Historically, the United States has seen its share of epidemics. There are others, however, that continue to be a thorn in the side of our population in spite of having some of the best doctors and technology on the planet.

A total of 9,421 tuberculosis cases were reported in 2014. Norovirus, Salmonella, and Listeria cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of hospitalizations each year, many of which can be avoided through proper food preparation. The CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. One of the most prevalent? Approximately 50,000 people are infected with HIV each year. Since the first cases were reported in the early ’80s, over 25 million have died worldwide.

Here, we’ve compiled some of the biggest that have wreaked havoc on U.S. soil over the last 200-plus years.

Boston Smallpox Epidemic
1721
5,889 INFECTIONS
844 DEATHS

Yellow Fever Epidemic
1793
N/A
5,000 DEATHS

Second Cholera Pandemic
1830- 1851
N/A
150,000 DEATHS

H1N1 Influenza
1918-1919
N/A
675,000 DEATHS

Polio Epidemic
1952
58,000 INFECTED (21,269 LEFT WITH MILD TO DISABLING PARALYSIS)
3,145 DEATHS

Asian Flu Pandemic
1957
N/A
70,000 DEATHS

AIDS
1981- PRESENT
N/A
658,000 DEATHS

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Milwaukee
1993
403,000 INFECTIONS
100 DEATHS

Pertussis “Whooping Cough”
2010
9,477 INFECTIONS
10 DEATHS

Enterovirus
2014
1,153 INFECTED
14 DEATHS

SOURCE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention > www.cdc.gov

Note: Amounts are approximations.


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