Beyond Ebola: Epidemics of the last 100 years
The worst Ebola outbreak in world history shows no signs of abating.
As of July 27, more than 700 people in western Africa have died as a result of the disease, out of a little more than 1,300 cases. The governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia have dispatched troops to enforce a quarantine of areas where the disease is spreading. Meanwhile a Saudi Arabian national in the city of Jiddah is being tested for Ebola, and at least two American victims have been transported back to medical facilities in the U.S. from main outbreak sites.
Although the current Ebola outbreak has broken records and caused immense human suffering, it isn’t likely to rank among the worst epidemics of the last 100 years. The H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009 is estimated to have claimed over 14,000 lives; in Haiti, a choleric outbreak starting in 2010 has killed more than 8,500 people. Even in the modern era, the sudden emergence of a fatal epidemic is far from a rare occurrence.
Click through the slideshow above to see images from some of the major epidemics of the past century.