Copyright 2016,

Fever pitch

g_106563_nipah_virus_280x210.jpg Image: Shutterstock

With a death toll of 15 (at the time of going to press), the Nipah virus has caused a scare. This is the third Nipah outbreak in India; West Bengal had it in 2001 and 2007. We look at a few other outbreaks in the past decades:

Bubonic and pneumonic plague outbreak, with Surat as its epicentre. Caused 56 deaths and over 700 suspected cases. Created unprecedented panic, leading to global isolation and economic losses of $1.7 billion.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, an import from China. Hundreds quarantined across India, causing widespread panic. Limited number of confirmed cases.

2015: H1N1
Outbreak causes the highest number of deaths ever, killing 3,000 and affecting over 42,500. Maharashtra and Gujarat were the worst affected.

Over 2,200 deaths and 38,000 cases reported—a 20-old rise from previous year. Spurt attributed to change in virus strain.