List of epidemics and pandemics

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The list of epidemics and pandemics includes events with epidemics or pandemics of infectious diseases .

List (selection)

Start /
affected areas Sick dead Hints
before the calendar
3500 BC Chr. pest throughout Europe, from Lake Baikal to the Iberian Peninsula Yersinia pestis , detected in 2017 on the basis of tooth and bone finds
1st half of the 14th century not identified Egypt , Middle East Epidemics at the time of Šuppiluliuma I. and Muršili II. And Amenophis III. It could have been the plague. The pathogen has not been clarified.
0765 not identified Assyria Plague at the time of the reign of Aššur-dan III.
0430-426 not identified Athens 75,000–100,000
(approx. 25 to 33%
of Athenians)
The causative agent of the Attic disease has not been clarified.
0293 not identified Rome Plague in the Roman Republic. According to Titus Livius , the cult of Asklepios was adopted from Greece in Rome to ward off the danger .
according to the era
0(up to 190)
not identified Roman Empire 7-10 million The causative agent of the Antonine plague has not been clarified, presumably it is smallpox .
0250-271 not identified Roman Empire The Cyprian plague may be synonymous with smallpox .
0541-770 pest Europe and the Middle East The Justinian plague occurred in about 15 to 17 waves every 15 to 25 years.
0877 not identified Italy Italian fever - The annals of the Fulda monastery ( Annales Fuldenses ) mention the first outbreak of an unknown disease in Italy.
0889 Desphilosis plague
Italy Italian fever - The annals of the Fulda monastery ( Annales Fuldenses ) mention a second outbreak of an unknown disease in Italy.
1346-53 pest Old world 100–125 million Second plague pandemic, around 30 other significantly smaller outbreaks up to the beginning of the 19th century.
The Black Death claimed a third of the European population at the time. An epidemic broke out on the Crimean peninsula during the siege by the Golden Horde . The great plague of 1348/49 in Norway alone claimed more than 200,000 deaths.
1485/86 English sweat England First outbreak: the pathogen itself has not yet been identified.
(until approx. 1550)
syphilis Europe New to Europe, probably from America (brought in from the West Indies on Christopher Columbus' first trip )
1507 English sweat England Second outbreak
1517 English sweat England, especially Oxford and Cambridge , also Calais and Antwerp Third outbreak
1519/20 smallpox Mexico 5-8 million New to America, blamed for most of the decimation of the indigenous peoples ( Indians )
1528/29 English sweat England, Netherlands , Switzerland , Germany , Denmark , Sweden and Norway , Lithuania , Poland and Russia Fourth outbreak
1545/46 unidentified hemorrhagic fever Mexico more than 800,000 First outbreak: Cocoliztli
1551 English sweat England Fifth (and final) outbreak
1576/78 unidentified hemorrhagic fever Mexico more than 2 million Second outbreak: Cocoliztli
1582/83 Plague of San Cristóbal de La Laguna Tenerife 9,000 The plague caused between 5,000 and 9,000 deaths on an island with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants (approximately 25-45% of the island's population).
1665/66 pest mainly England 100,000 The Great Plague of London claimed 70,000 deaths in London and around 100,000 deaths in the south of England.
1678/79 pest Vienna 12,000 The number of victims of the plague in Vienna has not been clarified.
1708-14 pest Northern and Eastern Europe 1 million Plague epidemic during the Great Northern War
1718-1874 Picard's sweat fever France , Germany a. a. 194 epidemics were counted.
1775-78 smallpox Pacific coast of North America 11,000 The smallpox epidemic on the Pacific coast of North America from 1775 was the first smallpox epidemic on the west coast of North America.
1780 smallpox Australia During the smallpox epidemic in Australia in 1789, the indigenous peoples of Australia fell ill.
from 1800
1813 Typhus Mainz approx. 32,000
(16,000 ± 1,000
soldiers, about the
same number of
Napoleon's Grande Armée made her first major rest in Mainz in autumn 1813 on her retreat from her Russian campaign in 1812 . This is where the epidemic peaked.
May 1820 to 1821 bubonic plague Mallorca Extensive quarantine measures
1831 cholera Berlin, Prussian Provinces, Posen , Prussia, Silesia .
1847/48 typhus Canada 20,000 The epidemic was brought in by emigrants as a result of the great famine in Ireland .
1852-60 cholera Parts of Asia, the Maghreb (especially Algeria ) and Europe Third cholera pandemic
1862 smallpox Pacific coast of North America more than 14,000 In the epidemic , parts of the indigenous peoples mainly died because they were not immunized - around half of the total population died.
1870/71 smallpox Europe
1889/90 Virus flu: Russian flu (possibly equine influenza virus A / H3N8) worldwide up to 1 million
1892 cholera Hamburg and the surrounding area 8605 The epidemic of 1892 was the last major cholera outbreak in Germany.
1894 poliomyelitis Vermont (USA) 18th The Otter Valley epidemic was the first polio epidemic in the United States.
1894-1912 (Bump) plague worldwide :
1894: China / Hong Kong
1912: Caribbean
12 million Starting from China, the wave of infections moved via Asia, India via the USA and UK to South America, focus 1898–1900
see: Third plague pandemic
1899 (approx.) typhus South Africa 58,000 9000 The epidemic among the British troops was so serious, among other things, because the immunization by Almroth Wright had met with great resistance.
from 1900
1901 typhus Gelsenkirchen several hundred The typhus epidemic in Gelsenkirchen in 1901 led to legal proceedings. The water supply company had added contaminated water to the drinking water, which had led to the spread of typhus.
1902/03 typhus Lebach more than 50 see: Typhus epidemic in Lebach
1910/11 (Lung) plague Manchuria 45,000-60,000 see: Plague epidemic in Manchuria 1910–1911
