A virus is an infectious agent that reproduces inside a living organism only. A Virus can infect every form of a living organism, from animals to plants to humans. In total, there are around 100,939,140 viruses in the world, and thousands of them are dangerous enough to take your life. Here is a list of the top 10 deadly viruses that you must surely know about.
Marburg virus was first discovered in Europe in 1967. Since then, various cases of the Marburg virus have been reported in East Africa. Its most recent outbreak took place in 2005 in Angola, a country on the west coast of Southern Africa. This virus causes a grave hemorrhagic fever in humans as well as nonhuman primates. Hemorrhagic fever can affect our organs and destroy our blood vessels. Person-to-person transmission is the main pathway for infection among humans.
The average fatality rate for this virus is 50%. There is no proven treatment available for this virus, but specific symptoms can improve survival. The complication of the virus includes eye or nerve bleeding. Marburg virus is very similar to the ebola virus since both are a part of the filovirus family. The symptoms of the Marburg virus include fever, sore throat, headache, epigastric pain, vomiting, myalgia, arthralgia, and diarrhoea.
Ebola is a death-dealing virus; its outbreaks occur in the African continent now and again. It affects human and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. The Ebola virus was first located in 1976 near the Ebola River, which is now the democratic republic of Congo. Since the virus is animal-borne, animals are the most likely source of causing the outbreak.
Ebola spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of either the person infected by Ebola or someone who has died from Ebola. This virus can also be transmitted through sexual communication.
A person suffering from Ebola usually dies due to low blood pressure from fluid loss. Symptoms of Ebola include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, which is later followed by more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, internal and external bleeding, and a decrease in the count of white blood cells. The second Ebola outbreak took place in 2014-2016, which killed more than 11000 people. The most recent attack occurred on Aug 1st, 2018, killed more than 1800 people.
Hantavirus was discovered in the early 1950s when 3000 United Nations troops in Korea were affected by a mysterious illness. Hantavirus causes HPS disease that can be fatal. The mortality rate of Hantavirus is about 30%. There is no particular vaccine or treatment available for this virus. Various rodents, especially deer mice, carry this virus. Humans get infected by Hantavirus when they contact either the rodents or their droppings or urine.
Symptoms of Hantavirus include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, dizziness, chills, vomiting, etc. Further, late symptoms start to crop up, which provides for coughing and shortness of breath. Various occupations such as farmers and forest workers have a greater risk of contracting this virus.
HIV is an extremely dangerous virus that destroys our immune system. The immune system fights all the infections, and HIV kills it, making our body prone to the disorders. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids such as breast milk, blood, semen, and vaginal fluids. HIV cannot be sent through the air, water, or any other kind of casual contact.
Currently, there isn’t any cure for HIV, making it a lifelong condition, but treatment can make it possible for HIV patients to live long with this virus. If an HIV person isn’t provided with any therapy, they can develop a serious condition called AIDS. Early symptoms of HIV include fever, chills, skin rash, sore throat, headache, nausea, stomach ache, swollen lymph nodes, etc. According to a 2019 report, 37.9 million people were infected by HIV, 1.7 million are children below the age of 15.
Rabies is a life-threatening virus that circulates in humans through the saliva of infected animals. Mostly Rabies is transmitted through animal bites such as stray dogs. Symptoms of Rabies include headache, fever, paralysis, mental confusion, excess salvation, and muscle spasms. If you experience a dog bite, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. There is no specific treatment for Rabies, but there is a vaccine to prevent infections.
Once the symptoms start to appear, it is deathly. In 59000 deaths occur every year due to Rabies worldwide. There are various ways to prevent Rabies, such as eliminating Rabies in dogs, more awareness among people regarding Rabies, and immunization of people.
Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Japanese Encephalitis Virus [JEV] is a flavivirus is associated with the same genes as yellow fever, dengue, and West Nile viruses. This virus has caused about 68000 clinical cases every year in Asian countries. There is no cure for this virus; treatment involves relieving the patients’ symptoms and supporting them to overcome the infection.
Each year 13600 to 20400 people die due to JEV. JEV can result in various infections, most of them are mild, but few of these infections can lead to serious medical conditions.
These severe infections are characterized by high fever, neck stiffness, headache, coma, seizures, disorientation, spastic paralysis, and death. This virus is transmitted in humans through mosquitoes bites. Therefore this infection is majorly found in urban and periurban regions where humans are closer to these vertebrate hosts. JEV outbreaks take place every 2-15 years, its transmission increases during monsoon and after major tsunami and floods.
The Influenza virus causes Influenza, commonly known by the name ‘flu’. Flu strikes our lungs, nose, and throat. Young children, old age people, pregnant women, and people who have a weak immune system are at a greater risk of being infected by these viruses. Indication of Influenza includes fever, chills, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, fatigue, etc. Treatment of flu involves taking rest and fluid intake; the body then has to fight the infection independently.
A yearly vaccine can protect us from Influenza and help us reduce its complications. This virus can spread through airborne respiratory droplets, saliva, skin-to-to contact and by touching contaminated surfaces.
According to a 2018-2019 report, 35.5 million people are infected by the Influenza virus, leading to 34,200 deaths. There have been 5 Influenza pandemic outbreaks, out of which the Spanish flu is considered the worst. An estimated 50-100 million deaths occurred during the Spanish flu.
The Dengue virus [DENV] gives rise to Dengue fever. It is a positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family of Flaviviridae. The virus is mosquito-borne, mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions. The person infected the second time from this virus is at a greater risk of developing severe diseases. Indications of these viruses include headache, high fever, rashes, muscle and joint pain, etc.
In serious cases, patients may even experience severe bleeding, which can be life-threatening. The treatment of these viruses includes the consumption of fluid and pain relievers. About 390 million people are affected by this virus, out of which approximately 40000 people die each year. In 2019, the largest number of dengue cases were registered.
In 2019, Afghanistan reported its first-ever Dengue transmission. And America itself said 3.1 million cases, out of which 25,000 were severe.
Rotavirus is a double-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family of Reoviridae. Rotavirus is the most chronic cause of diarrheal diseases among infants and young children. Along with severe Diarrhea, the virus can also cause severe vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Good hygiene habits such as washing hands and maintaining cleanliness can protect us from this virus, but not completely. Rotavirus vaccine is the best way of protecting your child from this contagious virus. 9 out of 10 children are protected from the Rotavirus through the vaccine. The child must attain every dose of the Rotavirus vaccine before they turn eight months old.
The symptoms include reduced urination, dizziness, crying with few or no tears, dry mouth or throat, fussiness, etc. Each year about 3,52,000 to 5,92,000 deaths occur every year due to Rotavirus.
SARS-CoV virus is also known by the name SARS-coronavirus was discovered in the year 2003. It first attacked humans in 2002 in Guangdong 2002. In 2003, SARS caused a pandemic that affected 26 countries, resulting in 8000 cases.
The disease symptoms are fever, headache, malaise, myalgia, shivers, diarrhoea, etc. During the second week of illness, you may develop a cough and shortness of breath. Severe cases result in the development of respiratory distress, and they require intensive care. It is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. An upgraded version of this virus named SARS-Cov2 causes the 2020 devil coronavirus.