#8 English Sweating Sickness – England, 1485
The sweating sickness or simply the sweats was an epidemic that started in England and later spread to other European countries. The symptoms of the mysterious disease appeared unexpectedly, which included excessive sweating and led to death within hours.
The cause of the epidemic is argued even today. However, some experts believe that it was caused by a mysterious hantavirus, while more recent studies speculate that a strain of SARS virus could likely be the culprit.
The sweating sickness was unprecedented compared to other epidemics of the time. Besides, the outbreak largely affected rural demographics. Though the mode of transmission of the disease remains a mystery, experts believe that mass gatherings at the time of King Henry VII’s coronation promoted the spread of the virus.