Worldwide Epidemics

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

Time Line Place Type Outcome
6th Century Europe Bubonic Plague This outbreak combined with those in the 14th & 17th Centuries claim 137,000,000
1332 India Bubonic Plague Origin of the Pandemic
1346-1348 World Wide Bubonic Plague
1348-1351 Europe, France, Tunis, Norway, Scotland, Prussia, Iceland & Italy Bubonic Plague
1485, 1508 & 1517 England The Sweat Brought from Rouen by mercenaries recruited to help Henry Tutor. Death occurred within 24 hours.
1520-1527 Mexico, Central America, South America Smallpox Kills 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.
1540 Southeastern US “European Epidemic” Desoto expedition brings to this continent. Killed 75% of the native population
1563 London, England Bubonic Plague Worst 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.
1592-1596 New York Measles Kills hundreds possibly thousands of Seneca Indians
1617-1619 North America northern east coast Smallpox Killed 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Indians
1633-1634 England Smallpox
1657 Boston, MA Measles
1674 Cherokee 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
1677-1678 Boston, MA Smallpox 1/5 of the town died
1687 Boston, MA Measles
1690 New York Yellow Fever
1692 Boston, MA Smallpox
1699 Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, SC Yellow Fever
1702-1703 St. Lawrence Valley, NY Smallpox
1713 Boston, MA Measles
1721 Boston, MA Smallpox
1729 Boston, MA Measles
1732-1733 World Wide Influenza
1735-1740 New England Scarlet Fever & Diphtheria Hundreds die-mostly children
1736 Pennsylvania Smallpox
1738 South Carolina Smallpox
1739-40 Boston, MA Measles
1747 Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania & South Carolina Measles
1759 North America Measles Predominantly found in the white population
1761 North America & West Indies Influenza
1764 Boston, MA Scarlet Fever
1770’s West Coast of North America Smallpox Kills out 30% of the West Coast Native Americans
1772 North America Measles
1774-1776 World Wide Influenza Extremely severe outbreak
1775 North America Unknown Epidemic Especially affects New England
1781-1783 Great Lakes Smallpox
1783 Dover, DE Bilious Disorder “Extremely Fatal”
1787 Maine Scarlet Fever
1788 Philadelphia, PA & New York Measles
1792-1799 Charleston, SC, Philadelphia, PA, New Haven, CT, New York NY, Baltimore, MD, Washington DC Yellow Fever The 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.
1793 Vermont “Putrid Fever” and Influenza  500 dead in 5 counties in 4 weeks
1793 Harrisburg & Middleton, PA Unknown Epidemic Many Unexplained Deaths
1793-1794 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever Over 4,000 dead
1795 New York Yellow Fever
1796-1798 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1803 New York Yellow Fever
1813 Maury Co., TN Black Tongue Several Die
1820 Wisconsin Measles Native American Settlements
1820-1823 North America Fever
1829-1833 Pacific Northwest Malaria Kills 150,000 Native Americans
1831-1832 North America Asiatic Cholera Brought by English Emigrants
1832-1834 New York City, Columbus, OH & other major cities Cholera
1837 Philadelphia, PA Typhus
1841 North America Yellow Fever Worse in the South
1847 New Orleans Yellow Fever
1847-1848 World Wide Influenza
1848-1849 North America Cholera 4,000 dead in New York City in 1848
1849 New York City Cholera
1850 North America Yellow Fever
1850-1851 North America Influenza
1851 Coles Co., IL The Great Plains & Missouri Cholera
1852-1853 North America Yellow Fever 8,000 dead in New Orleans that summer
1855 North America Yellow Fever
1857-1859 World Wide Influenza Extremely severe outbreak
1860-1861 Pennsylvania Smallpox
1861-1862 Richmond, VA Scarlet Fever
1861-1865 Epidemics 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.
1861-1865 North America Typhoid 187,000 dead.  This is also period of The Civil War
1862 Florida Scarlet Fever
1863 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever
1865-1873 Philadelphia, PA, New York, Boston, MA & New Orleans, LA Smallpox Same period of time, in Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, Memphis, TN Cholera & a series of recurring epidemics of Typhus, Scarlet Fever & Yellow Fever
1873-1875 North America & Europe Influenza
1873 Nebraska Diphtheria
1877 Los Angeles, CA Smallpox
1878 New Orleans, LA & Memphis, TN Yellow Fever Last 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
1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever
1890-1892 Waterbury, CT & Chicago, IL Typhoid
1898 Cuba Yellow Fever 5,000 soldiers die of Yellow Fever during the Spanish American War.  Only 968 die in combat.
1899 Harrisburg, PA Typhoid
1900 San Francisco, CA Bubonic Plague
1902-1903 Maine Typhoid
1903 Connecticut Scarlet Fever
1903 Ithaca, NY Typhoid
1905 Charlottesville, VA Scarlet Fever
1915 New York Typhoid
1916 North America Polio 7,000 died & 27,000 cases reported
1916 Illinois Typhoid
1918 Worldwide Influenza 25,000,000 dead
1949 Nationwide Polio 2,720 die & 42,173 cases reported
1952 Nationwide Polio 3,300 die & 57,000 cases reported