The 10 deadliest epidemics in world history:
1. Spanish Flu
It is the first of the two diseases with H1N1 influenza virus that were effective between January 1918 and December 1920 in the first place in the list of the 10 deadliest epidemics in the world history. The reason why this disease is called “Spanish” flu is because the years of the first world war in the world started to be discussed in the public opinion, although Spain is a new disease epidemic, so Spain is not the place where this disease occurs or is the most intense; this is where the disease is found to be an epidemic.
It infected 500 million people around the world, about 27% of the world’s population, including the Pacific islands and people in the Arctic. During this period, it killed 50 million to 100 million people. As a result of samples taken from some mass graves that opened years later, it was understood that it was caused by the H1N1 virus (same except for a few minor differences) that caused swine flu.
2. HIV / AIDS
AIDS is a disease caused by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) virus. After the first infection, any symptoms may not be noticed or may experience short-term flu-like illness. As the infection progresses, the immune system collapses. This stage often causes unwanted weight loss.
HIV primarily spreads from mother to child during unprotected sex, blood transfusions, needles and pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Some body fluids, such as saliva, sweat and tears, do not spread the virus. The average survival time after infection without treatment is 11 years.
In 2018, about 37.9 million people lived with HIV, resulting in 770,000 deaths. About 20.6 million of them live in eastern and southern Africa. Between AIDS detection (in the early 1980s) and 2018, the disease caused an estimated 32 million deaths worldwide.
3. Justinian Plague Outbreak
The Justinian Plague Outbreak (541-542 AD) was an epidemic affecting the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire, and especially its capital, Constantinople, as well as the Sassanid Empire and port cities around the Mediterranean. Merchant ships housed mice carrying infected fleas. An estimated 25–50 million people died during the two-century repetition. this number was equivalent to 13-2% of the world population at that time.
In 2013, researchers confirmed that the cause of Justinian Plague was Yersinia Pestis, the bacteria responsible for the Black Plague (1347-1351). Modern historians named this plague, the name of Emperor Justinian I. during the first epidemic. Justinian got sick, but survived.
4. The Black Plague
The Black Plague was a devastating global epidemic that hit Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. Twelve ships arriving in the port of Sicily arrived in Europe from the Black Sea in October 1347. People gathered at the quay encountered a terrible surprise. Most sailors on the ships were dead, and those still alive were severely ill. Sicilian officials hastily ordered the fleet of “death ships” to leave the port. But it was too late. Over the next five years, Black Death killed more than 20 million people in Europe, about a third of the continent’s population.
Black Death was terribly infectious, non-discriminatory. It could pass from person to person from the air or by the bites of infected fleas and rats. Just touching the clothes was enough for smearing. The disease was also terribly effective. People who were extremely healthy when they slept at night could die in the morning.
5. Asian Flu
Asian Flu appeared in China in early 1957. The virus was first identified in Guizhou. It spread to Singapore in February 1957, reached Hong Kong in April and the USA in June. The number of deaths in the USA was about 69,800. The number of deaths caused by this outbreak varies greatly depending on various sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced as 2 million people.
Cholera is an acute and severe diarrheal illness that is caused by an intestinal infection caused by the bacteria called Vibrio cholerae. It is mostly spread by contaminated water and bacteria-containing foods. Undercooked seafood is a common source. Cholera affects an estimated 3-5 million people worldwide and causes 28,800-130,000 deaths per year. Although classified as an epidemic disease as of 2010, it rarely occurs in the developed world. Children are more affected.
One of the 10 deadliest epidemics in world history is Chickenpox. In the 15th century, Europeans discovered the new world. The European explorers, who came into contact with the natives in the American continent, infected the viruses and bacteria they brought with them.
Chickenpox had already killed a third of Europe, but the American natives, whose immune systems were not developed like the Europeans and whose medications were insufficient, had no chance. Millions of people died and 90 percent of the indigenous population died at that time. This situation made it very easy to colonize the American continent by the Europeans.
Until the beginning of the 19th century, one of both American Indians died due to diseases from Europe.
8. Hong-Kong Flu
The 1968 Hong Kong flu was also called the 1968 Hong Kong flu outbreak. The epidemic occurred in China in July 1968 and lasted until 1969-70. The outbreak was the third flu pandemic that occurred in the 20th century; In 1957, the Asian flu pandemic followed the flu epidemic 1918-1919 (also called the Spanish flu). The Hong Kong flu resulted in an estimated one to four million deaths.
Although the Hong Kong flu pandemic was associated with relatively few deaths worldwide, the virus was highly contagious, a factor that facilitated its rapid global spread. In fact, two weeks after it appeared in Hong Kong in July, nearly 500,000 disease cases were reported and the virus continued to spread rapidly in Southeast Asia.
Signs and symptoms typically begin between two days and three weeks after infection with the virus, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headache. Vomiting, diarrhea and rash are observed with a decrease in the functions of the liver and kidneys. The disease has a high risk of death, kills 25% to 90% of those infected.
The virus spreads through direct contact with body fluids such as blood from infected people or other animals. The disease was first described in two simultaneous outbreaks in 1976: one in Nzara (a town in South Sudan) and the other in Yambuku (Democratic Republic of the Congo), a village near the Ebola River, where the disease was named. Between 1976 and 2013, the World Health Organization reported 24 outbreaks, involving 2,387 cases, with 1,590 deaths. The largest epidemic to date was the outbreak in West Africa, with 28,646 cases and 11,323 deaths from December 2013 to January 2016.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of animal origin caused by the SARS corona virus (SARS-CoV). Between November 2002 and July 2003, the SARS outbreak in South China caused 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths in 17 countries (9.6% mortality)
It is isolated from the Himalayan masked musk cat (Paguma larvata) consumed in Chinese cuisine at a live animal market in Guandong province, China. Evidence of infection associated with coronavirus has also been shown in humans and animal samples working in the same market. The disease is passed from person to person with close contact. Contaminated hands, infected items, equipment, and small-particle aerosols are considered to play a role in transmission.