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  • Iraq, Italy, France, Germany
    0165

    Antonine Plague

    Iraq, Italy, France, Germany
    0165

    Antonine Plague, also known as the plague of Galen, the Greek physician living in the Roman Empire who described it. It is suspected to have been smallpox or measles. The total deaths have been estimated at five million and the disease killed as much as one-third of the population in some areas and devastated the Roman army.




  • Italy
    0250

    Plague of Cyprian

    Italy
    0250

    Plague of Cyprian breaks out in Rome. It is estimated to kill about 5000 people a day.




  • Ethiopia, Egypt
    0540

    Plague epidemic

    Ethiopia, Egypt
    0540

    Plague epidemic originates in Ethiopia spreads to Pelusium in Egypt.




  • Mediterranean Basin
    0541

    The Plague of Justinian

    Mediterranean Basin
    0541

    The Plague of Justinian, considered the first recorded pandemic, breaks out and develops as an extended epidemic in the Mediterranean basin. According to some, frequent outbreaks over the next two hundred years would eventually kill an estimated 25 million people. This number has recently been disputed.




  • Turkey
    0542

    The plague arrives in Constantinople

    Turkey
    0542

    The plague arrives in Constantinople (now Istanbul). By spring of 542, about 5,000 deaths per day in the city are calculated, although some estimates vary to 10,000 per day. The epidemic would go on to kill over a third of the city’s population.




  • Iran
    0543

    Plague reaches Iran

    Iran
    0543

    After passing from Italy to Syria, Palestine, and Iraq, plague reaches Iran.




  • Iran
    0627

    A large epidemic of plague breaks out in Ctesiphon

    Iran
    0627

    A large epidemic of plague breaks out in Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sasanian Empire, killing more than 100,000 people.


  • China, Eurasia
    1334

    The second plague pandemic breaks out in China

    China, Eurasia
    1334

    The second plague pandemic breaks out in China. Widely known as the "Black Death" or the Great Plague, it is regarded as one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia.


  • Central Asia
    1338

    Bubonic plague

    Central Asia
    1338

    Bubonic plague is reported in central Asia.


  • Russia
    1345

    Plague occurs in southern Russia

    Russia
    1345

    Plague occurs in southern Russia, around the lower Volga River basin.


  • China and India
    1346

    Bubonic plague breaks out in China and India

    China and India
    1346

    Bubonic plague breaks out in China and India.


  • Feodosia, Crimea, Ukrain
    1347

    The Mongol army was reportedly withering from the disease

    Feodosia, Crimea, Ukrain
    1347

    In 1347, the Genoese possession of Caffa, a great trade emporium on the Crimean peninsula, came under siege by an army of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde under the command of Janibeg. After a protracted siege during which the Mongol army was reportedly withering from the disease, they decided to use the infected corpses as a biological weapon. The corpses were catapulted over the city walls, infecting the inhabitants. This event might have led to the transfer of the plague (Black Death) via their ships into the south of Europe, possibly explaining its rapid spread.


  • Turkey, Ukraine
    1347

    The plague spreads to Constantinople

    Turkey, Ukraine
    1347

    The plague spreads to Constantinople, a major port city. It also infects the Black Sea port of Kaffa down from southern Russia.


  • Italy
    1347

    Italian traders bring the plague in rat-infested ships from Constantinople to Sicily

    Italy
    1347

    Italian traders bring the plague in rat-infested ships from Constantinople to Sicily, which becomes the first place in Europe to suffer the Black death epidemic. The same year, Venice is also hit.


  • Italy
    1348

    Description of symptoms of the plague

    Italy
    1348

    Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio in his book Decameron writes a description of symptoms of the plague.


  • United Kingdom, Ireland
    1348

    The Black Death arrives at Melcombe Regis in the south of England

    United Kingdom, Ireland
    1348

    The Black Death arrives at Melcombe Regis in the south of England. Over the next year, the plague spreads into Wales, Ireland and Northern England. By 1350, the plague reaches Scotland. The estimated death toll for the British Isles and Ireland is calculated at 3.2 million.


  • France, Switzerland
    1349

    Black Death Jewish persecutions

    France, Switzerland
    1349

    Black Death Jewish persecutions. A rumor rises claiming that Jews are responsible for the plague as an attempt to kill Christians and dominate the world. Supported by a widely distributed report of the trial of Jews who supposedly had poisoned wells in Switzerland, the rumor spreads quickly. As a result, a wave of pogroms against Jews breaks out. Christians start to attack Jews in their communities, burning their homes, and murder them with clubs and axes. In the Strasbourg massacre, it is estimated that people locked up and burned 900 Jews alive. Finally, Pope Clement VI issues a religious order to stop the violence against the Jews, claiming that the plague is “the result of an angry God striking at the Christian people for their sins.”


  • Russia
    1351

    Black Death epidemic reaches Russia

    Russia
    1351

    Black Death epidemic reaches Russia, attacking Novgorod and reaching Pskov, before being temporarily suppressed by the Russian winter.


