List of epidemics

Wikimedia list article

This article is a list of major pandemics and epidemics caused by infectious diseases in human history. Events in boldface are ongoing.

Epidemics with at least 1 million deaths
Rank Epidemics/pandemics Date First outbreak Location Death toll
1
Black Death
1346–1353 Xi'an, China Europe, Asia and North Africa 75–200 million
2
Spanish flu
1918–1920 Manhattan, Kansas, USA Worldwide 17–100 million
3
Plague of Justinian
541–542 Pelusium, Egypt Europe and West Asia 15–100 million
4 HIV/AIDS pandemic 1981–present East Africa Worldwide 43 million+ (2024)
5
Third plague pandemic
1855–1960 Yunnan, China Worldwide 12–15 million
6
Cocoliztli Epidemic of 1545–1548
1545–1548 Mexico North America 5–15 million
7
Antonine Plague
165–180 Seleucia, Iraq Roman Empire 5–10 million
8
1520 Mexico smallpox epidemic
1519–1520 Mexico North America 5–8 million
9
COVID-19 pandemic
2019–present Wuhan, China Worldwide 7-35 million (as of 2024)
10
Asian flu
1957–1958 Guizhou, China Worldwide 1–4 million
Hong Kong flu 1968–1969 Hong Kong Worldwide
11 1918–1922 Russia typhus epidemic 1918–1922 Russia Siberia 2–3 million
14 735–737 Japanese smallpox epidemic 735–737 Dazaifu, Fukuoka Japan 2 million
1772–1773 Persian Plague 1772–1773 Baghdad, Iraq Persia 2 million
16
Naples Plague
1656–1658 Naples, Italy Europe 1.25 million
17
Third cholera pandemic
1846–1860 Mecca, Saudi Arabia Worldwide 1 million+
18
1629–1631 Italian plague
1629–1631 Milan, Italy Europe 1 million

1889–1890 flu pandemic
1889–1890 Bukhara, Russia Worldwide 1 million

Worldwide Pandemics

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Regional

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Central and South America

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Europe

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Egypt & North Africa

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North America

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References

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  • Kuhnke, Laverne. Lives at Risk: Public Health in Nineteenth-Century Egypt. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1990.
  • Gallagher, Nancy. Egypt's Other Wars: Epidemics and the Politics of Public Health. Syracuse University Press, c1990. Published by the American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 977-424-295-5
  • Kinch, Michael. Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity. New York: Pegasus Books, 2018. ISBN 9781681777511
  • Rosen, William, Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe, New York: Penguin Random House, 2008 ISBN 9780143113812
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