Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World


Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World

Humans have been battling the virus for thousands of years. Although for some viral diseases, vaccines and anti-viral drugs such as Smallpox have allowed us to be prevented from infection, spread widely and have helped infected people recover, however we still have a long way to go to be able to win this fight against the virus.

Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World
Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World

Wabah Cacar/the new york times
In recent decades, the virus has jumped from animal to human and triggered outbreaks large enough to claim thousands of lives such as the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2016 in West Africa that is estimated to have killed up to 90% of infected people.

Right now there are other viruses out there that are equally deadly, some of which are even more deadly. Corona Viris Baru or SARS-CoV-2 or known as COVID-19 has been encouraging outbreaks around the world by posing a serious threat to public health because until now there is no means to combat them.

Here are the 10 deadliest viruses in the world based on the likelihood that someone will die if they are infected from one of the viruses below.

Ebola Virus

Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World
Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World

The first known Ebola outbreak to strike humans occurred in the Republic of Sudan and the Demolratic Republic of congo in 1976. One of the deadliest viruses in the world is spread through contact with blood or other bodily fluids or tissues of an infected person or animal. Known strains varied dramatically in his death. said Elke Muhlberger, an Ebola virus expert and professor of microfology at Boston University.

According to the WHO, Although one strain, Ebola Reston does not make people sick, but for the Bundibugyo strain, the mortality rate can reach 50% to 71% for Sudanese strains.

The ongoing outbreak in West Africa since 2014 is one of the deadliest and most complex outbreaks of the virus to date.

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In the modern world, HIV is one of the deadliest viruses in the world. According to Dr. Amesh Adalja, “HIV is the biggest killer of the century”. An estimated 32 million people have died from the HIV virus since the disease was first discovered in the early 1980s.”

Powerful antiviral drugs have allowed people to live for years with HIV. But the disease continues to devastate many low- and middle-income countries where 95% of HIV infections are new. Nearly 1 in every 25 adults in the African region is HIV positive. More than two-thirds of people live with HIV worldwide.



In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the world was free of smallpox disease which for thousands of years people fought for life from this disease by killing 1 in 3 infected people. While for those who survived left permanent scars to blindness. The mortality rate is much higher in populations outside Europe, where people have little contact with the virus before bringing it to their territory. Historians estimate 90% of the Native American population died from smallpox introduced by European explorers. In the 20th century alone smallpox killed 300 million people worldwide.



Hantavirus pulnomary syndrome (HPS) first gained widespread attention in America in 1993, when a healthy Navajo young man and his fiancée who lived in the Four Corners area of the United States died within days of asphyxiation. A few months later health authorities isolated the hantavirus from a Deer Rat living in the home of one of the infected people.

More than 600 people in the U.S. are now infected with HPS and 36% of them die from the disease. The virus is not transmitted from one person to another, but rather the person infected with the disease from exposure to infected mouse droppings.

6. Influenza


According to the WHO, in the common cold, 500,000 people worldwide die from the disease. But sometimes when new strains of flu appear, pandemics occur with a faster spread of the disease accompanied by a high mortality rate.

The deadliest flu pandemic commonly called the Spanish Flu began in 1918 which spread to 40% of the world’s population killing more than 50 million people.



The next deadliest virus in the world was dengue virus which first appeared in 1950 in the Philippines and Thailand and continues to spread throughout the world’s tropics and subtropics. Up to 40% of the world’s population now lives in areas where dengue fever is endemic.

According to the WHO, Dengue has made it sick about 50 – 100 million people per year. Although dengue mortality rates are lower than some other viruses, 2.5% of the virus can cause Ebola called dengue hemorrhagic fever with a mortality rate of up to 20% when left untreated.



Two vaccines are now available to protect children from Rotavirus. The main cause of the disease is severe diarrhea in infants and young children. The virus can spread very quickly through what researchers call the fecal-oral route.

Although children in developed countries rarely die from Rotavirus infection, Rotavirus is a killer in developing countries where rehydration treatments are not widely available.

The WHO estimates that worldwide 453,000 children under 15 died from Rotavirus infection in 2008. But countries that have introduced the vaccine have reported a significant decline in the virus.



The next deadliest virus in the world is SARS-CoV which can cause very severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus first appeared in 2002 in South China’s Guangdong province. The virus is likely derived from bats then transmitted to ferrets before eventually infecting humans. After triggering the outbreak in China, SARS-CoV then spread to 26 countries in the world by infecting more than 8,000 people by killing more than 770 people over 2 years.

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The virus causes fever, chills and pain in the body and often develops into pneumonia, a very severe commission in which the lungs are inflamed and filled with pus.

Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World
Top 10 Deadliest Viruses in the World

SARS-CoV-2 is a family of SARS-CoV viruses also known as coronavirus or COVID-19 that were first identified in December 2019 in wuhan city, China. As with SARS-CoV, the virus most likely originated in bats passing through transitional animals before infecting humans.

Since its emergence, SARS-CoV-2 has infected thousands of people in China and thousands more around the world. The ongoing outbreak prompted widespread quarantine in wuhan city and nearby cities to the world’s affected countries and the efforts of countries around the world to develop diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

Diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2 or commonly called COVID-19 have a mortality rate of about 2.3%. Elderly people or people who have a history of certain diseases seem to be most at risk of severe illness or complications. Common symptoms such as fever, dry cough and shortness of breath can develop into more severe pneumonia.




MERS-CoV is a virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS has triggered outbreaks in Saudi Arabia in 2012 as well as in South Korea in 2015. The MERS virus is the same family as SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 that most likely originated in Bats. The disease has infected camels before it is transmitted to humans by triggering fever, cough, shortness of breath in indexed people.

MERS has developed into severe pneumonia and is estimated to have a mortality rate of between 30% – 40% making MERS-CoV one of the deadliest viruses in the world. As with SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV has no treatment or vaccine.

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