  • Europe
    1361

    Doctors learn how to help the patient recover by bursting the buboes

    Europe
    1361

    During an outbreak, doctors learn how to help the patient recover by bursting the buboes.


  • Europe
    1374

    Black Death epidemic re-emerges in Europe

    Europe
    1374

    Black Death epidemic re-emerges in Europe. In Venice, various public health controls such as isolating victims from healthy people and preventing ships with disease from landing at port are instituted.


  • Croatia
    1377

    The Republic of Ragusa establishes a landing station for vessels far from the city

    Croatia
    1377

    The Republic of Ragusa establishes a landing station for vessels far from the city and harbour in which travellers suspected to have the plague must spend thirty days, to see whether they became ill and died or whether they remained healthy and could leave.


  • Italy
    1403

    Venice dictates that travelers from the Levant in the eastern Mediterranean be isolated in a hospital for forty days

    Italy
    1403

    After finding thirty days isolation to be too short, Venice dictates that travelers from the Levant in the eastern Mediterranean be isolated in a hospital for forty days, the quarantena or quaranta giorni, from which the term quarantine is derived.


  • Spain
    1582

    A new outbreak of bubonic plague occurs in Spain

    Spain
    1582

    A new outbreak of bubonic plague occurs, in the Canary Islands, mainly affecting the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna on the island of Tenerife. Between 5,000 and 9,000 people die, a considerable number considering that the population of the island at the time was less than 20,000 inhabitants.


  • Italy
    1629

    The Italian plague of 1629–1631

    Italy
    1629

    The Italian plague of 1629–1631 develops as a series of outbreaks of bubonic plague. About 280,000 people are estimated to be killed in Lombardy and other territories of Northern Italy. The Italian plague is estimated to have claimed between 35 and 69 percent of the local population.


  • Spain
    1637

    Plague breaks out in Andalusia

    Spain
    1637

    Plague breaks out in Andalusia, killing about 20,000 people in less than four months.


  • Spain
    1647

    Plague ravages Spain

    Spain
    1647

    Plague ravages Spain. About 30,000 die in Valencia. The great Plague of Seville breaks out.


  • United Kingdom
    1665

    Great Plague of London

    United Kingdom
    1665

    Great Plague of London. 100,000 people are killed within 18 months.


  • Austria
    1679

    The Great Plague of Vienna

    Austria
    1679

    The Great Plague of Vienna kills at least 76,000 people.


  • Marseille, France
    1720

    The Great Plague of Marseille

    Marseille, France
    1720

    The Great Plague of Marseille kills more than 100,000 people in the French city of Marseille.


  • United Kingdom
    1722

    A Journal of the Plague Year

    United Kingdom
    1722

    Daniel Defoe publishes A Journal of the Plague Year, a fictional account of the Great Plague of London in 1665. This novel is often read as non-fiction.


  • Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Austria
    1738

    Great Plague of 1738

    Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Austria
    1738

    Great Plague of 1738 kills at least 36,000 people.


  • China
    1772

    The human plague is reported intermittently in the Chinese province of Yunnan

    China
    1772

    The human plague is reported intermittently in the Chinese province of Yunnan, where the third plague pandemic would begin in the 1860s.


  • China
    1867

    The plague spreads from Yunnan Province to Beihai on the Chinese coastline

    China
    1867

    The plague spreads from Yunnan Province to Beihai on the Chinese coastline.


  • Taiwan
    1869

    The plague is observed in Taiwan

    Taiwan
    1869

    The plague is observed in Taiwan.


  • China
    1894

    The plague spreads to Guangdong

    China
    1894

    The plague spreads to Guangdong and results in the death of about 70,000 people.


  • India
    1896

    Russian bacteriologist Waldemar Haffkine successfully protects rabbits against an inoculation of virulent plague microbes

    India
    1896

    Russian bacteriologist Waldemar Haffkine successfully protects rabbits against an inoculation of virulent plague microbes, by treating them previously with a subcutaneous injection of a culture of the microbes in broth. The first vaccine for bubonic plague is developed. The rabbits treated in this way become immune to plague. In the next year, Haffkine causes himself to be inoculated with a similar preparation, thus proving in his own person the harmlessness of the fluid. This is considered the first vaccine against bubonic plague.


  • Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina
    1899

    Plague is first introduced in Latin America in Paraguay

    Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina
    1899

    Plague is first introduced in Latin America in Paraguay, followed by Brazil and Argentina in the same year.


  • Uruguay
    1901

    Plague infection is first reported in Uruguay

    Uruguay
    1901

    Plague infection is first reported in Uruguay.


  • Mexico
    1902

    Plague infection is first reported in Mexico

    Mexico
    1902

    Plague infection is first reported in Mexico.


  • Chile and Peru
    1903

    Plague infection is first reported in Chile and Peru

    Chile and Peru
    1903

    Plague infection is first reported in Chile and Peru.


  • Panama
    1905

    Plague infection is first reported in Panama

    Panama
    1905

    Plague infection is first reported in Panama.


