The most deadly epidemics of humanity throughout history


The new strain of the “Coruna” virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread to almost all parts of Asia, reaching the United States and Europe.

Although their symptoms are similar to a common cold, such as a runny nose, headache, fever, and sore throat, this virus is actually more deadly than a common cold.

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Why was the year 536 BC the worst in human history?

The virus has killed 132 people, with more than 6,000 confirmed cases in countries around the world, including the United States, Japan, Thailand, Germany, and France.

There are fears that the infection with the deadly virus will reach about 100,000 cases worldwide, amid the lack of specifying the precise ways in which the new “Corona” strain will be transmitted. However, the World Health Organization has not yet announced a global emergency.

While the SARS-like virus, known as 2019-nCoV, has quickly become an international cause of concern, it is still far from the epidemics that have struck the world in the past, which have destroyed entire countries and claimed millions of lives. We have a closer look at the worst epidemic viruses so far:

The Antonine Plague

The case of the Antonine plague, or as it is known as the plague of the Antonine emperors, started in 165 AD, when an early case of smallpox broke out in the Huns (a group of nomadic herders), who transmitted the infection to the Germans, who then transferred it to the Romans scattered throughout the Roman Empire .

Gallen, a Greek doctor, witnessed an outbreak and recorded symptoms of black diarrhea, which indicates gastrointestinal bleeding, intense cough, bad breath, and red and black skin rashes throughout the body.

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The total number of deaths was estimated at 5 million, the disease caused the death of up to a third of the population in some areas, and the Roman army was destroyed.

This plague lasted until about 180 AD, and historians note that Emperor Marcus Aurelius was one of his victims.

Black Plague:

The wave of black death erupted from 1346 to 1353, in Europe, Africa and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 million and 200 million people.

It is believed that this epidemic originated in Asia and was most likely spread by fleas that were in mice that lived on merchant ships.

It took ten to fourteen days before the plague killed most of the infected colony mice. At that time, after three days of fasting, the flea of ​​hungry mice turned into humans, where their bites caused swelling, often in the groin, armpit, or neck.

It takes three to five days for the infection to incubate the symptoms before the disease develops, and within three to five consecutive days, the victims die by 80%.

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Asian flu:

The Asian influenza was an epidemic of influenza A viruses, of the H2N2 subtype that arose in China in 1956, and lasted until 1958.

In the first few months, it spread throughout China and its regions, but by the summer, it reached the United States, where it initially infected relatively few people.

After several months, many cases of HIV infection were reported, especially in young children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Estimates of the death toll vary according to the source, but the World Health Organization estimates the final outcome at two million and 69,800 people, in the United States alone, not to mention the rest of the Asian and European countries that have experienced an outbreak of the virus.

Zika fever:

The Zika virus is known to be a genus of yellowish viruses that are transmitted primarily through blood-sucking mosquitoes such as the Aedes mosquito, and symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

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In May 2015, the first local transmission of the Zika virus was reported in Brazil, where researchers believe it was transmitted during a boat race at the World Sprint Championship in August 2014, which was held in Rio de Janeiro.

The tournament attracted participants from 4 Pacific countries, including French Polynesia, which allowed the transmission of viral infection.

The virus quickly spread and infected more than 1.5 million people in 68 countries, thanks to the ability of mosquitoes to thrive in city life, inside garbage, open water trenches, clogged drains, and crowded housing.

The virus was also associated with thousands of children in Brazil born with partial epilepsy, a neurological disorder where the child suffers from a difference in the brain and an abnormally small head.

There was also an increasing number of stillbirths and miscarriages in HIV-positive mothers, while children who survived faced intellectual disabilities and developmental delays.

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Hong Kong Flu:

Since the first case was reported on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before the outbreak of this virus, which is referred to as the Hong Kong flu, was reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months it spread to the Philippines, India, Australia and Europe And the United States.

While the death rate in 1968 was relatively low, the virus killed more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong itself, or nearly 15% of its population at the time.

Source: The Sun

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