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10 Deadliest Diseases in the world’s history

When we talk about the deadliest disease in the world our mind quickly jumps to fast diseases that grab headlines. In reality many of these diseases don’t even rank in the top 10 of the world’s history. Unlike rapidly spread disease a slowly progress disease causes more casualties.

When we talk about the deadliest disease in the world our mind quickly jumps to fast diseases that grab headlines. In reality many of these diseases don’t even rank in the top 10 of the world’s history. Unlike rapidly spread disease a slowly progress disease causes more casualties. But slowly progress diseases can be controlled and monitored as compared to rapidly spread diseases. Here we are discussing the top 10 deadliest diseases that killed most people in the history of the world according to WHO.

1- Athens: 430 B.C (⅔ population died)

Athens was the earliest recorded disease which caused ⅔ casualties of the whole population of the world during the Peloponnesian War.  This disease starts during the Peloponnesian War and by passing through Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt it spread in the whole world.


According to Thucydides Athens begins with fever and thirst. After that it causes a bloody throat and tongue, red skin and lesions. At its extreme the fever converted to typhoid fever.

2- Antonine Plague: 165 A.D To 180 (2000 death/day)

Antonine Plague also known as “Plague of Galen” broke out in Roman empire. This disease broke out in german and then Roman empire passing through Roman troops returning from campaigns in the Near East. It was the very first shape of smallpox begun with Huns. This disease continued till 180 A.D and  about 5 to 10 million casualties were noted during its extreme time.


Antonine Plague symptoms included fever, diarrhea and sore throat. It also caused pus-filled lesions if the patient survives more.

3- Cyprian Plague: 249 A.D To 262 A.D (5000 death/day)

The Cyprian Plague started from 249 A.D and recurring broke out till the next three centuries. Cyprian Plague was named at his first victim “Christian bishop of Carthage”. On the record Cyprian plague death rate increased 5000 people per day.


Cyprian plague starts from diarrhea, vomiting, fever and throat ulcers. In most cases the victim also has Gangrene on the hand and foot.

4- Leprosy: 11th Century(2.5 per 100,000 population)

Leprosy also known as “Hansen” broke out in Europe in the middle age. After this disease a number of leprosy hospitals were built to accommodate victims. Leprosy is a slow progressive bacterial disease which causes sore and deformities. Leprosy was also known as punishment of God that spread into the whole world. 


Symptoms of Leprosy included Thick Stiff and Dry Skin, Discolored patch of skin, Painless ulcers on the soles of feet, Growths on the skin, Loss of eyebrows or eyelashes.

5- The Black Death: 1350 (25 million people)

⅓ population of the whole world died due to this disease in the 1350 Century. It is the most feared disease which spread quickly from Asia and spread west in caravans. According to reports many dead bodies remained rotting on the ground which created continuous stench between cities. 


Symptoms for Black Death Plague starts from Headache, Muscle ache, fever and chills, vomiting, bleeding from mouth and nose and difficulty in breathing. 

6- The Great Plague of London: 1665 (20% population of London)

The Great Plague of London broke out in 1665 to 1666. Due to this epidemic disease about 68,596 people died and the actual number of deaths suspected to increase 100,000 of total population. The main cause of this epidemic was “Yersinia pestis” but thousands of cats and dogs were slaughtered considering the possible cause. 


Main symptoms of this disease was fever, delirium, lymph nodes in the neck, vomiting, bleeding from mouth and nose.

7- Russian Flu: 1889 (1.5 billion)

This was the first significant flu broke out in Siberia and Kazakhstan. After that spread to Moscow, Finland, Europe and by the end of 1889 it spread to North America and Africa. In 1890 more than 360,000 victims were reported around the world.


Fever, serious flu, throat ulcers, difficulty in breathing are the main symptoms of Russian Flu.

8- Asian Flu: 1957 (1.1 million)

Asian Flu starts from Hong Kong and by moving through China, United states, England it spread around the globe. In an estimate about 1.1 million casualties were reported at this time with 116,000 only in the United States. The good news is that soon a vaccine was developed for this epidemic which works effectively.


The victim feels body ache, chills, chough and loss of appetite during this disease. 

9- SARS: 2003

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral disease identified in 2003 in China and spread to 26 countries. SARS started from bats then transferred to cats and then humans. SARS infected 8,096 people and about 774 casualties were reported.


SARS starts from dry cough, fever, headache, swear body pain and spread through cough and sneeze.

10- COVID-19: 2019

Coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19 starts on 17 November 2019 and within a few months the whole globe is now its victim. On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced COVID-19 as a pandemic disease. Within three months COVID-19 infected more than 118,000 people which is the highest rate in all deadliest diseases. 

First case of COVID-19 was reported in Hubei, China but isn’t recognized at this time. The first reported case was 31 december 2019. 

Till now this deadly virus is active and there is no proper treatment discovered for it. Only the way of safety is following SOPs and social distancing.  


Fever, dry cough, tiredness, difficulty in breathing, lack of oxygen, loss of smell and taste, aches and pains are the most common symptom of this disease.

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