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The human history have been plagued with different situations from wars to climate change and diseases all of which had claimed the lives of millions. In modern times there have been some really devastating pandemics which have been recorded in the human history in the not-so-long past which includes the likes of the Black Death, Great plague, the Spanish Flu, Cholera, HIV and many more deadly diseases with high mortality.

In this short post, we’ll take a rewind back in time to see how far humans have survived all these deadly diseases and how well we’re fairing so far as well as how good we’re prepared to face the next thing that may come ahead of us.

Thinkers like Bill Gates had proposed as early as 2016 that the world needs to prepare for a pandemic which often happen every once in a while but considering many situations especially as people gets closer to one another due to the easy access to transportation, a disease that’s endemic to a region could be transported to another region and it could therefore become a pandemic which the current COVID-19 pandemic has thought us and has also changed the world forever as many more people and businesses have now embraced the internet as the virtual means of communication and transacting businesses without the risk of ever spreading a deadly virus all around.

The SARS-CoV-2 is a deadly respiratory disease first discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019
The SARS-CoV-2 is a deadly respiratory disease first discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019

1. COVID-19 – 2019

Coronavirus Virus Disease is a strain of the other four coronaviruses which had plagued humans. The new strain was first discovered in 2019 in Wuhan, China and soon spread across the globe The deadly disease had infected millions of people across the globe with more than 1.5 million deaths.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

2. SARS – 2003

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was identified in the year 2003 and was believed to have jumped from bats and spread to cats and also humans in China. The disease soon made its way through to 26 countries around the world infecting about 8,096 people and 774 deaths.


Russian Flu was a deadly respiratory disease that killed many across Europe

3. Russian Flu – 1889

This would be the first respiratory illness on the list. The Russian flu started in Siberia and Kazakhstan and then spread to Moscow as well as Finland, Poland and finally the whole of Europe killing more than 360,000 people by the end of the year 1890This would be the first respiratory illness on the list. The Russian flu started in Siberia and Kazakhstan and then spread to Moscow as well as Finland, Poland and finally the whole of Europe killing more than 360,000 people by the end of the year 1890


Spanish Flu in 1918
Spanish Flu was discovered just after the WWI in 1918 and killed more than 50 million people

4. Spanish Flu – 1918

This is another horrible disease which killed a large sum of human population totaling 50 million or more. The year was 1918 when the first world war had just ended but the respiratory disease soon spread from Europe to America and parts of Asia and then the rest of the world. There were no effective drugs or vaccines to combat the disease as at that time and this made it one of the worst disease to ever plague the human specie.


Asian Flu - 1957
Asian Flu – 1957

5. Asian Flu – 1957

This is yet another disease that started in Hong Kong but soon spread to the mainland China and then the United States. The Asian Flu over the period of six months had spread to England and about 14,000 deaths were recorded. The second wave of the disease started in 1958 which was more devastating leading to the demise of 1.1 million people with the US suffering 116,000 death toll alone.

The HIV which causes the deadly AIDS disease is thought to originated from Chimpanzees

6. HIV/AIDS – 1981

The virus that destroys the human’s immune system which would usually lead to death was first identified back in the year 1981. The disease was first observed in the American gay communities however scientists observed the disease could have jumped from Chimpanzees to human after it mutated. Several treatments have been developed to combat the disease but the progress is very slow with 35 million deaths since the discovery of the disease


Cholera - 1817
Cholera has led to the death of millions across the globe

7. Cholera – 1817

The first recorded Cholera pandemic was in the year 1817 but there were several others that spanned across the period of 150 years. This is a small intestine infection which origninated in Russia with over 1 million deaths. The disease soon spread through to different parts of the globe and is endemic to some parts of Africa with poor water and hygiene. The disease is spread through feces-infected water and food and the disease was also said to hgave been spread to India by British soldiers which led to the death of millions in the South Asian country.


Great Plague of London 1665
Great Plague of London 1666

8. The Great plague of London – 1665

The Great Plague of London is yet another devastating bubonic plague which wiped out a whoopign 20% of London’s population. It was marked the worst outbreak in the 1666. This is probably a worst time to be a Londoner because it was the same time when the Great Fire of London also broke out.


Black Death wiped a large percentage of world's population
Black Death is one of the Bubonic plague in the human history

9. Black Death 1300s

1350 may be one of the worst times to be a human as a result of the horrible black death which was the second pandemic caused by the bubonic plague. It devastated the human species and it was dubbed the Great Mortality due to the fact that majority of those that suffered the disease died horribly from it. This was a time when modern medicine was at its infancy and the way things could be handled was pretty low. This period was thought to beign the beginning of social distancing as it was found that the disease was contagious so people were isolated.


Leprosy reported since the 11th century
Leprosy becama pandemic when it entered Europe in the Middle Ages

10. Leprosy (11th Century)

Leprosy is a pretty ancient disease that has plagued the human history for a really logn time. The disease grew into a pandemic in Europe back in the Middle Ages and is caused by a slow-developing bacterial which leads to sores and deformities. Religious people always believed that leprosy was a punishment from God on a particular family (De Agostini/Getty Images)