Press releases
19.09      2022

History of Pandemics

As humans have spread across the world, so have infectious diseases. Even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though not every outbreak reaches pandemic level as COVID-19 has.

Today’s visualization outlines some of history’s most deadly pandemics, from the Antonine Plague to the current COVID-19 event. See below all the pandemics until today.
Name Time period Death toll
Antonine Plague 165-180 5M
Japanese smallpox epidemic 735-737 1M
Plague of Justinian 541-542 30-50M
Black Death 1347-1351 200M
New World Smallpox Outbreak 1520 – onwards 56M
Great Plague of London 1665 100,000
Italian plague 1629-1631 1M
Cholera Pandemics 1-6 1817-1923 1M+
Third Plague 1885 12M (China and India)
Yellow Fever Late 1800s 100,000-150,000 (U.S.)
Russian Flu 1889-1890 1M
Spanish Flu 1918-1919 40-50M
Asian Flu 1957-1958 1.1M
Hong Kong Flu 1968-1970 1M
HIV/AIDS 1981-present 25-35M
Swine Flu 2009-2010 200,000
SARS 2002-2003 770
Ebola 2014-2016 11,000
MERS 2015-Present 850
COVID-19 2019-Present 6.5M (Johns Hopkins University estimate as of September 13, 2022)