Pandemics 430 BCE – Present

Black Death

This timeline details pandemics through history

A pandemic is defined as a disease that spreads across a wide geographical area. Pandemics are generally caused by a new virus, or by a strain of an existing virus that spreads rapidly. They may also be caused by bacteria, though this is rarer nowadays unless it is resistant to antibiotics.

Plague of Athens
430 BCE
Origin: Athens, Greece
Cause: Bacteria
Type of illness: Typhoid
Number of deaths: up to 2/3 of the population
Antonine Plague
165 CE
Origin: Mesopotamia
Cause: Virus
Type of illness: Smallpox or Measles
Number of deaths: up to 5 million
Plague of Justinian
541 – 543 CE
Origin: Eastern Roman Empire
Cause: Bacteria
Type of illness: Bubonic Plague
Number of deaths: up to 25 million
1346 – 1351
Origin: Central Asia
Cause: Bacteria
Type of illness: Bubonic Plague
Number of deaths: 75 – 200 million
First Influenza Outbreak
1580
Origin: Asia
Cause: Virus
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: not known
Influenza Outbreak
1729 – 1732
Origin: Russia
Cause: Virus
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: not known
Influenza Outbreak
1781
Origin: China
Cause: Virus
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: not known
Cholera Outbreak
1817
Origin: Russia
Cause: bacteria
Type of illness: Cholera
Number of deaths: more than 1 million
Influenza Outbreak
1830 – 1831
Origin: China
Cause: Virus
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: not known
Cholera Outbreak
1852 – 1860
Origin: India
Cause: bacteria
Type of illness: Cholera
Number of deaths: around 1 million
Russian Flu
1889 – 1890
Origin: Russia
Cause: Virus – Strain: H2N2 or H3N8
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: around 1 million
Cholera Pandemic
1910 – 1911
Origin: India
Cause: bacteria
Type of illness: Cholera
Number of deaths: around 1 million
Spanish Flu
1918 – 1920
Origin: disputed – possibly China or the United States
Cause: Virus – Strain: H1N1
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: 50 – 100 million
Asian Flu
1956 – 1958
Origin: Yunnan Province, China
Cause: Virus – Strain: H2N2
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: 1 – 2 million
Hong Kong Flu
1968 – 1970
Origin: Hong Kong
Cause: Virus – Strain: H3N2
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: 1 – 2 million
HIV/ AIDS
1981 –
Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cause: Human immunodeficiency virus
Type of illness: Weakened immune system
Number of deaths: 32 million to date
Swine Flu/ Mexican Flu
2009 – 2010
Origin: Mexico
Cause: Virus – Strain: pH1N1/09
Type of illness: Influenza
Number of deaths: 150,000 – 600,000
Coronavirus
2019 –
Origin: Wutan, China
Cause: Virus – Strain: COVID-19
Type of illness: Respiratory disease
Number of deaths: 313,000 to date

 

Published Mar 2, 2020 @ 1:20 pm – Updated – May 17, 2020 @ 10:35 am

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Pandemics 430 BCE – Present. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/pandemics-430-bce-present. Last accessed [date]