9 Deadly Outbreaks That Plagued Mankind (And One That's Spreading Now)


Smallpox. Swine Flu. H1N1. SARS. Nothing brings on a chill or a case of the willies like an infectious disease, whether it's in your country, on the news or in a Hollywood blockbuster (see also: Outbreak, Contagion, 12 Monkey, World War Z).
The world is fascinated with viruses likely for several reasons: A) it's difficult to avoid (and survive) an aggressive virus that's airborne or spread by mere contact, B) they manifest periodically with little warning and C) they often wipe out significant portions of the population. While the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution improved sanitation and living conditions, largely slowing the spread of contagious diseases, history has shown that 
humans still are not immune to sporadic outbreaks.
humans still are not immune to sporadic outbreaks. Just last month, the West African Ebola outbreak became the worst in history; only time will tell how bad it might get.
But Ebola isn't the only disease the human race has had to worry about, nor is it the most widespread or fatal. Toggle through the infographic below to learn about some of the world's worst viral outbreaks. From cholera to the Black Death, explore the pathology and symptoms of the viruses that have harassed mankind since the 14th century.

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