Historic Terrifying Viruses Explained in Detail
Historic Terrifying Viruses as deadly as they sound. Whereas, they possess a capacity to wipe out the entire population known to Humans as the Earth. Moreover, humans have been battling viruses since before our species had even evolved into its modern form. For instance, some viral diseases, vaccines, and antiviral drugs have allowed us to keep infections from spreading widely. And also have helped sick people recover.
For one disease, smallpox, we’ve been able to eradicate it, ridding the world of new cases. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.
Q. What are the Historic Terrifying Viruses?
By definition, A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Equally important, viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms. Including bacteria and archaea. Whereas, a special hormone called interferon is produced by the body when viruses are present. And this stops the viruses from reproducing by killing the infected cell and its close neighbors. Inside cells, there are enzymes that destroy the RNA of viruses. Some blood cells engulf and destroy other virus-infected cells.
Approaches to treat or prevent viral infections exist, but to cure. Whereas an existing infection of this type means permanently altering the viral DNA hidden in human cells. However, “These treatments cause the viruses to go latent or silent. But they don’t remove the virus from your body. Moreover, another possible treatment depends on the type of virus causing the infection. The effects will last as long as the virus affects the body. Most viral infections last from several days to 2 weeks. Mononucleosis may last longer.
Q. Which Historic Terrifying Viruses kill the Fastest?
While a handful of deaths does not a pandemic make, there is much to fear from tiny imperialistic pathogens. In particular, the invisible to all but the most powerful microscopes. Especially that which invade our cells to replicate, messing them up. Like a coke-fueled rock band destroys a hotel room after a concert.
Generally speaking, there are so many diseases around that have the potential to kill. But what diseases spread so rapidly that you are dead within 24 hours? Meningitis is one of them. The disease sweeps through the body at such a fast rate that a person can die within a day if they are not medically treated immediately. We have compiled a list of diseases that can kill within a day to ensure you are aware of them and know how to act. Including,
- Meningococcal Disease
- Flesh Eating Bug
- Enterovirus D68
- Bubonic Plague
- Dengue Fever
Q. What are some of the Historic Terrifying Viruses?
There are a number of Viruses whose damage can wipe out the entire population if not well contained. After all, the hand-sanitizer in the world can’t save us from some of the historic terrifying viruses and the horrifying diseases they cause in humans. And also, we know you’re just itching to know all about them.
It seems like a new virus that’s trying to kill us pops up somewhere in the world every other day. The World Health Organization recently announced that it is monitoring a new contagious, respiratory-infection-inducing coronavirus (suggested codename: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or MERS-Cov). And that is responsible for dozens of illnesses and several deaths in the Middle East and Europe in the last few months.
Its melodic moniker may roll off the tongue, but if you contract the virus, that’s not the only thing that will roll off one of your body parts. A disturbing amount of blood coming out of your eyes, for instance. Four of the five known Ebola virus strains cause Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF). Not to mention, it has killed thousands of people in sub-Saharan African nations since its discovery in 1976.
The deadly virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Where it was first reported and is classified as a CDC Biosafety Level 4, a.k.a. BSL-4. Making it one of the most dangerous pathogens on the planet. It is thought to spread through close contact with bodily secretions. In reality, EHF has a 50 to 90 percent mortality rate, with a rapid onset of symptoms that start with a headache and sore throat. Thereafter, it progresses to major internal and external bleeding and multiple organ failure.
In 1967, a group of lab workers in Germany (Marburg and Frankfurt) and Serbia (then Yugoslavia) contracted a new type of hemorrhagic fever. In general, from some virus-carrying African green monkeys that had been imported for research and development of polio vaccines. The Marburg virus is also BSL-4, and Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a 23 to 90 percent fatality rate.
In this case, spread through close human-to-human contact, symptoms start with a headache, fever, and a rash on the trunk. Thereinafter, progressing to multiple organ failure and massive internal bleeding. There is no cure, and the latest cases were reported out of Uganda at the end of 2012. An American tourist who had explored a Ugandan cave full of fruit bats known to be reservoirs of the virus contracted it and survived in 2008. (But not before bringing his sick self back to the U.S.)
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) first gained wide attention in the U.S. in 1993. When a healthy, young Navajo man and his fiancée living in the Four Corners area of the United States died within days of developing shortness of breath. A few months later, health authorities isolated hantavirus from a deer mouse living in the home of one of the infected people. More than 600 people in the U.S. have now contracted HPS. Whereas 36 percent have died from the disease, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
However, the virus is not transmitted from one person to another, rather, people contract the disease from exposure to the droppings of infected mice. Previously, a different hantavirus caused an outbreak in the early 1950s, during the Korean War. Whereas, according to a 2010 paper in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews. More than 3,000 troops became infected, and about 12 percent of them died. While the virus was new to Western medicine when it was discovered in the U.S., researchers realized later that Navajo medical traditions describe a similar illness. And also linked the disease to mice.
4. Lassa Fever
This BSL-4 virus gives us yet another reason to avoid rodents. Lassa is carried by a species of rat in West Africa called Mastomys. It’s airborne, and at least when you’re hanging around the rat’s fecal matter. Humans, however, can only spread it through direct contact with bodily secretions.
Lassa fever, which has a 15 to 20 percent mortality rate, causes about 5000 deaths a year in West Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It starts with a fever and some retrosternal pain (behind the chest). And can progress to facial swelling, encephalitis, mucosal bleeding, and deafness. Fortunately, researchers and medical professionals have found some success in treating Lassa fever with an antiviral drug in the early stages of the disease.
