Prev: «   |   Next: »

16 Responses

  1. luna
    luna at |

    what about the pandemics of modern period.
    you should have included them

    Reply
  2. andy
    andy at |

    The black plague has not been scientifically linked to a pathogen, and overall death counts can be considered an approximation gleaned from multiple diseases to strike during that period of time. I would rank the spanish flu as number one because it has been isolated and defined from a frozen corpse in Alaska, thus we can prove a definitive pathogenic cause of ~100 million deaths.

    If you want to argue semantics of pandemic these are all defined as human pandemics. The greatest pandemic number wise is an endosymbiotic bacteria (lives inside host cells) called Wolbachia. Of the estimated quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeros) arthropods (bugs) on the planet ~70% of tested species are infected. This bacteria has numerous effects from shortened lifespans, male killing, cytoplasmic incompatibility; often leading toward all female populations and population crashes. Interesting side note, release of wolbachia infected mosquitos in Australia in a case study has shown it to be an effective method of controlling disease spreading mosquitos. (Bill Gates Foundation is a major supporter)

    Just to play the devils advocate in the loss species populations, you have to mention humans as a pandemic. The current extinction rate is estimated to be higher than during the cretaceous extinction and is attributable to human expansion.

    Reply
  3. jennifer stewart
    jennifer stewart at |

    aids and t’b are horrific diseases but when the list was made it wasn’t updated so when you find an error let us know bye

    Reply
  4. Curiosity
    Curiosity at |

    The 1918 Spanish flu killed MORE people than the 1348 Bubonic plague in less than 2 years! Why is the bubonic plague #1 on the list?

    Reply
  5. daddyostjames
    daddyostjames at |

    NOW! I WANT TO PUT MYSELF IN A PLASTIC BUBBLE, YIKES!!!:-(

    Reply
  6. Geneva
    Geneva at |

    There are around 35 million people now living with AIDS, most of whom don’t have access to treatment and will soon die. Whole villages in Africa are standing empty of adults of child-bearing age; some countries don’t even have enough adults to staff the schools and government. AIDS definitely belongs on this list!

    Reply
  7. Scott
    Scott at |

    You forgot the current pandemic. Diabetes .

    Reply
    1. Daunya
      Daunya at |

      Diabetes is not a contagous (sorry about the spelling) disease. There is a inheritance issue in some cases, but a true pandemic is caused by diseases that are spread from person (or other vector) to person. Diabetes is awful. I have it, but I did not catch it from anything.

      Reply
  8. damrov
    damrov at |

    smallpox wasn't brought to america by europeans. europeans brought it from america back to europe.

    Reply
    1. NekoDoodle
      NekoDoodle at |

      No.

      There was no small pox in America until the European’s carted it over. The European diseases decimated the indigenous population because they had no immunity to these diseases. This is an old comment but I feel it is necessary to correct you.

      Reply
      1. mincemeat
        mincemeat at |

        I fear smallpox was confused with syphilis, which indeed was brought back by the conquistadores from the New World.

        Reply
  9. Mark
    Mark at |

    The Byzantine Empire (centered in present day Turkey) would have spread west to Italy, not east as the article describes. Small detail, I know. Just saying. Good article, by the way.

    Reply
  10. Gwen
    Gwen at |

    I really enjoyed reading your list. Very thoughtful. I think people overthink thing and become worried when there is no reason to. When you study viruses and things of that nature you learn that they cannot be treated with antibiotics, but have to be treated symptomatically. Sadly humans have not been able to break the barrier on the viruses of the world because they are so unusual. They really aren't alive. They aren't dead either. We have developed a medicine to thwart it in some people but it does not work every time for every person.

    Reply
  11. Lee
    Lee at |

    -sigh- people always, "you didn't put this", "you didn't put that", make your own blog and put it on there.

    As for the author of this blog, great blog.

    Reply
  12. Simply Ridiculous
    Simply Ridiculous at |

    You didn't put TB on this list.. It is surely a slow pandemic that is becoming even more dangerous due to AIDS..

    Reply
  13. PastTime491
    PastTime491 at |

    Good List, disease is a horrible thing. I did expect to see AIDS on the list.

    Reply

Leave a Reply