What is the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, an acute respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified on December 1, 2019 in Wuhan, China. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a pandemic. There are now more than 5,500,000 people infected in more than 185 countries around the world.

All epidemics compared to Coronavirus

The following table shows all epidemics in history that caused at least 1,000 deaths. The name of the epidemic, the associated disease/virus, the period in which it was active, and the number of deaths are mentioned in separate columns. They are ordered by greater number of fatalities. The coronavirus appears highlighted.

Death Toll
1Black Death200,000,00013311353Plague
2Spanish Flu100,000,00019181920Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1
3Plague of Justinian50,000,000541542Plague
4HIV/AIDS Pandemic32,000,00019812020HIV/AIDS
5Cocoliztli Epidemic of 1545-4815,000,00015451548Salmonella Enterica (possibility)
5Third Plague Pandemic15,000,00018551960Bubonic Plague
7Antonine Plague10,000,000165180Smallpox
8Smallpox Epidemic of 15208,000,00015201520Smallpox
9Cocoliztli Epidemic of 15762,500,00015761580Salmonella Enterica (possibility)
10Asian Flu2,000,00019571958Influenza A Virus Subtype H2N2
10Japanese Smallpox Epidemic2,000,000735737Smallpox
10Persian Plague of 1772-732,000,00017721772Plague
13Encephalitis Lethargica Pandemic1,500,00019151926Encephalitis Lethargica
14COVID-19 Pandemic (September 30, 2020)1,014,23220192020Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19))
15Flu Pandemic of 1889-901,000,00018891890Influenza
15Hong Kong Flu1,000,00019681969Influenza A Virus Subtype H3N2
15Third Cholera Pandemic1,000,00018521860Cholera
18Sixth Cholera Pandemic800,00018991923Cholera
19Fourth Cholera Pandemic600,00018631875Cholera
20Flu Pandemic of 2009 | Swine Flu575,40020092009Pandemic H1N1/09 Virus
21Great Plague of Seville500,00016471652Plague
22Ottoman Plague Epidemic300,00018121819Plague
23Italian Plague of 1629-31280,00016291631Plague
24First Cholera Pandemic100,00018161826Cholera
24Great Plague of London100,00016651666Plague
24Plague of Athens100,000-429-426Typhus/Typhoid Fever/Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (possibility)
24Plague of Sheroe100,000627628Plague
24Second Cholera Pandemic100,00018291851Cholera
29Great Plague of Vienna76,00016791679Plague
30Caragea's Plague60,00018131813Plague
31Great Plague of 173850,00017381738Plague
31Russian Plague of 1770-7250,00017701772Plague
33China Plague of 191040,00019101912Bubonic Plague
33Fiji Measles Outbreak40,00018751875Measles
37London Plague of 156320,10015631564Plague
38North American Typhus Epidemic of 184720,00018471848Epidemic Typhus
39London Plague of 1592-9319,90015921593Plague
40Great Smallpox Epidemic18,00017071709Smallpox
41Great Plains Smallpox epidemic17,00018371838Smallpox
42Indian Smallpox Epidemic of 197415,00019741974Smallpox
43Malta Plague Epidemic of 1675-7611,30016751676Plague
43West Africa Ebola Virus Epidemic11,30020132016Ebola Virus Disease
45Haiti Cholera Outbreak 10,07520102020Cholera (Strain Serogroup O1, Serotype Ogawa)
46Sweating Sickness (multiple outbreaks)10,00014851551Hantavirus
47Fifth Cholera Pandemic9,00018811896Cholera
48Democratic Republic of the Congo Measles Outbreak of 20195,00020192020Measles
48Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic5,00017931798Yellow Fever
50Copenhagen Cholera Epidemic4,73718531853Cholera
51Malta Plague Epidemic of 1813-144,50018131814Plague
53Zimbabwean Cholera Outbreak of 2008-094,29320082009Cholera
54New England Epidemic of 16164,00016161620
55Yemen Cholera Outbreak of 2016-173,88620162020Cholera
57Malta Plague Epidemic of 1592-933,00015921593Plague
59Groningen Epidemic2,84418291829Malaria
60Kivu Ebola Epidemic of 2018-192,25320182020Ebola Virus Disease
61Indian Swine Flu Outbreak of 20152,03520152015Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1
62London Flu1,02719721973Influenza A Virus Subtype H3N2