Pandemic Facts: 25 Frightening Facts About Pandemics From History

21Ebola Epidemic

The origin of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was traced to a 2-year-old child who died on December 6, 2013, in the village of Méliandou in southern Guinea. The child may have contracted Ebola from eating fruit contaminated by a fruit bat.


22Bubonic Plague

The Bubonic plague, the cause of the Black Death, is still around. Congo, Madagascar, and Peru have several cases a year. Isolated cases occur in China as well.


23Moscow Plague Riot

The Moscow plague riot of 1771 was caused by an outbreak of bubonic plague. The city's economy was mostly paralyzed because industries had closed down. All of this was followed by acute food shortages, leading to huge crowds rioting, and demands for the elimination of quarantines.


24Bubonic Plague

The Bubonic Plague is still around. There was an outbreak in Madagascar in 2017 with 341 cases, and recently in 2019, a cat in the United States contracted the disease.


25First Recorded Pandemic

The earliest recorded pandemic happened during the Peloponnesian War at around 430 B.C. After the disease passed through Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt, it crossed the Athenian walls as the Spartans laid siege. As much as two-thirds of the population died. The symptoms included fever, thirst, bloody throat and tongue, red skin, and lesions. The disease, suspected to have been typhoid fever, weakened the Athenians significantly and was a significant factor in their defeat by the Spartans.

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