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.

Rank
Epidemic
[source]
Start
Finish
Disease
Death Toll
(estimate)
24Plague of Athens-429-426Typhus/Typhoid Fever/Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (possibility)100,000
7Antonine Plague165180Smallpox10,000,000
3Plague of Justinian541542Plague50,000,000
24Plague of Sheroe627628Plague100,000
11Japanese Smallpox Epidemic735737Smallpox2,000,000
1Black Death13311353Plague200,000,000
46English Sweating Sickness (multiple outbreaks)14851551Hantavirus10,000
8Smallpox Epidemic of 1520 (Mexico)15201520Smallpox8,000,000
5Cocoliztli Epidemic of 1545-4815451548Salmonella Enterica (possibility)15,000,000
37London Plague of 156315631564Plague20,100
9Cocoliztli Epidemic of 157615761580Salmonella Enterica (possibility)2,500,000
39London Plague of 1592-9315921593Plague19,900
57Malta Plague Epidemic of 1592-9315921593Plague3,000
54New England Epidemic of 1616161616204,000
23Italian Plague of 1629-3116291631Plague280,000
21Great Plague of Seville16471652Plague500,000
36Plague (Netherlands)16631664Plague24,148
24Great Plague of London16651666Plague100,000
33Plague (France)16681668Plague40,000
43Malta Plague Epidemic of 1675-7616751676Plague11,300
29Great Plague of Vienna16791679Plague76,000
40Great Smallpox Epidemic (Iceland)17071709Smallpox18,000
31Great Plague of 173817381738Plague50,000
31Russian Plague of 1770-7217701772Plague50,000
11Persian Plague of 1772-7317721772Plague2,000,000
48Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic17931798Yellow Fever5,000
22Ottoman Plague Epidemic18121819Plague300,000
30Caragea's Plague18131813Plague60,000
51Malta Plague Epidemic of 1813-1418131814Plague4,500
24First Cholera Pandemic18161826Cholera100,000
59Groningen Epidemic18291829Malaria2,844
24Second Cholera Pandemic18291851Cholera100,000
41Great Plains Smallpox epidemic18371838Smallpox17,000
38North American Typhus Epidemic of 184718471848Epidemic Typhus20,000
15Third Cholera Pandemic18521860Cholera1,000,000
50Copenhagen Cholera Epidemic18531853Cholera4,737
5Third Plague Pandemic18551960Bubonic Plague15,000,000
57Smallpox (Central Coast/British Columbia)18621863Smallpox3,000
19Fourth Cholera Pandemic18631875Cholera600,000
33Fiji Measles Outbreak18751875Measles40,000
47Fifth Cholera Pandemic18811896Cholera9,000
56Smallpox (Montreal)18851885Smallpox3,164
15Flu Pandemic of 1889-9018891890Influenza1,000,000
18Sixth Cholera Pandemic18991923Cholera800,000
33China Plague of 191019101912Bubonic Plague40,000
14Encephalitis Lethargica Pandemic19151926Encephalitis Lethargica1,500,000
2Spanish Flu19181920Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1100,000,000
11Asian Flu19571958Influenza A Virus Subtype H2N22,000,000
15Hong Kong Flu19681969Influenza A Virus Subtype H3N21,000,000
62London Flu19721973Influenza A Virus Subtype H3N21,027
42Indian Smallpox Epidemic of 197419741974Smallpox15,000
4HIV/AIDS Pandemic19812021HIV/AIDS35,000,000
53Zimbabwean Cholera Outbreak of 2008-0920082009Cholera4,293
20Flu Pandemic of 2009 | Swine Flu20092009Pandemic H1N1/09 Virus575,400
45Haiti Cholera Outbreak20102021Cholera (Strain Serogroup O1, Serotype Ogawa)10,075
43West Africa Ebola Virus Epidemic20132016Ebola Virus Disease11,300
51Measles (Democratic Republic of the Congo)20142021Measles4,500
61Indian Swine Flu Outbreak of 201520152015Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N12,035
55Yemen Cholera Outbreak of 2016-1720162021Cholera3,886
60Kivu Ebola Epidemic of 2018-1920182021Ebola Virus Disease2,253
9COVID-19 Pandemic (February 2021)20192021Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19))2,500,000
48Democratic Republic of the Congo Measles Outbreak of 201920192021Measles5,000