It might be hard to believe or imagine, but there was a time when the disease, which is considered common today, were life-threatening. Thanks to technology and nature’s own self-correcting mechanism, humanity survived those tough times and dark ages. With the motive to revisit history, BuzzFyre has taken the liberty to compile a list of 5 deadliest diseases in the world, which are or were the most-feared by mankind.
Lives claimed: 300-500 Million
Considered one of the deadliest diseases known to mankind until the 20th century, Small Pox has claimed around 300 to 500 million lives according to various conservative estimates. It is caused by ‘Variola’ virus and is transmitted from one person to the other via infected aerosols. WHO claims that the virus has been eradicated completely, however, stocks of virus are still held in laboratories. In 2014, several vials of the disease were discovered in an FDA lab in Bethesda, Maryland.
4. Ebola Virus
Estimated lives claimed: 160,000
As far as Africa is considered, Ebola virus is a certain sign of death. The virus carries with itself a high fatality rate, which goes up to 90%. Unfortunately, the continent of Africa faces the full wrath of this deadly disease as it is quite common in remote villages in Central Africa. As of now, Ebola has no licensed vaccine available for clinical use. With no specific treatment available, the death toll is continuously on the rise with every passing year. The disease was discovered in 1976 and even with all the technological developments and medical breakthroughs; the disease is still at large and poses a big threat to mankind.
Lives claimed: Around 10,000
This viral disease mainly poses a threat to young children. Polio has no known cure, but there are preventive measures known as vaccines which are administered to children to immunize them against this disease and also to stop is from spreading. The disease causes irreversible paralysis, targeting children under the age of 5. Polio disease has been successfully contained to a certain extent and the number pf cases reported has dropped from almost 350,000 in 1988 to around 406 in 2013. The dream of a polio-free world still remains to be realized with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria reporting polio cases every year.
Lives claimed: 30 Million
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (HIV) is a life-ending life. With no safe cure available yet, millions of people fall victim to this disease every year. HIV targets defense mechanisms in the human body, so the body cannot put up a fight against any disease. HIV is transmitted via unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of needles, and transfusions of contaminated blood. There are treatments that at most slow down the virus’s progress, however, no complete cure is available.
Lives Claimed: 2.7 million per year
This mosquito-born disease is highly infectious and highly fatal. Each year, Malaria claims millions of lives because of the lack of proper and timely treatment. The risk of contracting this disease can be minimized by using mosquito repellents and nets. A vaccine is currently under development; however, preventive measures are highly recommended to reduce the risk of infection.