Top 9 Deadliest Diseases

The world is facing new dangerous epidemics, the wicked Ebola virus which has already killed hundreds of people in Africa. Not the first deadly virus and certainly not the last that have made humanity suffer. The following list has some of the deadliest diseases that were killing people during the centuries.

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#1. Cholera

This infection of the small intestine is transmitted primarily by drinking water or eating food containing the feces of an infected person. Unfortunately this disease is still killing people. Worldwide about 5 million people are affected and over 100,000 die from Cholera every year.

Cholera

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#2. Smallpox

Small pox has claimed numerous lives and just in the 20th century, and prior to vaccination, the death toll was estimated at nearly 500 million. But then thanks to the improved medicine and the vaccines and vaccination campaigns of the 20th century, smallpox has become one of two infectious diseases that have been declared as completely eradicated.

#3. Yellow fever

Typical for Africa and South America, this disease is transmitted to humans via female mosquitos. It typically involves fever, chills, anorexia, nausea, muscle pain (with prominent backache) and headache, but in most cases subsides after several days. Due to warfare and social disruption across Africa, there has seen a resurgence since the 1980s.

Yellow fever

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#4. Tuberculosis

Back in the last two centuries, this disease was known as the disease of the poor people who lived poor lives (in cold and moldy homes and had poor diets). Usually attacking the lungs, TBC is spread by airborne saliva. The classic symptoms of active tuberculosis infection are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Even though today there is cure for it, some form of this disease kills nearly one third of world population.

#5. Influenza

Commonly known as the flu, influenza is usually transmitted through the air like tuberculosis but sometimes through direct contact with contaminated surfaces. The good thing is that the virus can be inactivated by soap, that’s why doctors suggest frequent hand washing for reducing the risk of infection.

Influenza

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#6. Diarrhea

This disease is a common cause of death in the third world countries. Diarrhea is the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide; the loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte disturbances such as potassium deficiency or other salt imbalances. Sadly how such easily curable disease is still a mortal threat for certain parts of the world.

Diarrhea

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#7. Ebola

The entire world is facing the threat of this dangerous virus that comes from Africa. Deriving its name from the Ebola River in Republic of the Congo, where it was first found, its victims suffer fevers, muscle weakness, and other symptoms that progress to severe bleeding, both internal and external, that eventually causes them to bleed to death. The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal (commonly monkeys or fruit bats). The world faces with what some are claiming to be the deadliest and worst outbreak of the disease in history.

Ebola

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#8. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Almost a decade ago this virus was a threat for the entire planet. Although the world has already covered influenza as a whole, certain strains adapt to a particular host, such as birds. Most human contractions of the avian flu are a result of either handling dead infected birds or from contact with infected fluids. For this reason there have been large outbreaks in heavily agricultural parts of Asia and Africa. While its most highly pathogenic strain (H5N1) had been spreading throughout Asia since 2003, avian influenza reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East, as well as Africa in 2006. Today the virus isn’t threatening the world anymore, but it still exists.

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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

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#9. Tetanus

Tetanus is a medical condition characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers. Infection generally occurs through wound contamination and often involves a cut or deep puncture wound. As the infection progresses, muscle spasms develop in the jaw (“lockjaw”) and elsewhere in the body. The spasms can also affect the chest, neck, back, abdominal muscles, and buttocks. Back muscle spasms often cause arching, and sometimes the spasms affect muscles that help with breathing, which can lead to breathing problems. Recovery from naturally acquired tetanus does not usually result in immunity to tetanus, due to the extreme potency of the tetanospasmin toxin. Even a lethal dose of tetanospasmin is insufficient to provoke an immune response. Tetanus can be prevented by vaccination with tetanus toxoid.

Tetanus

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