Mankind continues to actively develop, as well as developing a variety of areas of knowledge, including medicine. However, every year there are more and more new diseases, from which at first there is no cure, there is a high mortality rate of patients. For example, coronavirus is currently raging, and it has already spread literally around the world. According to medical professionals and pharmacologists, it is unlikely that an effective cure will be found in the near future. Therefore, in our rating we decided to touch upon a very important topic – the most dangerous viruses that have struck mankind in recent history.
Ten of the most devastating viruses of our time
10. AIDS (HIV)
According to experts, human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is considered the first registered epidemic. Of course, before this disease, there was the plague, the cholera, the Spanish plague, but all these diseases were localized to an extent. In other words, they affected only one part of the world without spreading further. AIDS has become a very serious problem for humanity. The disease was first diagnosed back in the mid-1980s in the United States. And to this day, no effective method has been found to get completely rid of the disease. In the history of the virus there have been only two cases of full recovery. Entering the body through blood or unprotected intercourse. It must be remembered that no method of contraception, including well-publicized condoms, can fully protect against the virus.
Initially the infection develops slowly in a healthy body. The disease destroys healthy cells of the immune system little by little. As it develops, the number of virus cells increases and the number of lymphocytes, on the other hand, decreases. It is physically impossible to detect the disease immediately after it enters the human body, as it lurks inside, undergoing an incubation period and gradually beginning to get rid of immune system cells. Biologically and chemically, a virus consists of two parts, the nucleocapsid and the membrane. The first element contains revertase, protease, integrase. They are found in a dense layer of capsid and matrix proteins. The membrane contains phospholipids and glycoproteins – these are the substances that pick up molecules and cells of the human body for further active attack. Interaction with healthy cells is as follows: The cells of the virus from the nucleus enter the inside of the leukocyte, where they receive additional food and consequently begin to multiply, taking more and more cells.
This disease has been known to mankind since ancient times, for the body is very dangerous. If the initial symptoms of the disease are missed, death is inevitable. The most vulnerable to the disease are Asian, African and American regions, but in our country from time to time there are rabies outbreaks. As the causative agent here acts Rabies virus, which enters the human bloodstream as a result of a bite from an infected animal. The disease can affect both wild and domestic breeds. The main thing is to timely identify the initial symptoms of the disease. The fact is that after the incubation period of the virus actively affects the central nervous system, becoming the cause of meningoencephalitis. The disease subsequently causes asphyxia and consequently cardiac arrest due to paralysis of the respiratory tract. The disease can be transmitted to humans even if the animal has not yet finished the incubation period.
The disease develops in the human body from 10 days to 1 year (but in most cases, the transition to the active stage takes from one to four months). If an appropriate rabies vaccination is not given after a bite, there is a 99% chance of death. Historically, only three cases are known to be cured after the disease has already progressed to the active stage. In the initial stages, the person has a fever and anxiety – this lasts for 1-3 days. In the midst of the incubation period, the person becomes aggressive, often has hallucinations, delusions, and is afraid of water. This stage takes about four days. The subsequent stage is already associated with paralysis, insensitivity, lack of reactions, suffocation – eventually all ends in the death of the person. When bitten by any animal whose owners cannot provide a rabies vaccination certificate, contact specialists for prophylactic treatment.
Comparison: Most Deadly Diseases
Scientists have known about this virus for several decades, but during all this time it was localized on the African continent, so it was not considered to be a worldwide epidemic. Because of the extremely low level of medicine in African countries, no effective vaccine against the virus could be developed during this time. But that all changed a few years ago, when the fever was introduced into Asian and European countries. Although a cure for it was finally created, but until today the drug is not available to everyone, so even today the news often slip the reports of the death of many people from this disease. Ebola belongs to the filovirus family. When it enters cells, the disease causes hemorrhagic fever. The disease can be transmitted from one person to another through blood, various body fluids, secretions. Recently there have been cases of airborne infection, which indicates a mutation of the viral disease.
The main symptoms of infection with this virus are similar to most other strains. Nevertheless, there have been cases where the disease has passed without any symptoms, with further recovery in other words, the person himself did not know that he was sick, but he infected many people around him with the disease. If a person is infected with such a virus, he or she may experience a rapid rise in temperature, breakdown pain in the muscles, joints and head, which often even leads to cramps, vomiting and diarrhea are not uncommon. In severe cases, there may be kidney and liver malfunction and even internal hemorrhages. On the surface of the skin of patients appear bruises that are formed due to increased vascular permeability. Infection with such a virus leads to the destruction of almost all tissues-except for bones. The blood becomes much thicker; the inside walls of both large and small vessels become clotted with clumped red blood cells. Because of this there is a disturbance of the circulation. The number of fatalities is about 90% of cases. There is no 100% vaccine against the virus: preparations only support the patient’s immune system, helping her get rid of the disease on her own.