1911 cholera India, Venice see: Death in Venice or Chiesa di San Domenico in Chioggia
1912-1927 European sleeping sickness Europe Pathogen unclear to this day
1916 poliomyelitis Northeast USA more than 6000 The Eastern State Polio Epidemic of 1916 was one of the first major polio epidemics in the United States.
1918-20 Virus flu:  Spanish flu ( influenza virus A / H1N1 ) worldwide approx. 500 million 27-50 million The "Spanish" flu (reports of the extent of the disease have been suppressed in many affected countries) began at the end of the First World War. The determination of the exact pathogen remained unclear for a long time.
1925/26 diphtheria Nome up to 100 The diphtheria epidemic in Nome occurred during the winter in what was then Alaska's largest city. To prevent a major catastrophe, the village was supplied with antitoxin by dog ​​sled.
1957/58 Virus flu: Asian flu (influenza virus A / H2N2) worldwide 1-2 million
1961-90 cholera worldwide several million Seventh and so far last cholera pandemic: subtype El Tor ; started in Indonesia; longest ongoing pandemic
1967 Marburg fever Marburg , Frankfurt a. M. and Belgrade 7th It is very likely that it was brought into the laboratories of a pharmaceutical company in Marburg, Hesse, with meerkats from Uganda.
1968-70 Virus flu:  Hong Kong flu (influenza virus A / H3N2) worldwide 1 million The presumed total number of deaths worldwide fluctuate widely. Around 30,000 people died in Germany.
1977/78 Virus flu: Russian flu (influenza virus A / H1N1) worldwide around 700,000 Mainly people who were born after 1957 fell ill.
1979 anthrax Ekaterinburg about 100 The outbreak followed an accident in the manufacture of biological weapons .
1979-84 anthrax Zimbabwe 10,000 Largest known anthrax epidemic to date
since 1980 AIDS ( HIV ) worldwide 36 million HIV causes the immune deficiency AIDS in humans ; By the end of 2012, around 27,000 people in Germany had died as a result.
1995/96 Virus flu worldwide In Germany: an estimated 8.5 million sick people, 30,000 dead
1998-2000 Marburg fever Democratic Republic of Congo 123 Second outbreak after 1967
from year 2000
2000 EHEC Walkerton , Canada 2000 18th The cause was drinking water contaminated with animal excrement .
Nov. 2002 to July 2003 SARS ( SARS-CoV ) worldwide : focus on China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, Singapore 8096, 4% outside Asia 810, 6% outside of Asia The SARS pandemic of 2002/2003 was the first pandemic of the 21st century. It was the first occurrence of a SARS coronavirus.
2004/05 Virus flu worldwide In the years 2004/05 in Germany:
• more than 6 million sick people
• up to 2.4 million influenza-related absence from work
• 32,000 hospital admissions
• 20,000 deaths
since 2004 Marburg fever Angola
2008: Uganda
210 in Angola
(2 in Uganda)
Third outbreak: In 2007, the Marburg pathogen was found in cave flying foxes in Uganda .
since 2004 Virus flu: avian flu
( influenza virus A / H5N1 )
worldwide more than 800 more than 450 The main occurrence of the H5N1 bird flu took place from 2004 to 2016, after which it subsided.
since 2008 pest Madagascar since 2010:
more than 600
2009/10 Virus flu: swine flu
( influenza virus A / H1N1 2009 )
worldwide at least 18,449 The maximum wave of swine flu infections in Germany was in November 2009; there were 258 deaths in Germany. One study assumes a significantly higher number of victims worldwide.
2009 Zika virus ( Zika virus ) Yap Islands There was also a Zika virus epidemic in 2015/16
since 2010 cholera Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, USA, Venezuela 10,075
(as of 2017)
Cholera epidemic in Haiti from 2010 : Part of the seventh cholera pandemic. The outbreak was a follow-up to the 2010 earthquake and led to the declaration of a nationwide sanitary emergency. 9,568 people died in Haiti.
The epidemic spread to the Dominican Republic with 503 deaths, Cuba with 3 deaths, and Mexico with 1 death, as well as the USA (Florida) and Venezuela with no deaths.
2011 EHEC Northern Germany approx. 4000 53 The cause of the 2011 HUS epidemic in northern Germany was not germ-contaminated cucumbers, as was initially assumed, but probably fenugreek sprouts from a farm in Egypt.
since 2012 MERS ( MERS-CoV ) Arabian Peninsula approx. 2500 at least 850 Coronavirus transitions from bats to camels to humans
2013 Legionnaires Warstein (Germany) September 2013: 165 illnesses and suspected cases 3 The outbreak of legionnaires in Warstein was the most extensive in Germany to date. The pathogen was spread via sewage treatment plants and cooling towers .
since December 2013 Chikungunya fever Central America, South America, Florida Islands 875,000 November 2014: at least 138 In Germany there were (as of November 2014) 18 Chikungunya diseases, including 9 of people returning from the Caribbean.
2014–16 Ebola fever West Africa 28,639 11,314 The Ebola epidemic from 2014 to 2016 consisted of an epidemic outbreak in West Africa that had developed into a persistent endemic.
2015/16 Zika virus (Zika virus) South America The 2015/2016 Zika virus epidemic led to microcephaly in newborns , among other things . The pathogen now occurs in tropical areas around the world.
since 2016 cholera Yemen more than 1.7 million
more than 3430 The cholera in Yemen since 2016 is part of the seventh cholera pandemic. A distinction is made between two epidemic waves: the cholera outbreak is considered the world's largest known outbreak in history (as of April 30, 2019).
since 2017 Dengue fever Sri Lanka more than 130,000 more than 300 Mosquitoes that are mainly active during the day have been transmitting the dengue virus in Sri Lanka since 2017, which can cause dengue fever.
2017/18 Virus flu: flu wave 2017/2018
(influenza virus B / Yam and A / H1N1)
worldwide approx. 290,000 to 650,000 In Germany, according to the excess method, an estimated 25,100 deaths, the highest number of deaths in the past 30 years, the deaths confirmed in the laboratory according to IfSG amounted to 1674.

