8 Deadliest Viruses that affected the world till 2020

A virus is an infectious negotiator that multiplies itself on its own and gets transmitted from one living organism to another through communication either by air, water or in person. The history of the virus gives an account of the influence of Viruses and infections that they have provoked. And the aspects in which it affects living organisms, especially human beings.

Viruses caused epidemics in human with the variation in their behaviour, i.e. agricultural communities started developing, etc. during the Neolithic Period. Viruses first appeared in humans in Europe and North Africa a thousand years back. The European travellers, traders or sailors carried these viruses to the other parts of the world.

List of viruses affecting the world since millions of years back


 Name of the Virus Place of Origination Time or Period
 SARS Virus (COVID-19) Wuhan, China 2019
 Ebola Virus Sahara, West Africa 1976
 Circa Virus China 3000 B.C.
 Zika Virus South and Central America 1947
 Plague Virus Greece 429-426 BC
 Nipah Virus Malaysia 1999
 Antonine Plague Roman Empire 165-180 BC
 Dengue Virus Spain 1778
 Plague of Cyprian Carthage, Tunisia 250-266
 Lassa Virus Nigeria 1950
 Plague of Justinian Byzantine Empire 541-542
 Rabies lyssavirus Europe 17th century
 Black Death Europe 1346-1353
 Marburg Virus Frankfurt, Germany 1967
 Cocoliztli epidemic Mexico and Central America 1545-1548, 1576-158
 Hanta Virus Korea 1950
 American Plague Europe 1793
 Influenza Virus United States 1200 BC
 Philadelphia yellow fever Virus Philadelphia, United States 1699
 Smallpox- Variola VirusEgypt 3rd Century, BCE.
 American Polio New York City 1975-1985
 AIDS Pandemic and Epidemic West Africa 1981
 H1N1 Swine Flu Virus Mexico 1919
 Aichi Virus Japan 1989
 Banna Virus Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China 1987-2007
 Dugbe Virus Nairobi, Nigeria 1974
 Hendra Virus Brisbane, Australia 1994
 Hipatitis A, B, C Virus St. Petersburg, Russia 
 WU Polyoma Virus St. Louis, Missouri 2007
 Naples Plague Italy 1656
 Cholera Virus Ganges Delta 19th century

8 Deadliest Viruses that affected the world


Just like the melodic sobriquet of Ebola Virus rolls off the tongue, it is equally fatal too. If in case encountering the virus, a muddling amount of blood comes out of the gums. Out of the five Ebola viral exertions, four of them seeds Ebola virus disease (EVD), which has dispatched more than thousands of people in the sub-Saharan African nations since its establishment in 1976. This deadly virus derives its name after the “Ebola River”, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where it was first delineated.

It is classified as a CDC Biosafety Level 4, i.e. BSL-4, making it one of the most dangerous pathogens on Earth. It transmits through body contact with infected people and has an average mortality rate of about fifty per cent depending on the virus strain. Its characteristics include the rapid genesis of symptoms like headache, sore throat and advance with significant intrinsic and outer bleeding and multiple organ failure. There is no known cure for it until now.


In 1967, a batch of lab workers in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany and in Belgrade, Serbia, covenanted a new type of hemorrhagic fever from some virus-carrying African green monkeys whom people used to import for research and evolution of polio vaccines. The Marburg virus is also a BSL-4, and Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a fatality rate of about 23 to 90 per cent.

It spreads through close human contact. It includes symptoms like headache, fever and a rash on the chest and equates to multiple organ failure and massive internal bleeding. No cure has been found for this as such. The latest cases include those reported in Uganda in 2014.


Hanta Virus is an airborne agent. Many strains of hantavirus are present all over in our surroundings. Different rodent species carry different strains and are best known to cause many types of illnesses in humans. The most prominent is the haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) dates during the Korean War and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) which disclosed with an outbreak in 1993 in the southwestern parts of United States.

