of Justinian 541-549
The Plague of Justinian was the first plague epidemic in world history. Its name came from the current Byzantine emperor Justinian I in Constantinople. According to some sources, the plague came to the Continent on grain ships from Egypt. It is actually the same bacterium as the Black Death Yersinia petis. The death rate of the Plague of Justinian is estimated at 5000-1000 deaths per day, and about 10% of the world's population died. Symptoms; fever, headache, chills, bloating, abdominal pain, gangrene, and nightmares due to aches. This, like the Black Death plague, led to worker shortages and increased worker value.