Another very serious and rather dangerous disease, which affects the liver and the central nervous system, often accompanied by hemorrhagic syndrome. This is an infectious disease, which is often fatal. The disease is not widespread – only isolated cases have been recorded since its discovery. Unfortunately, there has not yet been an effective cure for this disease either. In its essence, fever is an infectious disease of the viral type, which is characterized by high intoxication of all tissues and organs of the human body. Internal bleeding is not uncommon, eventually leading to death. Small outbreaks were reported in the German cities of Frankfurt and Marburg – then managed to prevent the development of the epidemic, in the mid-90s there were several cases in the former Yugoslavia. The main danger of this deadly virus is that it can be transmitted from one person to another. There have also been cases in South African countries and on the North American continent – so the fever swept the entire world, although there was no mass spread.
The causative agent is a four-type RNA-genomic virus that is very similar to the Ebola virus. The pathogen endures high temperatures, reacts quite well to chloroform and ethyl alcohol. Virus enters the human body via mucous membranes or damaged skin tissue. Transmission occurs through direct contact with an infected patient, you can also be infected sexually. The virus actively multiplies in all tissues and organs. The condition of the diseased person worsens suddenly: fever, chills, weakness, bone and muscle aches, breathing difficulties are observed. Sore throat and a dry, whooping cough also accompany the disease. Initial symptoms include migraine, chest pain, muscle weakness, conjunctivitis.
6. Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFHS)
This viral disease is very typical for our country. Every year the disease affects several tens of thousands of people in all regions, and deaths are not uncommon. The disease has been known for a very long time, but pharmacologists have not yet been able to develop an effective remedy to combat it. The disease is an excessively aggravated viral pathology carried by rodents (mostly red voles) – hence the other name “murine fever”. The infection is characterized by rather severe manifestations in the vascular and excretory organs. The initial signs of the disease are almost no different from influenza or other common and relatively safe viral infection. People, as a rule, do not pay much attention to them, are engaged in self-treatment and do not turn to specialists, so the subsequent consequences can be very deplorable. Subsequent progression of the pathology causes severe damage to the kidneys and liver.
The causative agent here is hantavirus. This microbe withstands low temperatures very well, but quickly dies if the heat exceeds +50 degrees. To date in Russia there are two types of this virus – the eastern (Asian variant caused by Manchurian voles – the most severe, because the mortality rate is about 20% of the diseased) and European – the probability of lethal outcome does not exceed 5% and that in the case if a person has not received timely help. The disease is transmitted by visiting forests when a person inhales particles of dried manure of infected mice. Another variant of infection is tactile contact with surfaces on which an infected animal has run. The third possibility of infection is direct contact with a sick mouse. The disease is not transmitted from person to person, so the patient poses no danger to others. When treatment begins in time, not only life but also health can be saved – to save the affected internal organs. The body fully recovers within 1-3 years, during which time there may be some residual symptoms such as weakness or fatigue.
This virus is considered the most dangerous virus in the world today. Its epidemic was first active against the backdrop of World War I. At that time, the disease affected about one-third of the world’s population. Although the overall mortality rate of the disease is not very high (about 5%), about 150 million people have died worldwide. The causative agent of Spanish flu, labeled H1N1, was first discovered during the examination of a mummy found in Alaska in the middle of the century before last. The disease is transmitted by airborne droplets. The incubation period is only 4 days, after which the disease enters the active stage. The infected person runs a high fever – about 40 degrees, coughs are accompanied by bloody discharge, and later lung haemorrhage develops. Fatal outcome occurs because the person chokes on his own blood.
The main feature of the disease is that it affects adults – from 25 to 45 years of age. The disease has a rapid course – hemorrhagic pneumonia develops almost immediately after the end of the incubation period. If the patient does not receive competent medical care, the probability of lethal outcome is about 95%. Today there are several types of vaccines for this virus, but periodic outbreaks occur in the underdeveloped countries of South America and Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering and tens of thousands are dying because of it.
4. Dengue virus
This disease is an acute viral disease with signs of intoxication throughout the body. The disease is often accompanied by pain in the muscles and joints, there is a small rash, which is a slight local capillary hemorrhage of varying degrees of severity. The viral disease is similar to Japanese and West Nile encephalitis, there are also signs of yellow fever. Virus tolerates lack of moisture and freezing, but it is well controlled by ultraviolet light and high temperature. Not only infected people, but also bats and monkeys can act as vectors of disease. Despite the fact that this virus was first discovered in an African country, it quickly spread to the Australian continent, South Asia, America, and occasionally some cases are observed in our country. Disease can also be transmitted by mosquitoes that suck blood from infected animals or people. In insects, the incubation period is about two weeks. The virus is transmitted with the first bite.