Drastic HFRS causes dreadful kidney failure while HPS fills the lungs with fluid, i.e. pulmonary oedema. HFRS has a mortality rate of about 1 to 15 per cent, and on the other hand, the mortality rate of HPS is about 38 per cent. The most recent hantavirus outbreak was in the U.S., it was of the HPS variety; at Yosemite National Park in 2012.


This kind of BSL-4 virus further accounts for the reason to circumvent the rodents. A species of rat in West Africa, i.e. Mastomys natalensis conveys Lassa. It is also an airborne medium, especially in the areas where you find the rat’s faecal matter. However, humans can only escalate it through head-on contact with bodily secretions.

Lassa fever has a mortality rate of 1 per cent in which the rate among hospitalized patients is from 15 to 50 per cent. It causes about 5000 deaths in one year in West Africa and specifically in Sierra Leone and Liberia and deafness is its most lasting ordinary symptom. It begins with a fever and some pain behind the chest and even advances to facial swelling, encephalitis, mucosal bleeding and deafness. By God’s grace, some alchemists and medical professionals have found a treatment of the early stage of Lassa fever using an antiviral drug.


Rabies records history at about 2300 BCE relating to Babylonians who went mad and ultimately died after they got bitten by dogs. But the sickness caused by it is now wholly preventable if treated immediately with a series of vaccinations.

Louis Pasteur invented the vaccine for it. Even today, bites of infected animals cause rabies as it did long back. If left untreated after getting bitten by any animal, the virus starts attacking the central nervous system, and ultimately it drags to death. The symptoms of this infection include symptoms like delirium, hallucinations, raging and violent behaviour in some cases.


Smallpox virus has till now wiped off hundreds and millions of people globally for thousands of years. The virus transmits by human beings and is also contagious only for humans. There are a variety of different types of smallpox disease that is a result of an infection which ranges from mild illness to a fatal one. But it majorly includes symptoms like fever, rashes, blistering or oozing bumps that develop on the skin. Ultimately in 1979, smallpox got eradicated in 1979 after the successful worldwide evolution of a vaccine.


The major death cause in the tropics and subtropics is the infection by the dengue virus, it causes a high fever, rigid headache, and even haemorrhaging. It is now treatable and not contagious any more. But there is still no vaccine made for it. And people can quickly get it from the bite of an infected mosquito which then puts three billions of people at risk. The CDC report results show that there are over 400 million cases of dengue infection, and about 100 million people suffer it’s symptoms each year. It is a great marketing device for bug spray.


Influenza gets the credit to be the most dangerous pandemic and outbreaks worldwide than any other viruses. The worst ever epidemics in human history till now is the Spanish flu of 1918. It has infected about 20 to 40 per cent of the total world’s population and killed more than 50 million people in just two years. It was a 2009 pandemic which provoked about 100,000 and 400,000 deaths worldwide in its first year itself.

Effective influenza vaccines are there, and even most people easily survive through the infections. But the tremendous infectious respiratory illness is fatal, i.e. the virus continually mutates and creates new strains. Thousands of strains exist any time out of which many are harmless, and vaccines are also present in the U.S., which wraps only about 40 per cent of the strains each year.


Since long years back viruses are best known to infect people dreadfully. The symptoms of these deadly viruses start with simple fever generally, which ultimately results in the death of an enormous population of the world or any specific country or state. These viruses are usually very contagious ones. Deadly viruses transmit with very simple kind of organisms, including mosquitoes, dogs, houseflies, rats, etc. We do not yet have an idea which simple type of organism in our surroundings can wipe off more than half of the population in one day itself.

Get Free “Winspire Digital Worksheets of worth Rs. 129 Value”

                                     Please enter your details to get the monthly E – Booklet + absolutely premium content to expand your horizons.


Flat no 301, Om Sri Shiva Sai Residency, Medical And Health Colony, Vanasthalipuram, Telangana 500070

Get in touch!

    © 2023 All Rights Reserved by Winspire Magazine

    Flat no 301, Om Sri Shiva Sai Residency, Medical And Health Colony, Vanasthalipuram, Telangana 500070

    © 2023 All Rights Reserved by Winspire Magazine