Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Top 10 Deadliest Viral Diseases in the World

Sl. No.

Viruses name

Diseases name





(Either smallpox  or measles)

Antonine Plague


AD 165(Ancient pandemic)

Rome(Italy) from the Far East


Influenza A virus subtype H3N8


Also known as the Russian influenza’ or ‘the Asiatic influenza



Observed Independently in Turkestan, Canada and Greenland.



Influenza A virus subtype H1N1

Spanish flu



First identified in United States in   military personnel.


Influenza A virus subtype H2N2

Asian flu



It was first reported in Singapore in February 1957.


SARS-CoV(Corona Virus)

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)




Guangdong( province of southern China).  Potential zone of re-emergence of SARS-CoV.



Middle East respiratory syndrome(MERS)

September 2012-2013(epidemic)

Health officials first reported the disease in Saudi Arabia.


HIV(Human Immuno- deficiency Virus)

AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome)



Among young people in China


Influenza A virus subtype H3N2

Hong Kong flu

1968 (pandemic)

It was first noted in the United States in September 1968.


Ebola Virus

Ebola virus disease (EVD)

1976, 2014-2016(epidemic)

First discovered in 1976. Most complex Ebola outbreak . The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa was the largest.




Dec. 2019


South China Seafood Market Hubei Province, China. Highly transmitted.


  Haeser’s conclusion, in Lehrbuch der Geschichte der Medicin und der epidemischen KrankenheitenIII:24–33 (1882), followed by Zinsser in 1935. Reference

  “There is not enough evidence satisfactorily to identify the disease or diseases” concluded J. F. Gilliam in his summary (1961) of the written sources, with inconclusive Greek and Latin inscriptions, two groups of papyri and coinage.

 The most recent scientific data have eliminated this possibility. See Y. Furuse, A. Suzuki and H. Oshitani, “Origin of the Measles Virus: Divergence from Rinderpest Virus Between the 11th and 12th Centuries,” Virology 7 (2010), pp. 52–55.

Kempińska-Mirosławska B, Woźniak-Kosek A. The influenza epidemic of 1889-90 in selected European cities–a picture based on the reports of two Poznań daily newspapers from the second half of the nineteenth century. Med Sci Monit. 2013;19:1131–1141. Published 2013 Dec 10. doi:10.12659/MSM.889469

Paul Glezen, Emerging Infections: Pandemic Influenza, Epidemiologic Reviews, Volume 18, Issue 1, 1996, Pages 64–76,

Tseng CT, Sbrana E, Iwata-Yoshikawa N, Newman PC, Garron T, et al. (2012) Correction: Immunization with SARS Coronavirus Vaccines Leads to Pulmonary Immunopathology on Challenge with the SARS Virus. PLOS ONE 7(8): 10.1371/annotation/2965cfae-b77d-4014-8b7b-236e01a35492.

 Div of Global Migration and Quarantine, Div of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases; Office for Emergency Preparedness and Response, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health; Div of Global Health Protection (proposed), Center for Global Health; Div of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases; Paul A. Gastañaduy, MD, EIS Officer, CDC.

Zhang X, Tang W, Li Y, et al. The HIV/AIDS epidemic among young people in China between 2005 and 2012: results of a spatial temporal analysis. HIV Med. 2017;18(3):141–150. doi:10.1111/hiv.12408

Glezen WP. Emerging infections: pandemic influenza. Epidemiol Rev. 1996;18(1):64-76

 Baseler L., Chertow D, et. Al.  The Pathogenesis of Ebola Virus Disease.   Rev. Pathol. Mech. Dis.2017. 12:387–418.

Wu F, Zhao S, Yu B, et al. A new coronavirus associated with human respiratory disease in China. Nature. 2020;579(7798):265–269. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2008-3