Mankind has been struck by a multitude of maladies that some call an act of God, helping balance the world population with huge kill counts. Science disagrees as it has found the cure to a number of terminal illnesses. However, there are many diseases that are difficult to prevent or do not have a permanent antidote. On that note, we bring you the top 5 deadliest diseases of the world that are still a scourge humans need to fight.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It’s one of the most feared diseases that hijacks a target’s immune system, making them susceptible to infections and diseases. World Health Organization (WHO) attributes more than one million deaths to AIDS. Currently, almost 36 million people are suffering from AIDS in the world.
There’s no cure for AIDS presently, but scientists are coming closer and closer to a vaccine as clinical trials are underway. Treatment for AIDS features the use of Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTI), which stops the virus from duplication.
The Ebola Virus Disease outbreaks have been seen mostly in West African countries since 1976. The 2013-2016 West African outbreak was its worst case, killing more than 11,000 people. The cause of this disease are the Ebolaviruses, a genus of different viruses under the family Filoviridae. Its species include Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Taï Forest ebolavirus, and Zaire ebolavirus.
The disease is lethal and highly infectious, using human contact as a transmission method. A simple touch from a sweaty Ebola patient can cause transmission of the virus. Even the dead bodies are infectious, making the funerals a hotbed for an outbreak.
Ebola can be treated with oxygen therapy, ample transfusion of electrolytes and fluids, and a roster of medications to inhibit hemorrhages, nausea, and fever. There are no anti-viral alternatives, making Ebola a deadly disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Smoking increases the risk of contracting TB. The most prevalent indication that betrays TB’s presence in a person is chronic coughing for more than four weeks. It is accompanied with fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Its vector are the people who have active TB and spread the bacteria through sneezing, coughing, and speaking. If not cured, TB can lead to death. 10.4 million people around the globe were afflicted with TB in 2016, out of which 1.7 million died, including 0.4 million AIDS patients. It increase the probability of death by 66% in HIV-positive patients, making it the leading killer of HIV-positive people.
Tuberculosis can be prevented by following Directly Observed Treatment, more commonly known as DOTS. TB drugs are primarily used for bactericide, involving drugs like Rifampicin, Isoniazid, and Ethambutol.
Blood Cancer happens due to abnormal interruption of the blood production process in the bone marrow. It causes the growth of irregular-shaped blood cells, inhibiting the normal function of blood. These are of three types- Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma.
Blood Cancer can be really difficult to treat as it requires frequent blood transfusions, troubling economically-weak people who cannot afford regular transfusions. Some of the symptoms it exhibits feature easy bruising, fatigueless, sudden weight-loss, lymph node enlargement, abdominal pain, bone pain, and nausea.
Biological therapy and chemotherapy are common treatments for this disease that took an estimate of 6,09,640 lives in 2018. Bone marrow transplantation also goes a long way in treating Blood Cancer.
If you’re bitten by a squirrel, a rat or a street dog, it’s wise to get a Rabies vaccine right away. Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the host’s central nervous system, caused by Lyssavirus. This disease is incurable and in 80% of the cases leads to the loss of the victim.
Among its symptoms are fever, excessive salivation, hallucinations, but most importantly, the hydrophobia (the fear of water). According to WHO, more than 60,000 people die from Rabies every year.
A rabies patient is unable to swallow food and water. Initial diagnosis is quite difficult as it can be confused with other mental conditions that exhibit aggressiveness and excitement. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) aka anti-retroviral drugs can be 100% effective against Rabies, only if they’re administered within six days, without any delay. Rabies is a deadly disease in terms of its symptoms that lead to death.
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