7 killer viruses that emerged in China and ravaged the world

Updated: Jul 06, 2020, 11:39 PM(IST)

The coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan which falls in China’s Hubei province has raised the alarm over the safety imbued in food markets across China. This is not the first pandemic to emerge from the exotic-meat loving country. Here’s a compilation of all deadly strains of viruses that began as epidemics in China and then ravaged the world, as pandemics!

Pre-historic plague (Undated)

According to archaeological evidence, an epidemic wiped out entire villages in China about 5,000 years ago. Those who died were allegedly put in a house, after which it was set ablaze. Now called “Hamin Mangha”, it is a preserved prehistoric site in China. Records suggest that the area was abandoned after the virus. Similar remains were found in nearby regions like Miaozigou, suggesting it ripped through the entire region.


The Asian Flu (1957)

The pandemic, with its roots in China, was responsible for the deaths of 1 million people. The virus was a blend of multiple avian flue viruses and was first reported in Singapore in February 1957. Regardless, it is believed to have sprung up from China. In April 1957, it spread ferociously through Hong Kong, and later to the United States, where it killed 116,000 people.


The Flu pandemic (1968)

Caused by an influenza and commonly known as “the Hong Kong Flu”, the 1968 pandemic began in July of the same year. Within 17 days, cases were reported across Singapore and Vietnam. In three months, it had ravaged through the Philippines, India, Europe, Australia, and the United States. Responsible for 1 million deaths, it wiped off over 15 per cent of all of Hong Kong’s population at that time.


SARS (2002)

The 2002-2004 SARS outbreak began in Foshan, Guangdong in China in November 2002. The epidemic took the lives of 774 people across the globe and infected 29 different countries. It lasted for roughly 8 months.


H5N1 (2008)

Capable of causing illnesses in humans, the “bird flu” type illness is continuously spreading globally after being spotted in Asia. It can affect many animal species, and has killed 445 people since 2003, according to the WHO.


H7N9 (2013)

The first human infection was reported in 2013 in China, with cases being reported across the summer. By the end of the year 46 people had died. However, it hit back with a second wave in October, which resulted in 19 more deaths. By 2014, the virus has killed 127. In 2016, another wave began in China, taking the total infections to 1,223. It killed 40 per cent of its victims.


COVID-19 (2019)

Coronavirus (file photo)


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