10 of the Most Deadliest Diseases of All Time
08 Dec 2015
The progress of science and medicine after the 19th century has eradicated many diseases either via vaccination or development of effective treatments. Unfortunately, many of the deadliest diseases in history are still claiming thousands of lives, mostly in the developing countries. At the moment of writing, medicine still does not have a cure for viral diseases, while the industrialized countries are also facing a problem with antibiotic resistance as well as the risk of tropical illnesses spreading to temperate areas as a result of climate change.
Human history is undoubtedly stained with the blood of men, women and children killed in war, but it is disease that is the world’s biggest killer – and it does not discriminate between race, creed or color. Discover 10 of the world’s deadliest diseases from ancient times to the modern day.
Smallpox is the deadliest disease in the world. In the 20th century alone there were approximately 500,000,000 people who died of this disease. This infectious disease is caused by either Variola major or Variola minor. Smallpox is believed to have emerged in human populations 12,000 years ago. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year during the 18th century and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20–60%—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease. To this day, smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have been completely eradicated.
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