Global epidemics are that afflict a huge number of people across a vast area (such as multiple continents or the entire world). Outbreaks appear to be worsening as the world warms. Seasonal influenza and other regionally prevalent periodic diseases are also eliminated since they occur simultaneously in huge portions of the planet rather than spreading globally. 

Many epidemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis, have occurred throughout human history. The Black Death (also known as the Plague) was a terrible disease that killed an estimated 75-200 million people in the 14th century. The 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) and the 2009 influenza pandemic are two more significant outbreaks (H1N1). HIV/AIDS and the Covid-19 pandemic are two current epidemics. 

1. Bubonic Plague  

Towards the end of the Middle Ages (1340-1400) there was an outbreak of the most terrible disease in Europe. In 1348, the infamous bubonic plague struck, killing about one-third of the population. In history it is known as the Black Death. Some historians believe that the people of the society became more violent at that time because the huge mortality rate made life cheaper and resulted in wars, crimes, mass uprisings and oppression. The Black Death originated and spread to Central Asia and Italy and later to other European countries. 

The most devastating epidemic in human history was the outbreak of the bubonic plague.   It killed 200 million people worldwide. According to history, almost half of Europe was devastated by that terrible plague. 

2. Spanish flu 

The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, is an unusually deadly global pandemic of influenza. From January 1917 to December 1920, it spread to 500 million people – about a quarter of the world’s population at that time. An estimated 1.6 to 5 crore or some 100 million people died in it. That is why it is referred to as the deadliest epidemic in human history.“The flu virus spread from soldiers returning home at the end of World War I. The epidemic killed 3 to 5% of the world’s population. 

3. Smallpox 

Smallpox has an unknown origin. Smallpox-like rashes discovered on Egyptian mummies show that the disease has been there for at least 3,000 years. In the 4th century CE, the first documented mention of a sickness like smallpox arose in China (Common Era). In the 7th century, early written descriptions arose in India, and in the 10th century, they arrived in Asia Minor. 

Both of these types of smallpox were once prevalent. Although there is still an outbreak of chicken pox, small pox is no longer seen. The World Health Organization believes that smallpox has been eradicated from the world in the eighties of the last century. Chicken pox is a contagious viral disease. Varicella zoster is caused by a virus called chickenpox. Children and young people are at higher risk of contracting the disease at any age.  Smallpox is a contagious disease of the human body – it only affects humans. The disease is caused by infection with either of the two species of virus, Variola major or Variola minor.  


Janet Parker was the final person to succumb to the disease. Parker worked as a medical photographer at Birmingham University Medical School in England in 1978. She worked one storey above the Medical Microbiology Department, which was doing smallpox research with professionals and students. She fell unwell on August 11 and acquired a rash on August 15, but it wasn’t until 9 days later that she was diagnosed with smallpox. On September 11, 1978, she passed away. Despite having been vaccinated two weeks prior, her mother, who was caring for her, contracted smallpox on September 7. Janet Parker was infected either through an airborne route through the medical school building’s duct system or by direct co-infection, according to an inquiry. 

On May 8, 1980, the 33rd World Health Assembly declared the world free of smallpox, nearly two centuries after Jenner believed that immunisation would eradicate the illness. Smallpox eradication is widely regarded as the greatest triumph in international public health. 

The current epidemic 

4. HIV 

Although the WHO refers to HIV as a global epidemic, some authors just refer to it as a epidemic. The virus can lurk in host cells for eight to ten years. HIV is believed to have started in Africa. AIDS is currently a pandemic, with over 25% of infections occurring in South and East Africa. In South Africa, the rate of HIV infection among pregnant women was 29 percent in 2006. Under the aegis of national education, effective instruction on safe sex practises and blood-borne illness prevention training has helped reduce the risk of infection in many African countries. 

When activated, the host defects the body’s natural defenses and pushes it to the brink of death. According to the World Health Organization, 75 million people have been infected with the HIV virus since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and about 32 million people have died of HIV. 

On March 10, 2020, the British medical scientific journal The Lancet reported that a British man with AIDS had a bone marrow transplant completely removed. He is the second person to be freed from AIDS. This is a significant achievement in the fight against AIDS. 

5. Coronavirus  

Coronavirus Disease 2019 is a collection of acute respiratory disorders caused by a novel species of coronavirus (discovered in late December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China) (Covid-19). More than 200 countries and territories have been afflicted by Kovid-19, according to media estimates, with big outbreaks in the United States, Central China, Western Europe, and Iran. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be an epidemic on March 11, 2020. As of May 19, 2020, there were 4.69 million people globally afflicted with Kovid-19, with 1,907,111 fatalities and 320,179 recoveries. 


On August 19, 2021 

Total cases– 210,791,224; Total death– 4,416,161, Total recoveries– 188,726,122; Under treatment—176,48, 941 (rest).