Longest-lasting pandemic
The Seventh Cholera Pandemic
59 year(s)
Not Applicable ()

The longest-enduring pandemic disease outbreak is the Seventh Cholera Pandemic, which originated in Indonesia and began to spread widely in 1961. As of 2020, some 59 years later, this pandemic is still ongoing and infects an estimated 3-5 million people annually.

Cholera is a bacterial infection that spreads when people consume the bodily fluids (particularly faeces) of infected people. This can be hard to avoid in areas without clean water and reliable sewage systems. Cholera causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration, causing victims to lose up to 20 litres of fluids in just a few hours. Left untreated, it can kill the infected person within hours.

The Seventh Cholera Pandemic is caused by a specific strain of cholera, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae O1. Quarantine and restrictions on the movement of people and goods have proven to be largely ineffective against containing the spread of cholera.