Short list of Pandemics in History

Thinking of disease constantly will intensify it. Feel always ‘I am healthily in body and mind’.

– Swami Sivananda

Without an adequate response, an epidemic can develop into a pandemic, which generally means it has spread to more than one continent.

Alan Huffman

I want to share some information on the history of pandemics. I know that COVID-19 is happening currently which got me thinking about other pandemics that happened throughout history.

First, What is the definition of a pandemic?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) speaking about the Flu it is a “worldwide spread of a new disease“. I am sure there is a lot more to it then that. I am in no way a Doctor nor do I pretend to be one. I would love to learn what others say is the definition of a Pandemic?

After some searching i came across a pretty interesting list of the worst pandemics in history, I know we can add more to this list. Here they are [1]:

HIV/AIDS Pandemic (at its peak, 2005-2012)
Flu Pandemic (1968)
Asian Flu (1956-1958)
Flu Pandemic (1918)
Sixth Cholera Pandemic (1910-1911)
Flu Pandemic (1889-1890)
Third Cholera Pandemic (1852–1860)
The Black Death (1346-1353)
Plague of Justinian (541-542)
Antonine Plague (165 AD)

Lets keep in mind that every pandemic is bad and that no pandemic is good. I wanted to just list a few of the historic pandemics that might give pause to what has happened in the past.

Here are a few more articles about pandemics that might shed some light on their history:

https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/pandemics-timeline

https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/worst-pandemics-in-history

https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2020-02-10-a-short-history-recent-pandemics

What pandemics do you see as significant pandemics in history? What is your definition of Pandemic?

Looking forward to hearing from you!


[1] Outbreak: 10 of the Worst Pandemics in History | MPH Online. (2012). MPH Online. https://www.mphonline.org/worst-pandemics-in-history/

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Jason Schmerer

I have 5 plus years’ experience in continuous improvement and analytics and enjoy helping others, connecting dots, and working with various kinds of both qualitative and quantitative data.

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