History’s Deadliest Plagues and Pandemics

Scrolling through pictures of some of the worst plagues and pandemics of all time has been a humbling experience. To always be a few clicks away from the abject truth of the fragility of life is strange. We take comfort in the fact that we have as much access to medical care as we do to information. But, as you’ll soon find out, sometimes access to top-shelf MDs can’t help.

Today, we explore some of the deadliest plagues and pandemics of all time. The grim details are shocking, the death tolls are near incomprehensible, and the threat is far from over. Doctors continue to stave off potential threats to this day.

So, in honor of all those that lost their lives and in no particular order, Healthversed.com would like to guide you on your journey through some of the most devastating plagues and pandemics of all time. And as always, we’ll try our best to keep this PG. Let’s go!

Black Death

Black Death is considered to be the first, and deadliest pandemic in human history. Over the course of five years (1346 – 1343), Black Death killed nearly a third of the population of Europe, or roughly 20 million people. At the time, very little was known about the deadly disease and those diagnosed with it were effectively cut off from those desperate to maintain their health. It dramatically altered the course of religious, political, and socio-economic history forever.



The deadly disease Cholera has been around for centuries and, unfortunately, is still around to this day. Researchers estimate 1.3 millions new cases of cholera per year, and that’s on the low end. Some estimate that cholera is responsible for nearly 143,000 deaths worldwide per year.

There have been seven instances of epidemic cholera spanning much of the 19th century, killing millions. It began in the Ganges and travelled the world by way of unsuspecting merchant ships and their crew.

Sanatory Committee


Typhus or Typhus fever — not to be confused with Typhoid Fever — swept through Europe twice. Once in the 1600s and once again from 1914 to 1918, adding to the devastation of the First World War. It claimed as much as 10% of the German population at the time.

Typhus is an incredibly infectious disease that has no known vaccine. Symptoms include fever, headache, high temperature, and in some cases, a severe rash.

Denis-Auguste-Marie Raffet
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