Humanity continues to actively develop, and also develops a variety of areas of knowledge, including medicine. However, every year there are more and more new diseases for which at first there is no cure, there is a high mortality of patients. Let’s say that the coronavirus is currently raging, and it has already spread literally all over the world. According to professional doctors and pharmacologists, it is unlikely that in the near future it will be possible to find an effective means of combating this disease. Therefore, in our rating, we decided to touch on a very important topic – the most dangerous viruses that have infected humanity in recent history.
The ten most destructive viruses of our time
10. AIDS (HIV)
According to experts, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is considered the first recorded epidemic. Of course, before this disease there was plague, cholera, Spanish flu, but all these diseases were local to that extent. In other words, they affected only one part of the world, not spreading further. It is AIDS that has become a really very serious problem for all mankind. This disease was first diagnosed in the mid-1980s in the United States. At the same time, until today, no effective remedy has been found that allows the patient to fully get rid of this disease. In the entire history of the existence of the virus, only two cases of complete recovery have been recorded. It enters the body through the blood or through unprotected sexual intercourse. It must be remembered that no contraceptive method, including the widely advertised condoms, can fully protect against this virus.
Initially, the infection develops slowly in a healthy body. The disease gradually destroys healthy cells of the immune system. As the virus develops, the number of virus cells increases, while the number of lymphocytes, on the contrary, decreases. Immediately after entering the human body, it is physically impossible to detect the disease, since it lurks inside, passing the incubation period and gradually starting to get rid of the cells of the immune system. From a biological and chemical point of view, the virus consists of two parts – the nucleocapsid and the membrane. The first element contains reversetase, protease, integrase. They are located in a dense layer of capsid and matrix proteins. The membrane contains phospholipids and glycoproteins – it is these substances that select the molecules and cells of the human body for further active attack. Interaction with healthy cells occurs as follows: virus cells from the nucleus enter the leukocyte, where they receive additional nutrition, therefore they begin to actively multiply, capturing more and more cells.
This disease has been known to mankind since ancient times, it is very dangerous for the body. If you miss the initial symptoms of the disease, then a fatal outcome is inevitable. The most vulnerable to this disease are Asian, African and American regions, however, outbreaks of rabies periodically occur in our country. The causative agent here is the Rabies virus, which enters the human blood as a result of the bite of 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 passage of the incubation period, the virus actively affects the central nervous system, causing meningoencephalitis. In the future, the disease causes asphyxia and, as a result, cardiac arrest due to paralysis of the respiratory tract. The disease can be transmitted to humans even if the animal has not yet completed its incubation period.
The disease develops in the human body from 10 days to 1 year (however, 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, then the probability of death is 99%. In the entire history, only three cases of a cure for this disease are known after it has already passed into the active phase. At the initial stage, a person’s temperature rises, there is a feeling of anxiety – this continues for 1-3 days. At the height of the incubation period, a person becomes aggressive, often suffers from hallucinations, is delusional, and is afraid of water. This stage takes approximately 4 days. The subsequent stage is already associated with paralysis, indifference, lack of reactions, suffocation – in the end, everything ends with the death of a person. If bitten by any animal whose owners cannot provide a certificate of rabies vaccination, you should contact a specialist for preventive treatment.
This virus has been known to scientists for several decades, but during all this time it was localized on the African continent, therefore it was not considered as a worldwide epidemic. Due to the fact that in African countries the level of medicine is at an extremely low level, during this time it was not possible to create an effective vaccine to fight the virus. However, everything changed a few years ago, when the fever was brought to Asian and European countries. Although a means to combat it was finally created, but until today the drug is not available to everyone, so even today there are often reports in the news about the death of many people from this disease. Ebola belongs to the filovirus family. When it enters the cells, the disease causes hemorrhagic fever. The disease can be transmitted from one person to another through blood, various body fluids, secretions. Recently, cases of infection by airborne droplets have been recorded, which indicates a mutation of the viral disease.
The main symptoms of infection with such a virus are similar to most other strains. Nevertheless, it was such that the disease passed without any symptoms with further recovery – in other words, the person himself did not know that he was sick, but at the same time he infected many people around him with the disease. If a person has become infected with such a virus, then his temperature may rise sharply, there may be breaking pains in the muscles, joints and head, which often even lead to convulsions, vomiting and diarrhea are not uncommon. In especially severe cases, there may be disturbances in the functioning of the kidneys and liver, and even internal hemorrhages. Hematomas appear on the surface of the skin of patients, which are formed due to increased vascular permeability. The disease with such a virus leads to the destruction of almost all tissues – the only exception is bone. The blood becomes much thicker, the inner walls of both large and small vessels are covered with clots of sticky red blood cells. Because of this, there is a violation of circulation. The number of deaths is about 90% of cases. There is no one hundred percent vaccine against the virus – drugs only support the patient’s immune system, helping her get rid of the disease on her own.
