The world's biggest risks
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History’s deadliest epidemics

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The ongoing Ebola epidemic has sparked fears around the world, in part due to the horrific symptoms associated with the disease and the current lack of cure.

It has killed more than 11,000 people since December 2013, in by far the largest recorded outbreak of the deadly virus. While the epidemic originated in West Africa, cases of the disease have appeared in the U.S., Spain and Germany.

However, diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria also remain endemic in many parts of the world, and HIV/AIDS continues to blight much of sub-Saharan Africa. CNBC takes a look at some of the worst epidemics throughout the ages.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Updated on Thursday July 2015.

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