10 diseases that changed the world forever

4 min read

Just like the natural disasters infectious diseases are also on the Top of the list for most human deaths in history. Where some diseases were curable and some were not. But some of them has Killed so many people the population levels have been decreased. Cure for some of them have been found where some of them are still killing people slowly, day by day. Here are the 10 diseases that changed the world forever.

10 – Yellow Fever

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Like malaria, yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease that has not been eradicated. This disease, which causes aching, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, and other symptoms, can lead to multi-organ dysfunction and even death. It is believed to have influenced the Louisiana Purchase, pre WWII development in the US, and the Panama Canal. Its impact is limited primarily to the southern US, where mosquitoes can survive the winter.

9 -Smallpox

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Smallpox was an extremely infectious disease that wiped out entire empires. It began in northern Africa, and popped up time and time again in repeat epidemics. It killed royalty and the poor alike, not controlled until the development of the world’s first vaccine in the 1700s.

8 -Bubonic plague

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Also known as The Black Death, the bubonic plague was an incredibly devastating pandemic, which is estimated to have wiped out 75-200 million people in the 14th century, including 30%-60% of Europe’s population. It took Europe’s population 150 years to recover.

7 -Cholera

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Cholera is a disease that’s spread through a lack of clean water and poor or nonexistent sewage systems. The existence of this disease required a change, in the form of improved sanitation, which reduced cholera’s impact.

6 -Spanish Influenza

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Photo credit:Time magazine

The 1918 flu pandemic was caused by one of the deadliest 20th-century pathogens, infecting 500 million individuals worldwide. Outbreaks in the United States and Europe soon spread around the world.Although this deadly strain of the flu ravaged population centers indiscriminately, it quickly gained the moniker “Spanish influenza” as Spain was hit particularly hard by the bug. Even Spain’s King Alfonso XIII contracted it.

5 – Polio

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Today, polio is exceedingly rare, with relatively few cases in the industrialized world since Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine. Prior to the creation of a vaccine, polio was easily transmitted in an infected individual’s stool or via droplets when he sneezed.Polio is commonly asymptomatic. Yet when symptoms do present themselves, they can be debilitating. The disease is notorious for paralyzing its victims, requiring them to live the rest of their lives in iron lungs. Paralysis caused by polio can’t be reversed. Although mobile generators can aid some of the afflicted, others still rely on the iron lungs made famous in the 1940s.

4 – Syphilis

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There are four stages of syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that first appears with a benign chancre at the spot of infection. Secondary syphilis presents with a widespread rash and swollen lymph nodes. The bacteria then enters a latent stage before surfacing as tertiary syphilis, which leads to neuromuscular degeneration, blindness, and dementia.

3 – HIV/AIDS

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Few diseases have carried the stigma of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which transforms into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Scientists believe that the virus crossed over from primates to humans in Africa during the early 20th century. Yet the disease didn’t gain traction in popular culture until the early 1980s when several gay men in New York and California exhibited strange cases of pneumonia and cancer.[6]Its initial association with gay men led to the early name “gay-related immune deficiency” (GRID). Paranoia swept Europe and the United States as individuals were unsure what modes were responsible for spreading the disease. HIV’s association with the gay community led to the development of activist groups like ACT UP, helping to propel early LGBT advocacy and solidify eventual rights for sexual minorities decades later.

2 -Tuberculosis

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While we have smallpox to thank for vaccines, we have tuberculosis for the promotion of pasteurization and the quest for antibiotics. Pasteurization was key to controlling TB, as it heats and kills TB pathogens and other contaminants in milk.

1 -Ebola

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Few diseases have fueled hysteria quite like Ebola, which was only discovered in Africa in the late 1970s. Ebola, short for Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a virus that leads to extreme bleeding in humans and other primates. Symptoms can take several days to weeks to develop. They include sore throat, muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventual internal and external bleeding.Depending on the strain, Ebola comes with a high mortality rate, killing almost half of those it infects. However, mortality rates can run as high as 90 percent. The deadliest Ebola outbreak spread out of West Africa in March 2014. It killed five times more individuals than all previous outbreaks combined.

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