Top 5 Deadliest Diseases

If the slightest ache or pain sends you rushing to the medical dictionary to confirm your suspicions that you have somehow contracted a deadly disease, then rest assured that you are actually unlikely to have one of the top 5 deadliest diseases. Science has made great strides in eradicating some of the worst historical killer diseases, but the threat still remains as vials of diseases we never want to see again are still stockpiled and may one day be used as biological weapons.

Not all deadly diseases are a thing of the past though, and whilst many are now confined to the poorest countries which still have unsanitary conditions, TB remains the number one killer in America. Here are 5 of the deadliest diseases which still pose a threat or could be used in the future.

1. Smallpox: The scourge of centuries this fatal and highly unpleasant killer has now disappeared thanks to vaccines provided through WHO. The disease is characterised by a rash which turns into pus filled blisters which take over the body, leaving hideous scarring in any who survive.

2. Bubonic Plague: Pesky fleas which feed on infected rats transmitted the plague to millions of Europeans in the 14th century, and descended on London in 1665. Fever and sickness developed into black boils which could lead to death, and the streets of London were filled with death carts and rang out with the daily calls to ‘bring out your dead’. The plague was virulently contagious and is another potential biological weapon.

3. Cholera: Although modern sanitary conditions make cholera an unlikely disease in the West, it is still an acute killer of those who live in the poorest nations. It is spread through unsanitary water and could be eliminated if everyone had access to clean drinking water. Unfortunately it is found in those who live in makeshift slums on the outskirts of more developed areas, as well as decimating refugee populations who flee to areas without adequate sanitary provision. Those who contract cholera can meet death rapidly through dehydration and shock brought on by acute diarrhoea and vomiting.

4. Ebola: An extremely infectious and contagious disease believed to be contracted through contact with infected animals. It causes panic as it is so deadly that the best way of dealing with it is to try and contain it and prevent its spread. Typically viral hemorrhagic fever precautions are taken by those who come into contact with its victims, with full scale protective clothing being necessary at all times to deal with the isolated patients. The disease begins abruptly and can cause death in just 2 days.

5. Tuberculosis: It is estimated that one third of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria which causes TB, yet most will never become sick. However the disease can take over when the immune system is weakened, making TB the leading cause of death for those who have AIDs. TB is highly infectious and many strains of it are now resistant to the antibiotics developed to treat it, meaning it is a constant source of danger to those who are exposed to it through those infected.

With the ease of travel it is likely that diseases which are unknown in certain parts of the world will spread with population movements and world wide panic will ensue when some of these strains of disease cross borders. Medical advances may still yet eradicate these diseases as research is continually on going.

Sources: allhealthcare