Worldwide Epidemics

A List of Major U.S. and world wide epidemics

Time LinePlaceTypeOutcome
6th CenturyEuropeBubonic PlagueThis outbreak combined with those in the 14th & 17th Centuries claim 137,000,000
1332IndiaBubonic PlagueOrigin of the Pandemic
1346-1348World WideBubonic Plague
1348-1351Europe, France, Tunis, Norway, Scotland, Prussia, Iceland & ItalyBubonic Plague
1485, 1508 & 1517EnglandThe SweatBrought from Rouen by mercenaries recruited to help Henry Tutor. Death occurred within 24 hours.
1520-1527Mexico, Central America, South AmericaSmallpoxKills millions of native inhabitants of Mexico. Introduced at Veracruz with the arrival of Panfilo de Narvaez on April 23, 1520 & was credited with the victory of Cortes over the Aztec empire at Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City) in 1521. Kills the Inca ruler, Huayna Capac, & 200,000 others & destroys the Incan Empire.
1540Southeastern US“European Epidemic”Desoto expedition brings to this continent. Killed 75% of the native population
1563London, EnglandBubonic PlagueWorst outbreak ever, killing an estimated quarter to a third of the population. Subsequent outbreaks in 1578, 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636 & 1665, killing thousands. In terms of proportion of the total population destroyed, the 1563 and 1665 epidemics were the worst.
1592-1596New YorkMeaslesKills hundreds possibly thousands of Seneca Indians
1617-1619North America northern east coastSmallpoxKilled 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Indians
1657Boston, MAMeasles
1674Cherokee Tribe“European Epidemic”Death count unknown. Population in 1674 about 50,000. After 1729, 1738, & 1753 smallpox epidemics their population was only 25,000 when they were forced to Oklahoma on the Trail Of Tears
1677-1678Boston, MASmallpox1/5 of the town died
1687Boston, MAMeasles
1690New YorkYellow Fever
1692Boston, MASmallpox
1699Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, SCYellow Fever
1702-1703St. Lawrence Valley, NYSmallpox
1713Boston, MAMeasles
1721Boston, MASmallpox
1729Boston, MAMeasles
1732-1733World WideInfluenza
1735-1740New EnglandScarlet Fever & DiphtheriaHundreds die-mostly children
1738South CarolinaSmallpox
1739-40Boston, MAMeasles
1747Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania & South CarolinaMeasles
1759North AmericaMeaslesPredominantly found in the white population
1761North America & West IndiesInfluenza
1764Boston, MAScarlet Fever
1770’sWest Coast of North AmericaSmallpoxKills out 30% of the West Coast Native Americans
1772North AmericaMeasles
1774-1776World WideInfluenzaExtremely severe outbreak
1775North AmericaUnknown EpidemicEspecially affects New England
1781-1783Great LakesSmallpox
1783Dover, DEBilious Disorder“Extremely Fatal”
1787MaineScarlet Fever
1788Philadelphia, PA & New YorkMeasles
1792-1799Charleston, SC, Philadelphia, PA, New Haven, CT, New York NY, Baltimore, MD, Washington DCYellow FeverThe outbreak in Philadelphia in the summer of 1793 was the most severe. Ten percent of the population in that city died, about 5,000 people altogether. The new city of Washington DC was under construction at the time, and Philadelphia was the interim capital. Most of the government officials fled the city, including George Washington and the members of his cabinet. Cold weather finally brought an end to the outbreak, in late October.
1793Vermont“Putrid Fever” and Influenza 500 dead in 5 counties in 4 weeks
1793Harrisburg & Middleton, PAUnknown EpidemicMany Unexplained Deaths
1793-1794Philadelphia, PAYellow FeverOver 4,000 dead
1795New YorkYellow Fever
1796-1798Philadelphia, PAYellow Fever
1803New YorkYellow Fever
1813Maury Co., TNBlack TongueSeveral Die
1820WisconsinMeaslesNative American Settlements
1820-1823North AmericaFever
1829-1833Pacific NorthwestMalariaKills 150,000 Native Americans
1831-1832North AmericaAsiatic CholeraBrought by English Emigrants
1832-1834New York City, Columbus, OH & other major citiesCholera
1837Philadelphia, PATyphus
1841North AmericaYellow FeverWorse in the South
1847New OrleansYellow Fever
1847-1848World WideInfluenza
1848-1849North AmericaCholera4,000 dead in New York City in 1848
1849New York CityCholera
1850North AmericaYellow Fever
1850-1851North AmericaInfluenza
1851Coles Co., IL The Great Plains & MissouriCholera
1852-1853North AmericaYellow Fever8,000 dead in New Orleans that summer
1855North AmericaYellow Fever
1857-1859World WideInfluenzaExtremely severe outbreak
1861-1862Richmond, VAScarlet Fever
1861-1865Epidemics of dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis, malaria, smallpox, measles, and venereal diseases. More than three times as many soldiers died of infectious disease than died of battle wounds.
1861-1865North AmericaTyphoid187,000 dead.  This is also period of The Civil War
1862FloridaScarlet Fever
1863New Orleans, LAYellow Fever
1865-1873Philadelphia, PA, New York, Boston, MA & New Orleans, LASmallpoxSame period of time, in Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, Memphis, TN Cholera & a series of recurring epidemics of Typhus, Scarlet Fever & Yellow Fever
1873-1875North America & EuropeInfluenza
1877Los Angeles, CASmallpox
1878New Orleans, LA & Memphis, TNYellow FeverLast Great Epidemic of Yellow Fever. More than 5,000 fatalities & 25,000 in “crazed flight” in Memphis. 13,000 die in the lower Mississippi Valley
1885Plymouth, PATyphoid
1886Jacksonville, FLYellow Fever
1890-1892Waterbury, CT & Chicago, ILTyphoid
1898CubaYellow Fever5,000 soldiers die of Yellow Fever during the Spanish American War.  Only 968 die in combat.
1899Harrisburg, PATyphoid
1900San Francisco, CABubonic Plague
1903ConnecticutScarlet Fever
1903Ithaca, NYTyphoid
1905Charlottesville, VAScarlet Fever
1915New YorkTyphoid
1916North AmericaPolio7,000 died & 27,000 cases reported
1918WorldwideInfluenza25,000,000 dead
1949NationwidePolio2,720 die & 42,173 cases reported
1952NationwidePolio3,300 die & 57,000 cases reported