Table 1.

Major emerging infectious disease outbreaks in the 21st century.

PathogenDiseaseTime spanGeographic rangeScale
SARS coronavirusSevere acute
respiratory syndrome
November 2002
to July 2003
29 countries: Australia, Brazil,
Canada, China, Colombia, Finland,
France, Germany, India, Indonesia,
Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mongolia,
New Zealand, Philippines, Ireland,
Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa,
South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Thailand, UK, United States, Viet Nam
>8000 cases, 916 deaths
Chikungunya virusMosquito-borne
viral disease
February 2005 to
August 2006
8 countries: Comoros Islands,
India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Mayotte, Reunion, Seychelles
>1,700,000 cases
H1N1 influenza A virus*InfluenzaApril 2009 to
August 2010
214 countries worldwide reported
laboratory-confirmed cases
Estimated 150,000 to
600,000 deaths,
18,500 laboratory-confirmed
E. coli O104:H4Enterobacterial infection
(can lead to hemolytic
uremic syndrome)
May 2011 to
July 2011
14 countries: Austria, Canada,
Czech Republic, Denmark, France,
Germany, Greece, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
4075 cases, 50 deaths
MERS coronavirus*Viral respiratory
September 2012 to
23 countries: Algeria, Austria,
Egypt, France, Germany, Greece,
Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Malaysia, Netherlands, Oman,
Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Turkey, Tunisia, UK, United Arab Emirates,
United States, Yemen
1368 laboratory-
confirmed cases,
487 deaths
(as of 7 July 2015)
H7N9 influenza A virusInfluenzaMarch 2013 to
3 countries: China, plus travel-associated
cases in Malaysia, Canada
486 laboratory-
confirmed cases, 184 deaths
(as of 8 February 2015)
Chikungunya virusMosquito-borne
viral disease
December 2013 to
47 countries: Widespread in Caribbean and
Central America plus Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil,
Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico,
Paraguay, Peru, United States, Venezuela
>1,000,000 cases, 176 deaths
(as of January 2015)
Zaire ebolavirus*Hemorrhagic feverMarch 2014 to
9 countries: Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal,
Sierra Leone, Spain, UK, United States
28,251 cases, 11,294 deaths
(as of 16 September 2015)

*Designated as “public health event of international concern” (PHEIC) according to the International Health Regulations.