Another very serious and rather dangerous disease, as a result of which the liver and central nervous system are affected, the virus is often accompanied by hemorrhagic syndrome. An illness of an infectious type, its outcome is often fatal. The disease is not very widespread – since its discovery, only isolated cases have been recorded. Unfortunately, no effective cure has yet been developed for this disease. At its core, fever is a viral-type infectious disease, which is characterized by high intoxication of all tissues and organs of the human body. Frequent internal bleeding, ultimately leading to death. Minor outbreaks of the disease were recorded in the German cities of Frankfurt and Marburg – then it was possible to prevent the development of the epidemic, in the mid-90s several cases were noted in the former Yugoslavia. The main danger of this deadly virus is that it can be transmitted from one person to another. There were also cases in South African countries and on the North American continent – it turns out that the fever swept the whole world, although there was no mass distribution of it.
The causative agent of the disease is an RNA genomic virus of four types, which is very similar in its qualities to the Ebola virus. The causative agent tolerates high temperatures well, normally refers to chloroform and ethyl alcohol. The virus enters the human body through mucous membranes or through damaged skin tissues. Transmission occurs through direct contact with an infected patient, it can also be transmitted sexually. The virus actively multiplies in any tissues and organs. The condition of a sick person worsens suddenly: the temperature rises sharply, chills, weakness, aching bones and muscles occur, breathing difficulties are observed. Sore throat and dry hysterical cough also accompany this disease. The initial symptoms are migraine, chest pain, muscle weakness, conjunctivitis.
6. Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
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 means to combat it. The disease is an overly aggravated viral pathology, the carrier of which is rodents (mostly bank voles) – therefore, another name is “mouse fever”. The infection is characterized by rather severe manifestations in the area of vessels and excretory organs. The initial signs of the disease are practically no different from the flu or another common and relatively harmless viral infection. People, as a rule, do not attach much importance to them, self-medicate and do not turn to specialists, so the further consequences are very deplorable. With the subsequent progression of the pathology, serious damage to the kidneys and liver occurs.
Hantavirus is the causative agent here. This microbe perfectly withstands low temperatures, but quickly dies if the heating exceeds +50 degrees. To date, two types of this virus are found in Russia – the eastern one (the Asian version caused by the Manchurian voles is the most severe, since the mortality rate is about 20% of the cases) and the European one – the probability of death does not exceed 5%, and then if a person did not receive timely assistance. The disease is transmitted when visiting forests, when a person inhales particles of dried droppings 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 does not pose the slightest danger to others. With the timely start of treatment, it is possible to save not only life, but also human health – to save him from damage to internal organs. The body fully recovers within 1-3 years, during which time some residual symptoms may appear, such as weakness or increased fatigue.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
To date, this virus is considered the most dangerous in the world. For the first time, its epidemic actively played out against the backdrop of the First World War. At that time, the disease affected about a third of the population of the entire planet. Despite the fact that the overall mortality from the disease was not too high (about 5%), about 150 million people died in all countries. The causative agent of the Spanish flu, which was 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 takes only 4 days, after which the disease enters the active stage. In an infected person, the temperature rises sharply – about 40 degrees, the cough is accompanied by blood secretions, and pulmonary bleeding develops in the future. Death occurs due to the fact that a person chokes on his own blood.
The main feature of this disease is the fact that it affects adults – from 25 to 45 years. The disease proceeds rapidly – hemorrhagic pneumonia develops almost immediately after the end of the incubation period. If the patient does not receive competent medical care, then the probability of death is about 95%. Today, there are several types of vaccines against this virus, but periodically outbreaks of the disease occur in the underdeveloped countries of South America and Africa. Because of this, hundreds of thousands of people suffer, several tens of thousands die.
4 Dengue Virus
This disease is acute viral with signs of intoxication of the whole organism. Often, the disease is accompanied by pain in the muscles and joints, a small rash occurs, which is a slight local capillary hemorrhage of varying severity. Viral disease is similar to Japanese and West Nile encephalitis, there are signs of yellow fever. The virus tolerates a lack of moisture, freezing well, but ultraviolet rays and high temperature fight well with it. Not only infected people, but also bats or monkeys can act as a carrier of the disease. Despite the fact that for the first time such a virus was discovered in one of the African countries, it quickly spread across the Australian continent, South Asia, America, periodically isolated cases are noted in our country. Mosquitoes that have sucked blood from infected animals or people can also carry the disease. In insects, the incubation period is about two weeks. The virus is transmitted with the first bite.
