Persian plague of 1772–1773

The Persian plague of 1772–1773 was a time when many people in the Persian Empire caught a disease from fleas. At its height, the Persian Empire was much larger than Iran and Iraq today. It included what is now Turkey, Egypt and Libya. By the 18th century it had been cut back somewhat, but was still very much larger than the Persia of today.

The epidemic was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It killed two million people. It is one of the deadliest epidemics in history. It reached Baghdad in 1772 and Basra in 1773, where it killed about 250,000 people in Basra alone. After that, the epidemic spread to the Persian Gulf. In 1798, there were deaths in Mosul.[1]


  1. Abdolrazagh Hashemi Shahraki; Elizabeth Carniel; Ehsan Mostafavi (July 24, 2016). "Plague in Iran: its history and current status". Epidemiol Health. 38: e2016033. doi:10.4178/epih.e2016033. PMC 5037359. PMID 27457063.