12 Harmful Viruses of All Time That Shocked Humanity
While there have been some of the most deadliest diseases in history like the plague, viruses are more a modern feature where the last 10 years have seen some of the deadliest viruses to affect humankind. Thankfully every virus has been fought with a vaccine-like smallpox that has been eradicated. But even as we continue discovering vaccines, man’s bizarre needs of lifestyle contribute largely to make sure that even animal viruses mutate and turn into deadly human viruses capable of rampant and instant transmission resulting in mild to severe illness or even death. Here are the 12 deadliest viruses in human history.
1 Marburg virus
The Marburg virus was identified in 1967 in Germany. It was initially small outbreaks among lab workers that were infected to infected monkeys that had been imported from Uganda. Like Ebola, it can also cause hemorrhagic fever with high temperatures and internal bleeding that leads to organ failure, shock and even death. During the first outbreak the mortality rate was just 25% but between 1998-2000 it rose to 80% in the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The same goes for the 2005 outbreak in Angola.
Ebola outbreaks struck swiftly and simultaneously in the Republic of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. The virus was transmitted through blood and other body fluids including tissues of infected humans and animals. One strain of the disease called Ebola Reston did not cause illness but the Bundibugyo strain had a fatality rate of 50% and the Sudan strain 70%. The West African outbreak began in 2014 and is one of the largest and most complex virus outbreaks ever seen till date says WHO.
Rabies vaccines were introduced for pets in 1920’s and that has made the disease extremely rare but the condition still remains serious in India and Africa. Rabies transmitted by dog and other animal bites destroys the brain and without a vaccination against rabies, there is a 100% fatality rate for those who get bitten by an infected animal.
HIV is the deadliest virus of the modern world and is still one of the biggest killers in the modern world according to Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician and spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America. Till today almost 32 million people have succumbed to HIV since it first surfaced in the early eighties. There are antiviral drugs that have increased the survival rate of HIV patients but the disease continues to take a heavy toll on low and middle income countries where 95% of new HIV infections occur. In Africa, nearly 1 in every 25 adults is infected with HIV.