It might be hard to imagine thousands of people dying from an epidemic in the recent times but it was once a reality. Throughout the history, epidemics have caused more deaths than anything else. There have been some unlikely epidemics that happened due to viral, bacterial or other health events affecting a large population of people.
Thank God for the advancements in medical sciences that these have become a thing of the past now. Let us walk you through 8 worst epidemics that wiped out a large population of people –
This disease can be traced back to thousands of years and claimed many lives. It targets the nervous system and leads to paralysis eventually. It was in 1952 when it was on its peak in the United States claiming 57,628 people.
- The Plague of Justinian
Between 541 and 542AD, this plague claimed the highest number of lives in the human history. Over 100 million people died from this disease caused by bacterial infection. Over thousands of people used to die every day from this infectious plague.
- The Black Plague
Over 50 million lives were lost between 1346 to 1350 due to this plague. The outbreak started in Asia and then got spread to the rest of the world causing the swelling of lymph nodes. Within just a week of infection, 80% people used to die.
This epidemic began in 1960 and continue to scare the world till today. So far, this virus caused epidemic has claimed over 39 million lives.
- Camp Fever
Also known as Epidemic Typhus, this one was caused by bodily lice. This spread quickly in the closed, poverty-stricken areas in the 1600s throughout the Europe. This one claimed over 10 million lives.
The origins of this disease go back to 4000 years and it was widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. The disease caused infections in 350 to 500 million people and became the largest epidemic throughout World War I and II.
Cholera was a common disease in India and didn’t spread to the rest of the world till the 19th century. The main reason behind its spread was contaminated food and water. The largest and the latest outbreak of Cholera was reported in Haiti in 2010.
- Yellow Fever
This disease was responsible for wiping out the entire population during Napoleon’s reign and is still prevalent in the regions of Africa and South America. There are estimated 200,000 cases of Yellow Fever today causing over 30,000 deaths a year.