The worldwide estimate of the dead is based on a study by the CDC published on Dec. 13, 2017.

2018-20 Ebola fever Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda 3414 2237 The Ebola fever epidemic from 2018 to 2020 was historically the second most serious outbreak of Ebola fever.
since 2018 measles Madagascar more than 146,000 at least 910
since 2019 measles Samoa more than 1800 at least 22
since 2019 measles Democratic Republic of Congo approx. 250,000 more than 6000
The measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2019 arose in early 2019 and mainly affects children.
2019/20 Virus flu: flu wave 2019/2020
(influenza virus A and B)
worldwide It is known that 460 people died in Germany. 85% of the deceased were over 60 years old.
since Nov. 2019 COVID-19 ( SARS-CoV-2 ) worldwide approx. 25.33 million

confirmed infected (Aug. 31, 2020)

approx. 848,000

confirmed deaths (Aug 31, 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in autumn 2019 .
On March 11, 2020, the WHO officially declared the spread of the virus a pandemic.
On April 2, 2020, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached one million, and on June 28, 2020, there were more than 10 million confirmed infections and over 500,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Experts assume a considerable number of unreported cases, which varies from region to region. Based on the excess mortality figures available for individual countries, it can be deduced that the actual deaths are considerably higher.
Start /
affected areas Sick dead Hints

See also


  • Mary Dobson: Plagues That Changed the World. From cholera to SARS. Translated from the English by Meike Grow and Ute Mareik. G + J, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86690-094-3 .
  • Jens Jacobsen: Shadow of Death. The story of the epidemics. Philipp von Zabern, Darmstadt 2012, ISBN 978-3-8053-4538-5 .
  • Karl-Heinz Leven : The History of Infectious Diseases. From antiquity to the 20th century. (= Advances in preventive and occupational medicine. Volume 6). ecomed, Landsberg am Lech 1997, ISBN 3-609-51220-2 .
  • Jacques Ruffié, Jean-Charles Sournia: The epidemics in human history. 4th enlarged edition. Translated from the French by Brunhild Seeler. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-608-94001-4 .
  • Malte Thießen (ed.): Infected Europe. Epidemics in the long 20th century. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-036434-7 .
  • Manfred Vasold: Plague, hardship and severe plagues. Plagues and epidemics from the Middle Ages to the present day. CH Beck, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-406-35401-7 .
  • Manfred Vasold: flu, plague and cholera. A history of epidemics in Europe. Steiner, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-515-11025-9 .
  • Carl Christian Wahrmann, Martin Buchsteiner, Antje Strahl (eds.): Epidemic and human. Challenge over the centuries. (= Historical Research. Volume 95). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-428-13701-5 .
  • Stefan Winkle : Cultural history of epidemics. Komet, Düsseldorf / Zurich 1997, ISBN 3-933366-54-2 (3rd, improved and expanded edition under the title Scourges of mankind. Cultural history of epidemics. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zurich 2005, ISBN 978-3-538- 07159-9 ).

Web links

Individual evidence

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