Some Diseases that Kill
Diseases you should be aware of
Ebola has managed to hold our attention for quite some time now. It has killed almost 5,000 people across West Africa. This has resulted in various countries imposing bans on visitors from these affected nations in an attempt to contain the deadly virus.
Often, we come across such lethal diseases that engulf us in a cloud of fear and confusion. Let us take a look at a few dangerous diseases, some for which the threat is mollified while others who still pose considerable risks for us.
Dengue- With the rising number of dengue cases in Mumbai and Pune, there is much to be concerned about. Dengue is infectious and symptoms include headache, fever, joint and muscle pains. The carrier of this virus is the female mosquito, Aedes. Keeping your surroundings clean is an effective measure against Dengue.
Swine Flu- Commonly known as the H1N1 virus, Swine flu affects all parts of the body causing mental exhaustion, systematic fever, vomiting and diarrhea. This virus, generally endemic in pigs, is highly infectious and deadly in humans, and is transferred to people on regular exposure to pigs. In 2010, it killed nearly 2,000 people in India.
Bird Flu- It is also known as the H5N1 virus. The first known case in humans was recorded in Hong Kong in 1997 and was caused due to chickens. Bird flu can also be caused by eating raw or undercooked poultry meat and eggs or blood of the infected birds. Some of its symptoms include cough, diarrhoea, fever, headache, difficult breathing, sore throat and muscle ache.
Tamiflu vaccine is a potent weapon against this virus but in severe cases bird flu can be fatal. This disease created a huge panic in India in 2006.
Yellow Fever- Yet another disease spread by the Aedes mosquito, Yellow Fever was one of the most infectious and deadly diseases of the 18th and 19th century causing major outbreaks in Africa, Europe and the American continent. Its symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscular pains and headaches.
Cholera- Cholera has wiped out entire towns and villages in the past, being responsible for the deaths of over 40 million people from 1816 till date. It causes diarrhea, dehydration and vomiting. Maintaining a nutritious diet and drinking clean water prevents the spread of the disease.
HIV- Reported first in 1980, this deadly disease has managed to claim increasing number of lives for the past two decades. This virus weakens the immune system to a level that the body cannot fight any infection, not even the common cold, which proves to be fatal. It can be acquired through blood transfusion, body fluids or the sharing of needles. There is neither any cure nor vaccine against HIV.
Small Pox- Having emerged 12000 years ago, Small Pox wiped off many cultures and remained deadly till 1980. This disease was lethal and contagious and had a deadly impact on both children and elders. The symptoms appear usually in 10 to 12 days and include fever, fatigue and headache. In 1980’s doctors were able to eradicate this deadly disease.
Malaria- From 2500 species of mosquitoes, about 50 to 60 are capable of transmitting Malaria. This mosquito-borne infectious disease has wiped off more than 80 million in the 20th century and even today about 300 million people worldwide are affected by it. Malaria has a fatality rate between 1 and 1.5 million per year and affects the red blood cells count. While this disease is preventable, it can prove fatal if ignored.
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