The pathogenic bacteria multiply first in the blood vessels and lymph nodes – this takes about five days. The disease then enters the bloodstream, causing fever and intoxication syndrome. Through the bloodstream, the virus spreads to all organs and tissues. The main thing in the fight against the disease – diagnose it in time and identify. The sooner medical care is provided, the more effective it will be. If the incubation period has not yet fully completed, it is best to take medication that has interferon in its composition, any antipyretic drugs will also do. It is necessary to maintain water-salt balance of the body. The virus may well become fatal, but with proper treatment, medicines will not only get rid of the disease, but also help to avoid complications.
In our country this disease is quite rare, but in South American countries the disease is very widespread. An epidemic in our country happened about 4-5 years ago, when several people who returned from the Dominican Republic were infected with this virus. USA doctors encountered this disease for the first time, so they had no idea how to treat it properly. This virus is very dangerous for women who are pregnant. The disease causes microcephaly in the baby, which greatly damages the brain, so the baby may be born with severe abnormalities or simply dead. The disease was first reported almost immediately after World War II, but little attention was paid to it at the time. As with many viruses, the disease was transmitted to humans through contact with monkeys – contact and airborne.
Since the strain of the virus was first identified, only 80 cases were reported in the next 60 years. However, the situation did not develop as brightly as one would like – in 2007, the infection found itself on the island of Yap, in the Pacific Ocean, another four years later the epidemic broke out in French Polynesia, and in 2015, it first reached Brazil, and from there to Europe, several registered cases were also in Russia. By and large, the disease poses no serious threat to human life and health – the virus can severely damage unborn children, lead to microcephaly, visual and hearing impairments, and often develop dementia. Unfortunately, this is another virus against which there is no real cure that can protect a child. In our country the disease is rare, but a few years ago there was a serious outbreak – no fatal cases in adults, but several pregnant women lost their children.
The infection was discovered only a few months ago. There is still no absolute certainty about its cause. Even medical professionals have not fully studied this viral infection. This may be the reason why there is still no vaccine to fight the disease so quickly. Although it is said that the infection originated in the People’s Republic of China (let’s leave the causes aside), the first case was reported eight years ago in Saudi Arabia, and the patient could not be saved; a few months later, another patient died in Qatar. Doctors were at a loss for assumptions and could not even diagnose the disease. Even the World Health Organization got involved at the time, as it quickly became clear to the specialists working there that humanity was faced with an as yet unknown viral disease for which there was no cure. And so, despite the fact that more than eight years have passed since the virus was first diagnosed, no effective vaccine has been created.
This is largely due to the fact that no other cases of the same disease have been reported for a long time. Although scientists around the world are now taking various steps to create a vaccine to combat the coronavirus, researchers have already recognized the following fact: the disease will spread and change too quickly, so even cutting-edge researchers will not be able to detect a new strain of the disease in time. The main danger of this virus is that it is spread by airborne droplets, and the bacteria are very tenacious – they can withstand low and high temperatures, acidic and alkaline environments well. With close contact, the probability of infection is about 90%. Even all the preventive measures when in public places can not fully help against contracting this dangerous disease, although the mortality from it is not too high – about 3% of all those who fall ill. The panic, especially in European countries, simply shows that people haven’t faced such large-scale epidemics for a very long time.
It is a very dangerous disease, which mainly affects small children between the ages of six months to three years. Often adults are susceptible to this disease, but in them it occurs in a milder form and the likelihood of death is much lower. It is worth noting that at infant age from rotavirus infection kills up to 40% of sick children – a very large figure. The disease manifests itself in the form of diarrhea, general dehydration of the organism, vomiting, and a variety of other additional signs. Rotavirus epidemic is usually seasonal, often manifested in our country, is usually at a cold time of year, can be combined with influenza and other colds. The fact that young children are not fully immune, which would be good to protect them from infection in the future.
Infection and older people are not uncommon – all this is due to the weakening of the immune system, resulting in the body is not able to promptly cope with diseases of viral, infectious and other nature. Often the source of infection is an asymptomatic carrier – he has no signs of infection, but carries viral particles. When the virus enters the body, it develops and multiplies exclusively in the intestines. The symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, severe abdominal pain, weakness and so on. The high mortality rate of rotavirus is due to the fact that there are no universal drugs to combat the disease. The main thing in this case – to timely determine the type of disease and apply the right drugs, which in terms of the development of domestic medicine is not always possible. All medications should be taken strictly on the recommendation of the attending specialist, in the most severe cases, the patient will need to be hospitalized.
As you may have seen from the review of the most dangerous viral diseases, in most cases there is no one hundred percent proven remedy for the treatment of acquired disease. Tell us in the comments how exactly you and your relatives prevent similar diseases – such information, especially in the conditions of the spread of Chinese coronavirus, will be very useful for both readers and ourselves.