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Pandemic Outbreaks That Changed The Course of History

Deadly Pandemic Outbreaks That Changed The Course of History

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What could be an extreme situation in the domain of a viral disease/infection? A pandemic. When the outbreak of infection starts crossing borders of nations and continents, it is officially a pandemic disease.

In the year 2020, the Novel Coronavirus managed to bag the title as the World Health Organisation has finally announced the disease as a pandemic. With over 5000 deaths across the globe and the virus still travelling, this comes as no surprise.

Deadly Pandemic Outbreaks That Changed The Course of History
The World Health Organisation has finally announced the disease as a pandemic.

But what came before? Here are all the Pandemics the world has seen from the beginning of time:

1. Plague of Justinian 541

Plague of Justinian affected the Eastern Roman Empire from 541 to 542. It was one of the most horrifying epidemics of the plague that took place and claimed lives of millions of people. After spreading across the outer provinces of the empire, the plague finally reached Constantinople, which was the capital. The disease stretched across the Mediterranean world and lasted for 225 years more.

2. Black Death 1347-1351

After wiping off almost 33% of the world’s population, the plague appeared again, this time in Asia. It travelled towards the west and soon it had spread across Europe. Almost half of the European population had died in a span of barely 4 years. The plague got its name from the black skin spots on the sailors who were travelling the Silk Road and finally landed at a Sicilian port. They were unaware of the horrifying disease they were bringing along with them from their journey.

3. Cholera

There was not just one outbreak of the cholera pandemic in the past. But speaking of its origin, it first started spreading from Calcutta along the Ganges Delta in 1817 and took away millions of lives. It spread rapidly across India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. If not treated on time or left untreated, it could kill a person in just a few hours.

The disease finally started fading out because of severe winter in 1823–1824, which is believed to have killed the bacteria living in the water.

4. Asian flu (H2N2) 1957-1958

First appearing in Hong Kong and then spreading across from China to the United States, the Asian flu was an epidemic of Influenza type A, a subtype of H2N2. The estimated death toll for this pandemic varies as it has been cited differently by different sources. Although, according to WHO, there were around 2 million people who died.

Deadly Pandemic Outbreaks That Changed The Course of History
In England, over 6 months, 14,000 people died of Asian flu.

5. Swine Flu (H1N1) 2009

The swine-flu pandemic which is believed to have killed around 203,000 people all over the world began travelling from North America in 2009. Soon this new influenza virus had spread all over the world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation after there were confirmed cases of the infection in 74 countries and territories. Even though the virus is said to have lasted from 2009-2010, even today, many countries still report confirmed infections from the new virus.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Quint Fit   Coronavirus 2019 

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