Top 5 Deadliest Infectious Diseases: Make Sure You Keep Yourself Safe

Top 5 Deadliest Infectious Diseases: Make Sure You Keep Yourself Safe

Diseases are a part of life. They have existed since the beginning of humankind. The history of diseases is more than just an interesting read, it’s also crucial for understanding how to avoid them.


The following 5 deadliest infectious diseases have killed millions of people in the past 100 years, and still pose a threat today. These diseases are not only deadly but they are also preventable. But with good hygiene, proper nutrition, and access to medical care, these diseases can be avoided.


Read on to learn about the top 5 deadliest infectious diseases.

Introduction

In the United States, there are two major sources of infectious disease: the environment, and us. For every infectious disease that kills thousands of people each year in the United States, there are dozens that don’t. So it goes without saying that disease is something we can’t eliminate.


At the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of diseases were seasonal. There were a few major killers, such as smallpox and typhus. A lot of people would come down with them, but many would survive without ever knowing they were sick. But with the discovery of antibiotics, a lot of diseases became deadly year-round. Doctors discovered the ability to treat diseases that were once easily fatal and life-threatening.

The Top 5 Deadliest Infectious Diseases

According to the World Health Organization, the five most lethal infectious diseases are:


1. Malaria


Worldwide, approximately 429,000 people die of malaria every year. Malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium. The disease is common in tropical areas, mostly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Malaria can cause the loss of 5 to 7 years of a person’s life.


The disease is transmitted to people through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. As for prevention, there is no specific solution for malaria. However, mosquito nets and treated drinking water can be effective. There are also various drugs that can help treat the symptoms and reduce the damage of the disease.


The presence of malaria in a country can affect the lives of those who reside there.

Information about each top deadliest infectious disease

1. Ebola: 4,666 cases, 2,868 deaths (1997-2016)


Ebola is a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever, found in Central and West Africa. The illness is caused by the Ebola virus and it is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. This disease can be fatal and there is no vaccine or medicine to help treat it.


In 2014, Ebola virus disease started spreading rapidly through the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no treatment or cure for this disease.


The current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is caused by the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus.

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is perhaps the most recent infectious disease that took the world by storm.


The World Health Organization estimates that there are 39 million people living with HIV worldwide. A staggering 5 million are children.


HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that attacks the immune system, weakening it and making it harder to fight infections. With the HIV virus, you’re living with HIV because the body is already weakened.


The most famous names to have died of HIV/AIDS were U.S. musicians and singers, Michael Jackson, Bono, the lead singer for U2, and Prince, and global icons like Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who’s a Member of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council.

Malaria

The symptoms of Malaria are very similar to the flu. Fever, vomiting, headaches, abdominal pains, and sore muscles are some of the many symptoms. Malaria affects around 50% of the global population. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 400 million people worldwide suffer from malaria.


Malaria causes fever and severe headaches and is sometimes accompanied by joint pains.


Malaria has caused death as early as 12 years of age. Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is caused by a parasite that is spread to humans through mosquitoes.


There are several forms of Malaria, the most common form is the Plasmodium falciparum infection. People who suffer from this infection suffer from a rash that is most likely to occur on their face, eyes, and other areas of their skin.

Tuberculosis

The most lethal infectious disease known to humanity is called tuberculosis. T.B. is a highly contagious airborne bacterial infection and can be fatal. The infection does not always have a fever, which is another reason why the disease is so deadly.


T.B. is endemic in many parts of the world, and is most common in low- and middle-income countries. There are about 1.7 million new cases of TB in the world each year and 1.2 million people die. Although it is a highly contagious disease, tuberculosis is treatable and curable.


Fortunately, in the United States and most of Europe, the T.B. disease is rare, but there are still several ways to protect yourself from the disease. You can get TB or get a TB test done to determine if you have been exposed to TB.

Dengue Fever

This tropical disease was first described in 1868 and has killed more than 50 million people across the globe since that time. The disease is caused by the bite of the Asian tiger mosquito, the Aedes aegypti. The virus has an incubation period of a few days and begins with a mild fever that can worsen to chills, vomiting, and a rash. The disease can also be fatal in a small number of cases. There is no treatment for dengue fever.


Hepatitis A


Hepatitis A is another mosquito-borne disease that’s incredibly deadly. The disease causes flu-like symptoms for about a week, followed by jaundice and low blood pressure. The illness is spread through the fecal matter of infected humans.

Ebola

Ebola is a deadly disease that causes severe fever and bleeding. It is an infectious disease caused by a virus and is transmitted through blood and bodily fluids.


Symptoms:

  • Severe bleeding from the nose, mouth and gut
  • Fever and shaking
  • Jaundice
  • Shock

Ebola is usually fatal if left untreated, but the disease can be treated. The current outbreak in West Africa, is the largest and most widespread outbreak of Ebola in history.


The current outbreak started in December 2013 in West Africa, and there are currently more than 2,500 reported cases and 930 deaths.


What you can do:


Avoid direct contact with blood, body fluids, or people who are sick with Ebola.


This includes:


Showering, especially with such water sources as lakes, rivers, ponds and swimming pools.

Conclusion

It is scary to think that these deadly diseases still exist in the world. These diseases are terrible and, unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to get rid of them. It’s a personal responsibility to ensure that you stay healthy. There are many ways to get the necessary vitamins and minerals, to eat healthy, and take the necessary medication.

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