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HIV/AIDS pandemic (At its peak during 2005-2012)

Death Toll: 36 million Cause: HIV/AIDS First identified in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981. Currently there are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV, the vast majority of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 5% of the population is infected, roughly 21 million people. As awareness has grown, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to lead productive lives. Between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

10 deadliest pandemics in history

A pandemic is defined as the widespread occurrence of disease, in excess of what might normally be expected in a geographical region.

Cholera, bubonic plague, smallpox, and influenza are some of the most brutal killers in human history. And outbreaks of these diseases across international borders, are further defined as pandemic, especially smallpox, which through history, has killed between 300-500 million people in its 12,000 year existence.

The most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has killed thousands of people, is still confined to West Africa. It may someday be pandemic, but for now, is considered an epidemic — and is therefore not included in this list.

However, the rapid spread of Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, around the world is undoubtedly a pandemic, as has been declared by World Health Organisation. 119 countries and territories around the world have reported a total of 119,294 confirmed cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 that originated from Wuhan, China, and a death toll of 4,300 deaths.

As the world battles to find a vaccine to prevent the spread of the current epidemic, here’s a look at some of the worst pandemics ever.


(Images: Getty; Info: MPHonline)