History of Pandemic: Timeline, Death Toll and other details

History of Pandemic

History of pandemic witnessed millions of deaths. Disease and illnesses have plagued humanity since the earliest days of civilization. Inventions, technological advancements and globalization have made the world very small in terms of reach and communication. Globalization created new opportunities for trade and commerce across the world. It also promoted human and animal interactions making contagious and infectious disease become epidemics and pandemic.

The more civilized humans became with smart and larger cities, more exotic trade routes, and increased contact with different people, animals, and ecosystems, the more likely epidemics become pandemics.

History of Pandemic: Timeline

Here are short details of some pandemics that have occurred over time:

Pandemic/ Epidemic/ Outbreak

Time period

Type / Pre-human host

Death

Toll

Antonine Plague

165-180

Believed either smallpox or measles

5M

Japanese smallpox epidemic

735-737

Variola major virus

1M

Plague of Justinian

541-542

Yersinia pestis bacteria / Rats, fleas

30-50M

Black Death

1347-1351

Yersinia pestis bacteria / Rats, fleas

200M

New World Smallpox Outbreak

1520 – on-

wards

Variola major virus

56M

Great Plague of London

1665

Yersinia pestis bacteria / Rats, fleas

100,000

Italian plague

1629-1631

Yersinia pestis bacteria / Rats, fleas

1M

Cholera Pandemics

1-6

1817-1923

V. cholerae bacteria

1M+

Third Plague

1885

Yersinia pestis bacteria / Rats, fleas

12M (China and India)

Yellow Fever

Late 1800s

Virus / Mosquitoes

100,000-150,000 (U.S.)

Russian Flu

1889-1890

Believed to be H2N2 (avian origin)

1M

Spanish Flu

1918-1919

H1N1 virus / Pigs

40-50M

Asian Flu

1957-1958

H2N2 virus

1.1M

Hong Kong Flu

1968-1970

H3N2 virus

1M

HIV/ AIDS

1981-present

Virus / Chimpanzees

25-35M

Swine Flu

2009-2010

H1N1 virus / Pigs

200,000

SARS

2002-2003

Coronavirus / Bats, Civets

770

Ebola

2014-2016

Ebolavirus / Wild animals

11,000

MERS

2015-Present

Coronavirus / Bats, camels

850

COVID-19

2019-Present

Coronavirus – Unknown (possibly pangolins)

2.7M (Johns Hopkins University estimate as of March 16, 2021


Above data Source:
Article of VisualCapitalist


Pandemic

A pandemic is the worst case scenario in the realm of infectious diseases. When an epidemic spreads beyond a country’s borders, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of people, then the disease officially becomes a pandemic. 

Since the earliest days of human history there have been a number of pandemics such as smallpox, tuberculosis, cholera, measles etc. The most fatal pandemic was the Black Death, which killed an estimated 75–200 million people during the 14th century.

Pandemic since earliest days of humankind

Communicable diseases existed during hunter-gatherer days of humankind. Shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities and it made epidemics more possible. Diseases like Malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, influenza, smallpox etc. appeared during this period.

Lets see some pandemics occurred in recent decades;

Pandemics in the last 100 years

Spanish Flu : 1918

The Spanish flu which is avian-borne flu caused an estimated 50 million deaths worldwide. The Spanish flu was first observed in 1918 in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At that time there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer disease. Wire service reports of a flu outbreak in Madrid in the spring of 1918. This led to the pandemic  called the “Spanish flu.”

SARS : 2003

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is believed to have possibly started with bats in 2003, spread to cats and then to humans in China. This spread in 26 other countries and infected estimated 8,096 people, with 774 deaths.

SARS spread through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. This was characterized by respiratory problems, dry cough, fever and head aches and body aches. Quarantine efforts proved effective to contain SARS and by July the virus was contained. 

COVID-19 (Novel Corona Virus): 2019

World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced COVID-19 virus a pandemic on March 11, 2020, after barreling through 114 countries in three months and infecting over 118,000 people. 

COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus that has not been previously found in human. Symptoms of novel coronavirus include respiratory problems, fever, cough, and can lead to pneumonia. Like SARS, COVID-19 also spread through droplets from coughs and sneezes.

The first reported case of COVID-19 appeared on November 17, 2019, in the Hubei Province of China. The novel corona virus spread beyond Chinese borders to nearly every country in the world. By 9th May 2021, it had infected more than 158 million people with more than 3.6 million deaths worldwide. The number of new cases is growing faster than ever with more than 600,000 new reported each day.

History of Pandemic: Timeline, Death Toll and other details, worst pandemics in history, pandemics in the last 100 years, list of pandemics in history


Tags: history of pandemic, worst pandemics in history, pandemics in the last 100 years, list of pandemics in history, world pandemic history, deadliest pandemic in history 

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1 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for providing such a detailed information about pandemics.
    It surely would help us in clearing our upcoming SSC CHSL 2020-21 Tier 2 exam.
    Keep up the good work 💪🏻

    ReplyDelete