A Timeline of Plagues

By Tim Lambert

430 BC Athens is struck by an unknown disease

165-180 AD Rome is ravaged by a disease, probably smallpox or measles.

543 Plague strikes the Byzantine Empire. It then spreads to western Europe.

1346 The Black Death breaks out in Crimea

1348 The Black Death reaches England

1492 Smallpox and measles are introduced into the Americas

1603 Plague strikes London

1633 Plague strikes again

1665 Plague breaks out in London for the last time

1720-1722 Plague strikes southern France

1770 Plague strikes Kyiv

1771 Plague breaks out in Moscow

1796 Edward Jenner introduces vaccination against smallpox

1831 Cholera strikes London and other British cities

1841 Bubonic plague strikes Istanbul

1845 Bubonic breaks out in Egypt

1848 Cholera strikes British towns again

1854 John Snow discovers that cholera is spread by water

1866 Cholera strikes London again

1885 Pasteur cures rabies

1890 Immunization against diphtheria is discovered

1896 A vaccine for typhoid is discovered

1897 A vaccine against bubonic plague is first used

1900 Bubonic plague breaks out in Sydney

1910 Salvarsan, a drug used to cure syphilis is discovered

1918 An epidemic of influenza kills millions of people around the world

1928 Penicillin is discovered

1953 Jonas Salk announces he has a vaccine for polio

1963 A vaccine for measles is discovered