How long did the worst epidemics in human history go on

15.04.2020 Medicine
How long did the worst epidemics in human history go on

Justinian's plague

The disease began to rage during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I is considered the first known case of a plague epidemic. It broke out in 541 and, according to historians, lasted 200 years with minor interruptions. The epidemic was large. Contemporaries thought that the end of the world.

At first, an epidemic erupted in Byzantium, where rodent plague was introduced on merchant ships from African countries by rodents. At its peak, 5 thousand people died every day.

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First the epidemic lasted about nine years. According to rough estimates, only in Europe, 25 million people died.

" Black Death "

This is the name of the plague that raged in the 14th century. This time, rodents were also carriers. The first victims were the Mongols who ate them. Further, the plague was carried around the world by merchants who traded along the Great Silk Road. "Black Death" raged in Ancient Russia. So, among her victims was the eldest son of Prince Ivan Kalita - Simeon the Proud.

The" black death "epidemic lasted seven years. Tens of millions of people did not survive it.


In the 19th century, humanity struggled with cholera epidemics. There were six of them. The first epidemic was the worst. The disease began in India, and from there the British colonialists carried it to other countries. In the Russian Empire, the first cases of cholera were recorded in the fall of 1823 among sailors of the port of Astrakhan.

The first pandemic lasted nine years. Millions of people around the world have become victims. Subsequently, cholera outbreaks were recorded, but they were short-lived.


Black, it is natural smallpox, is considered one of the worst enemies of mankind. Its causative agent is a virus that appeared around the beginning of our era and practically did not go away. The disease claimed many victims annually.

The only salvation was that those who had recovered acquired stable immunity. Thanks to this fact, smallpox was curbed. By the end of the 18th century, vaccination began. By 1978, the infection was completely eradicated. It turns out that the smallpox pandemic lasted about 2000 years.

" Spaniard "

The Spanish flu epidemic broke out in 1918 and lasted 18 months, but its consequences were catastrophic. More than 500 million people fell ill with them, 100 million became victims.

gh mortality is explained by the strain's peculiarity that provokes hypercytokinemia, which leads to the rapid destruction of pulmonary tissues. In just a few hours, the chills turned into pneumonia and a cough with blood. There were cases when people died without visible symptoms. "Spaniard" went down in history as the most deadly flu.


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