7 Deadliest Plagues in History

Photo by CI Photos from Shutterstock

1918 flu: 50–100 million (1918–1920)

Five days after the pandemic influenza of 1918 arrived in Brevig Mission, a remote village in Alaska, 90% of the community had already passed away. In Philadelphia, for instance, priests collected corpses in horse-drawn carts.

In some parts of India, the devastation was so immense that bodies were left out for the jackals to pick at. It eventually arrived in Bombay in June 1918 on troop ships bringing soldiers back from the battlegrounds of World War I.

By the year’s end, they had claimed as many as 18.5 million lives in South Asia. Freetown, Sierra Leone, lost no less than four percent of its population in only three weeks.

Persia might have lost as many as 22 percent of its entire population. 50 to 100 million people from all over the world died before rising immunity blunted the virus’s threat.

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