Pathogenic bacteria multiply first from the vessels and lymph nodes – it takes about five days. After that, the disease enters the bloodstream, which causes fever and intoxication syndrome. Through the circulatory system, the virus spreads to all organs and tissues. The main thing in the fight against this disease is to diagnose and identify it in a timely manner. The faster medical care is provided, the more effective it will be. If the incubation period has not yet fully ended, then it is best to take drugs that have interferon in their composition, and any antipyretic drugs will do. Be sure to maintain the water-salt balance of the body. A deadly virus may well become, but with proper treatment, drugs 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 struck by this virus. Russian doctors first encountered such a disease, so they had no idea how to treat it properly. This virus is very dangerous for pregnant women. The disease causes microcephaly in a baby, due to which the brain is largely damaged, so the child can be born with serious abnormalities or simply dead. The initial information about this disease appeared almost immediately after the Second World War, but at that time the disease was not given much attention. As is the case with many other viruses, the disease was transmitted to humans through contact with monkeys – contact and airborne.
After the first detection of a strain of this virus in the next 60 years, only 80 cases of diseases were recorded. However, the situation did not develop as rosy as we would like – in 2007, the infection found itself on the island of Yap, in the Pacific Ocean, four years later the epidemic broke out in French Polynesia, and in 2015 it first came to Brazil, and from there to Europe, several reported cases were in Russia. By and large, this disease does not pose a serious danger to human life and health – the virus can greatly harm unborn children, lead to microcephaly, abnormalities in the work of the visual and auditory organs, and dementia often develops. Unfortunately, this is another virus for which there is no real cure that can protect a child. The disease is rare in our country, but a serious outbreak was observed several years ago – there were no deaths in adults, but several pregnant women lost their children.
This infection was discovered just a few months ago. There is still no absolutely accurate data on the reasons for its origin. Even medical professionals have not fully understood this viral infection. Perhaps for this reason, there is still no vaccine that could quickly cope with the disease. Although it is stated that the infection came from the People’s Republic of China (let’s leave the reasons behind the brackets), the first case was recorded eight years ago in Saudi Arabia, and the patient could not be saved, a couple of months later another patient died in Qatar. Doctors were lost in assumptions and could not even diagnose the disease. Even the World Health Organization joined the work at that time, as it quickly became clear to the specialists working there that humanity was faced with an unknown viral disease, for which there was no cure yet. And now, despite the fact that more than eight years have passed since the first diagnosis of the virus, not a single effective vaccine has been created.
This is largely due to the fact that for a long time no more other cases of a similar disease were recorded. Although today scientists around the world are taking various actions to create a vaccine to combat 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 identify a new strain of this disease in time. The main danger of this virus is that it spreads by airborne droplets, and the bacteria are very tenacious – they can withstand low and high temperatures, acidic and alkaline environments well. Close contact has a 90% chance of infection. Even all preventive measures while being in a public place cannot fully help from contracting this dangerous disease, although the mortality rate from it is not too high – about 3% of all cases. The panic that has risen, especially in European countries, simply indicates that people have not experienced such large-scale epidemics for a very long time.
This is a very dangerous disease, which is mainly aimed at young children aged from six months to three years. Often, adults are also susceptible to a similar disease, but they have it in a mild form and the likelihood of mortality is much lower. It should be noted that in infancy, up to 40% of sick children die from rotavirus infection – this is a very large figure. The disease manifests itself in the form of diarrhea, general dehydration, vomiting and a number of other additional symptoms. The epidemic of rotavirus, as a rule, is seasonal, often manifests itself in our country, usually occurs during the cold season, and can be combined with influenza and other colds. The fact is that young children have not yet fully developed immunity, which could well protect them from infection in the future.
There are frequent cases of infection and the elderly – all this is associated with a weakening of the immune system, as a result of which the body is not able to quickly cope with diseases of a viral, infectious and other nature. Often, the source of infection is an asymptomatic carrier – he does not have signs of infection, but at the same time carries viral particles. When a virus enters the body, development and reproduction occurs exclusively in the intestines. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, severe abdominal pain, weakness, and so on. The high mortality from rotavirus is due to the fact that there are no universal drugs to combat the disease. The main thing in this case is to determine the type of disease in a timely manner and apply the necessary medicines, which is not always possible in the conditions of the development of domestic medicine. All drugs must be taken strictly on the recommendation of the attending specialist, in the most severe cases, the patient will need to be hospitalized.
As you can see from the review of the most dangerous viral diseases, in most cases there is no one hundred percent proven remedy for the treatment of an acquired disease. Tell us in the comments how exactly you and your loved ones are preventing such diseases – such information, especially in the context of the spread of the Chinese coronavirus, will be very useful to both readers and ourselves.