Throughout history, there have been many diseases which have devastatingly affected the world’s population. Thankfully, there has since been advancements in technology to produce prevention methods for these diseases, but what was the affect before these preventions were introduced?

The experts at House Call Doctor have put together what there’s to know about four of the world’s deadliest diseases.


During the 20th century, it’s estimated 300 million people died from the disease, which is approximately a third of those infected. The last known natural case of smallpox was in 1977 in Somalia, however since then there has been an accidental case in a Birmingham laboratory. This was a limited outbreak killing one person.

There are now still stockpiles of the smallpox vaccine across the world. Despite authorities claiming there’s no threat of bioterrorism, many are still concerned terrorists can get a hold of the vaccine to use as a weapon.


According to the World Health Organisation, influenza impacts 5 to 10 per cent of adults and 20 to 30 per cent of children each year. This is an estimated three to five million cases each year across the world.

However, the largest influenza outbreak to date is the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. This outbreak saw 500 million people infected and an estimated 50 million deaths. It’s believed the epidemic killed more people than World War One, which is approximately a third of the world’s population.


Between the 14th and 17th century, the plague killed 75 to 200 million people across Europe and Asia, becoming one of the worst pandemics in human history. The infection spread from rats to people through bites from fleas, which became highly contagious via s train of pneumonia.

There have been cases of the plague in recent years, including 17 people who were infected in 2010 in Peru.


According to the World Health Organisation, malaria currently affects almost 100 countries – threatening almost half of the world’s population. In 2012, it was estimated 207 million people were infected, resulting in 627,000 deaths, predominantly in children under five years.

The disease is spread through mosquito bites and fortunately is treatable and preventable. It’s highly recommended to speak with your doctor before traveling for the correct prevention methods.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.