History of Pandemics that shook the world

The world has seen some of the grimmest times with its histories of pandemics. Such events have moulded, shaped and affected the human civilisation to its entirety.

Here I take you down to some of the deadliest histories of pandemics experienced all across the globe that shook the world and our very existence.

Antonine Plague

Antonine Plague pandemic also called the “Plague of Galen” took shape in 165–180 AD during the Roman power.

It was said to have brought by the troops who were travelling back from the campaigns in the Near East.

The true cause of the disease was never determined. A death toll of around 5 million was reported by this ancient pandemic.

Plague of Justinian

The early 6th century of 541–542 AD saw the “Plague of Justinian”. Sourced from China and northeast India, the plague pandemic escalated in the region of Africa by overland and sea trade routes.

The disease swept away an overwhelming 50 million lives.

The Black Death

In the mid 13th century from 1347–1351, Eurasia and North Africa gave rise to the disease of bacillus bacteria which roots its origin from the fleas on the rodents. Popularly termed as the “Black Death” because it sores the skin black by its effect.

An unimaginable 200 million lives were lost in the pandemic as it is termed as the deadliest pandemic of all times.

The Great Plague of London

In the year 1665, there was a deadly Plague pandemic popularly termed as The Great Plague of London. The disease was believed to have passed from the rats.

The pandemic started in a low pace but when it took it, there was no stopping. An unfortunate 15% of the population of London was swiped away by this deadly disease.

A popular song among kids, the Ring-a-ring of roses was originated and sang to put the horrific situation into words.

Spanish Flu

1918 saw the rise of the Spanish flu pandemic which was caused by H1N1 influenza. A startling death of around 50 Million people was recorded by the virus, taking over almost one-third of the population of the planet.


One of the famous disease known till date, HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency virus) was shaped in 1981. It was originated in the United States.

The disease peaked in the early 1990s. Researchers hinted a strain of SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) which was found in chimpanzees was almost identical to that of the HIV in humans. But the cure is still far away for now.

SARS Coronavirus

In the year 2002–2003, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus took birth in China which then grew out to the world.

It was said to have originated from bats and was infected to other animals from that. As many as, 774 lives were claimed by the SARS coronavirus pandemic.


Ebola virus was brought into light in 1976 but during the year of 2014, the Ebola outbreak settled-in in large-scale and took shape in West Africa.

The virus was said to be Zaire Ebola virus which was spreading from human contact. A shattering 11000 lives were lost due to the virus.

MERS Coronavirus

In 2015, the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) Coronavirus took off in Saudi Arabia.

It was originated from the infected dromedary camels. The MERS coronavirus took away 850 lives.


The new coronavirus was first reported in the city of Wuhan, China in November 2019. Keeping all the speculations of the bats and the Virology laboratory aside, the source of the coronavirus is yet to be found by the world.

Until now the new coronavirus has claimed around 3,35,000 lives and is still spreading like wildfire across the globe.

These pandemics makes us realise time and again that no matter how well we grow taking over the world for venting our selfish purpose, the might of nature will always stay tall on us.

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