  • Ecuador and Venezuela
    1908

    Plague infection is first reported in Ecuador and Venezuela

    Ecuador and Venezuela
    1908

    Plague infection is first reported in Ecuador and Venezuela.


  • China
    1910

    Pneumonic plague breaks out in Manchuria

    China
    1910

    Pneumonic plague breaks out in Manchuria, killing about 60,000 people over the course of a year.


  • Cuba and Puerto Rico
    1912

    Plague infection is first reported in Cuba and Puerto Rico

    Cuba and Puerto Rico
    1912

    Plague infection is first reported in Cuba and Puerto Rico.


  • Bolivia
    1921

    Plague infection is first reported in Bolivia

    Bolivia
    1921

    Plague infection is first reported in Bolivia.


  • Los Angeles, California, U.S.
    1924

    Plague breaks out in Los Angeles

    Los Angeles, California, U.S.
    1924

    Plague breaks out in Los Angeles. 32 people get infected and only 2 survive. It is the last rat-borne epidemic occurring in the United States.


  • Manchuria, China
    1950s

    Japanese Army developed weaponised plague

    Manchuria, China
    1950s

    During World War II, the Japanese Army developed weaponised plague, based on the breeding and release of large numbers of fleas. During the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Unit 731 deliberately infected Chinese, Korean and Manchurian civilians and prisoners of war with the plague bacterium. These subjects, termed "maruta" or "logs", were then studied by dissection, others by vivisection while still conscious. Members of the unit such as Shiro Ishii were exonerated from the Tokyo tribunal by Douglas MacArthur but 12 of them were prosecuted in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials in 1949 during which some admitted having spread bubonic plague within a 36-kilometre (22 mi) radius around the city of Changde.


  • France
    1947

    French novelist Albert Camus publishes The Plague

    France
    1947

    French novelist Albert Camus publishes The Plague, a novel about a fictional outbreak of plague in Oran, Algeria. The book helps to show the effects the plague has on a populace.


  • U.S. and U.S.S.R (Present Day Russia)
    20th Century

    United States and the Soviet Union developed means of weaponising pneumonic plague

    U.S. and U.S.S.R (Present Day Russia)
    20th Century

    After World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union developed means of weaponising pneumonic plague. Experiments included various delivery methods, vacuum drying, sizing the bacterium, developing strains resistant to antibiotics, combining the bacterium with other diseases (such as diphtheria), and genetic engineering. Scientists who worked in USSR bio-weapons programs have stated that the Soviet effort was formidable and that large stocks of weaponised plague bacteria were produced. Information on many of the Soviet projects is largely unavailable. Aerosolized pneumonic plague remains the most significant threat. The plague can be easily treated with antibiotics. Some countries, such as the United States, have large supplies on hand if such an attack should occur, thus making the threat less severe.


  • India
    1994

    Plague in India

    India
    1994

    Plague in India. The country experiences a large outbreak of pneumonic plague after 30 years with no reports of the disease. 693 suspected bubonic or pneumonic plague cases are reported.


  • Madagascar
    1995

    Drug-resistant

    Madagascar
    1995

    The plague bacterium could develop drug resistance and again become a major health threat. One case of a drug-resistant form of the bacterium was found in Madagascar in 1995. Further outbreaks in Madagascar were reported in November 2014 and October 2017.


  • Algeria
    2003

    An outbreak of plague is reported in Algeria

    Algeria
    2003

    An outbreak of plague is reported in Algeria, in an area considered plague-free for 50 years.


  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    2006

    100 cases of suspected pneumonic plague

    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    2006

    100 cases of suspected pneumonic plague, including 19 deaths, are reported in Orientale Province, Congo.


  • U.S.
    2006

    13 cases in U.S.

    U.S.
    2006

    13 cases, with two deaths, are reported in the states of New Mexico, Colorado, California, and Texas.


  • Libya
    2009

    Plague is reported in Libya

    Libya
    2009

    Plague is reported in Libya, after 25 years without a case of the disease.


  • Kyrgyzstan
    2013

    A case of bubonic plague is reported in a region of Kyrgyzstan

    Kyrgyzstan
    2013

    A case of bubonic plague is reported in a region of Kyrgyzstan bordering Kazakhstan.


  • Singapore
    2014

    Researchers at Duke University School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Medical School

    Singapore
    2014

    Researchers at Duke University School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore find the Yersinia pestis bacteria to hitchhike on immune cells in the lymph nodes and eventually ride into the lungs and the blood stream, thus spreading bubonic plague effectively to others.


  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Peru
    2017

    The countries with the most cases include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Peru

    Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Peru
    2017

    Globally about 600 cases are reported a year. In 2017 the countries with the most cases include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Peru. It has historically occurred in large outbreaks, with the best known being the Black Death in the 14th century which resulted in greater than 50 million dead.


  • Mongolia
    2019

    A couple in Mongolia die from Bubonic Plague

    Mongolia
    2019

    A couple in Mongolia die from Bubonic Plague after eating the raw kidney of a rodent—a folk remedy for good health. Others were quarantined to avoid it spreading.


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