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  • Measles on Random Scariest Viruses on Earth Today

    (#8) Measles

    • Maculopapular rash, Erythema, Fever, Skin rash, Runny nose, Cough, Conjunctivitis

    197,000 Deaths a Year

    Measles, also known as Rubeola, has done a pretty good job of killing people throughout the ages. Over the last 150 years, the virus has been responsible for the deaths of around 200 million people. The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is 3 deaths per thousand cases, or 0.3%. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates have been as high as 28%. In immunocompromised patients (e.g. people with AIDS) the fatality rate is approximately 30%.

    During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii's people. In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. In the 19th century, the disease decimated the Andamanese population. In 1954, the virus causing the disease was isolated from an 11-year old boy from the United States, David Edmonston, and adapted and propagated on chick embryo tissue culture.

    To date, 21 strains of the measles virus have been identified.
  • Yellow fever on Random Scariest Viruses on Earth Today

    (#10) Yellow fever

    • Bleeding, Nausea, Jaundice, Back pain, Fever, Constipation, Headache, Chills

    30,000 Deaths a Year

    Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes and is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The only known hosts of the virus are primates and several species of mosquito. The origin of the disease is most likely to be Africa, from where it was introduced to South America through the slave trade in the 16th century. Since the 17th century, several major epidemics of the disease have been recorded in the Americas, Africa and Europe. In the 19th century, yellow fever was deemed one of the most dangerous infectious diseases. Yellow fever presents in most cases with fever, nausea, and pain and it generally subsides after several days. In some patients, a toxic phase follows, in which liver damage with jaundice (giving the name of the disease) can occur and lead to death. Because of the increased bleeding tendency (bleeding diathesis), yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers.

    Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing, making it a reemerging disease.
  • Dengue fever on Random Scariest Viruses on Earth Today

    (#11) Dengue fever

    • Pain behind the eyes, Joint pain, Vascular Leak, Headache, High Fever, Muscle pain

    25,000 Deaths a year

    Also known as ‘breakbone fever’ due to the extreme pain felt during fever, is an relatively new disease caused by one of four closely-related viruses. WHO estimates that a whopping 2.5 billion people (two fifths of the World’s population) are at risk from dengue. It puts the total number of infections at around 50 million per year, and is now epidemic in more than 100 countries.

    Dengue viruses are transferred to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes. The dengue virus circulates in the blood of a human for two to seven days, during the same time they have the fever. It usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be severe retro-orbital pain, (a pain from behind the eyes that is distinctive to Dengue infections), and gastritis with some combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting coffee-grounds-like congealed blood, or severe diarrhea.

  • Hepatitis C on Random Scariest Viruses on Earth Today

    (#7) Hepatitis C

    • Joint pain, Jaundice, Nausea, Fever, Abdominal pain, Ascites, Muscle pain, Intestinal varices, Hepatic encephalopathy, Gastric varices, Anorexia, Fatigue, Dark urine, Vomiting, Esophageal varices

    56,000 Deaths a Year

    An estimated 200-300 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. Most people infected with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms and feel fine for years. However, liver damage invariably rears its ugly head over time, often decades after first infection. In fact, 70% of those infected develop chronic liver disease, 15% are struck with cirrhosis and 5% can die from liver cancer or cirrhosis. In the USA, hepatitis C is the primary reason for liver transplants.

    There is no cure, no vaccine.
  • Common cold on Random Scariest Viruses on Earth Today

    (#13) Common cold

    • Rhinitis, Shivering, Nasal congestion, Malaise, Sneeze, Muscle pain, Conjunctivitis, Pharyngitis, Anorexia, Fatigue, Muscle weakness, Headache, Cough

    No known cure

    The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans with on average two to four infections a year in adults and up to 6–12 in children. Collectively, colds, influenza, and other infections with similar symptoms are included in the diagnosis of influenza-like illness. They may also be termed upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Influenza involves the lungs while the common cold does not.

  • Smallpox on Random Scariest Viruses on Earth Today

    (#4) Smallpox

    • Enanthem, Macule

    Officially eradicated - Due to its long history, it impossible to estimate the carnage over the millennia

    Smallpox localizes in small blood vessels of the skin and in the mouth and throat. In the skin, this results in a characteristic maculopapular rash, and later, raised fluid-filled blisters. It has an overall mortality rate of 30–35%. Smallpox is believed to have emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans per year during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of all those infected, 20–60%—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.

    Smallpox was responsible for an estimated 300–500 million deaths during the 20th century alone. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979.

    Smallpox is one of only two infectious diseases to have been eradicated by humans, the other being Rinderpest, which was unofficially declared eradicated in October 2010.

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