Rabies has a long and storied history dating back to 2300 B.C., with records of Babylonians who went mad and died after being bitten by dogs. While this virus itself is a beast, the sickness it causes is now is wholly preventable if treated immediately with a series of vaccinations. Sometimes delivered with a terrifyingly huge needle in the abdomen. We have vaccine inventor Louis Pasteur to thank for that.
If left untreated after exposure, the virus attacks the central nervous system and death usually result. The symptoms of an advanced infection include delirium, hallucinations and raging, and violent behavior in some cases. In which some have argued makes rabies eerily similar to zombification. If rabies ever became airborne, we might actually have to prepare for that zombie apocalypse after all.
The virus that causes smallpox wiped out hundreds of millions of people worldwide over thousands of years. We can’t even blame it on animals either, as the virus is only carried by and contagious for humans. Though, there are several different types of smallpox disease that result from an infection ranging from mild to fatal. But it is generally marked by a fever, rash, and blistering, oozing pustules that develop on the skin. Fortunately, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1979, as the result of a successful worldwide implementation of the vaccine.
But before that, humans battled smallpox for thousands of years, and the disease killed about 1 in 3 of those it infected. It left survivors with deep, permanent scars and, often, blindness. Mortality rates were far higher in populations outside of Europe. Where people had little contact with the virus before visitors brought it to their regions. For example, historians estimate 90 percent of the native population of the Americas died from smallpox introduced by European explorers. In the 20th century alone, smallpox killed 300 million people.
The leading cause of death in the tropics and subtropics is the infection brought on by the dengue virus. Whereas, it causes a high fever, severe headache, and, in the worst cases, hemorrhaging. The good news is that it’s treatable and not contagious.
The bad news is there’s no vaccine, and you can get it easily from the bite of an infected mosquito. Which puts at least a third of the world’s human population at risk. The CDC estimates that there are over 100 million cases of dengue fever each year. It’s a great marketing tool for bug spray.
No virus can claim credit for more worldwide pandemics and scares than influenza. The outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1918 is generally considered to be one of the worst pandemics in human history. Remarkably, infecting 20 to 40 percent of the world’s population and killing 50 million in the span of just two years. The swine flu was its most recent newsmaker, when a 2009 pandemic may have seen as many as 89 million people infected worldwide.
Effective influenza vaccines exist, and most people easily survive infections. But the highly infectious respiratory illness is cunning, whereas the virus is constantly mutating and creating new strains. Thousands of strains exist at any given time, many of them being harmless.
In the modern world, the deadliest virus of all may be HIV. “It is still the one that is the biggest killer,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician, and spokesman for the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America). An estimated 36 million people have died from HIV since the disease was first recognized in the early 1980s. “The infectious disease that takes the biggest toll on mankind right now is HIV,” Adalja said.
However, powerful antiviral drugs have made it possible for people to live for years with HIV. But the disease continues to devastate many low- and middle-income countries. Where 95 percent of new HIV infections occur. Nearly 1 in every 20 adults in Sub-Saharan Africa is HIV-positive, according to WHO.
Q. Are all Historic Terrifying Viruses Harmful?
Bacteria and viruses are perhaps the most well-known microbes because they are the ones that cause the most common infections, which can lead to the development of diseases. But it’s important to note that not all bacteria and viruses cause infections. In fact, while we have been taught to fear viruses and bacteria. Even though, the vast majority of them do not cause disease but help keep us healthy.
In the first place, we need good bacteria to help us digest food, protect against harmful bacteria and other harmful microbes, and boost the immune system. The same is true for viruses. There are good viruses and bad viruses. Moreover, we carry lots of viruses within us all the time, and they don’t harm us in the least bit. And some of them actually do good things for us. Whereas, there are many species (of viruses) inside us. That is either harmless or may even provide us some benefit. This latter group, also called symbionts, has received remarkably little attention. You’ll find more detailed information about harmless bacterias and viruses on the Vaccine Reaction Blog Article.
In some rare cases, Viruses have been biologically weaponized as a form of War weapons. Whereas, if the historic terrifying viruses fell into the wrong hands, they could not only wipe out a whole community but a Nation. In reality, just as can be seen through various biological movies such as the Strain. But as the Ebola outbreak now devastating West Africa demonstrates, we’re a long way from winning the fight against viruses.
The strain that is driving the current epidemic, Ebola Zaire, kills up to 90 percent of the people it infects. Making it the most lethal member of the Ebola family. “It couldn’t be worse,” said Elke Muhlberger, an Ebola virus expert and associate professor of microbiology at Boston University. But there are other viruses out there that are equally deadly, and some that are even deadlier.
Many viruses can be either beneficial (the symbionts) or, at least, harmless. The harmless ones are sometimes referred to as passenger viruses. Wikipedia defines a passenger virus as a “virus that is frequently found in samples from diseased tissue, such as tumors but does not contribute to causing the disease. Molecular biologist Peter H. Duesberg, Ph.D. at the University of California in Berkeley describes passenger viruses as “fossils” of viruses that caused infections long ago and were killed of by the immune system.
Old pathogenic viruses leave behind fossils, or traces, of their DNA in the cells where they replicated. These fossils, according to Dr. Duesberg play no role, either good or bad. They’re just dead. If this Research Blog was helpful to you, please don’t forget to Subscribe for more updates direct to your email address. In addition, you can share your contributions through the jmexclusives Contacts Page, leave a Comment below. You’ll also find more useful and related affiliate topics below. Including,
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- Live Science: The 9 Deadliest Viruses on Earth.
- Meningitis: Diseases that can kill within 24 hours.
- Vaccine Reaction: Viruses May Be Harmful, Helpful, or Passengers.
- Khan Academy: Intro to Viruses.