Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases due to RNA viruses cause major negative consequences for the quality of life, public health, and overall economic development. Most of the RNA viruses causing illnesses in humans are of zoonotic origin. Zoonotic viruses can directly be transferred from animals to humans through adaptation, followed by human-to-human transmission, such as in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and, more recently, SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or they can be transferred through insects or vectors, as in the case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and dengue virus (DENV). At the present, there are no vaccines or antiviral compounds against most of these viruses. Because proteins possess a vast array of functions in all known biological systems, proteomics-based strategies can provide important insights into the investigation of disease pathogenesis and the identification of promising antiviral drug targets during an epidemic or pandemic. Mass spectrometry technology has provided the capacity required for the precise identification and the sensitive and high-throughput analysis of proteins on a large scale and has contributed greatly to unravelling key protein-protein interactions, discovering signaling networks, and understanding disease mechanisms. In this Review, we present an account of quantitative proteomics and its application in some prominent recent examples of emerging and re-emerging RNA virus diseases like HIV-1, CCHFV, ZIKV, and DENV, with more detail with respect to coronaviruses (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV) as well as the recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.