It is said that viruses already existed ever since life here on Earth began. As far back as animals and plants were first recorded, viruses already have lived. Time passes by and everything has changed, life has adapted and living organisms had multiplied but, viruses are still present and affecting living things. Viruses are just restructuring and changing itself continuously to adapt and survive in its environment.
They started as a form of threads that carry genetic information and traits to form a new life being. As life begins to adjust and becomes more difficult, viruses were hardly used and their functions to us became less.
In the recent time humans are facing very difficult situation, Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) – a small family of viruses that can cause severe illnesses such as the common cold, Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
However, that does not lead to the extinction of viruses. In fact, viruses have transformed to destroy and bring diseases to the ones it has served before. They became parasites that were unstoppable infecting one host to another. They just change their genetic components in order for them to adapt and live in its host to bring illnesses and diseases.
As years goes by, viruses became deadly and hard to control that even us can’t understand. They have known the word survivalism that makes them indestructible over a long period of time and as a result, we suffer because of their existence. Up until now, we still keep on studying and discovering new things and ways to cure and defeat them to prevent further number of deaths.
All living things here on Earth, whether small or big, does not have any exemptions when it comes to deadly viruses. Since they cannot be seen by our naked eye, they can just conceal themselves and lie inactive for years in its host. We have been experiencing and suffering from common colds to the most complicated and rarest diseases that we didn’t even know comes from viruses.
Below are the 10 deadliest viruses that you may even want to thank with all your heart that you have not suffered from these.
Deadliest Viruses That Can Cause Death to Humans
1. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) – Took 3.1 Million lives each Year
Since 1981, studies show that Human Immunodeficiency Virus has already taken the lives of 25 million people. Unfortunately, even with all the studies until now, there is still no cure for this virus. HIV is considered to be the deadliest virus in the world.
HIV affects human individuals by getting into their immune system affecting significant cells, which includes the helper cells plus the dendritic and macrophanges cells. Once this happens, HIV will thoroughly kill these important cells which damages the person’s immunity infected with it. As a result, it will leave the infected person’s immunity at risk and prone to diseases. This is one of the deadliest virus in the world.
AIDS is developed to most of the people infected with HIV. Since, HIV greatly affects the helper cells which control tumours and infections, AIDS starts to affect the person. HIV is a dangerous virus that is acquired through sexual intercourse, intravenous drug abuse, breastfeeding and giving birth of a mother to a child. The early signs of HIV infection are skin rashes, respiratory infections, weight loss and mouth ulcers. In later stages, different types of herpes and pneumonia can enter and affect the person’s body which will eventually lead to death.
Since there is no cure or vaccine for this virus, an anti-retroviral drug is used to cure this deadly infection by keeping the number of virus in the body at a low level or count. This drug helps by preventing the Immune system of the body from becoming weak and aids the person from being ill for ears.
2. Rotavirus – Took 61, 000 lives a year
This ruthless virus has caused the death of more than 500, 000 children every year, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Almost all children, at least five years of age here on Earth, has been contaminated with this rotavirus at least once in their lives. This is the time that immunity builds up and strengthens in each contamination and becomes milder.
Rotavirus infection actually happens through the intake of infected stools. But since, rotavirus can live longer outside the host, the spreading of the virus occurs by ingestion of contaminated water and food, having in contact with contaminated surfaces, and then putting the hands into the mouth. Once the virus gets into the body, it contaminates the cells that line in the small intestine and reproduce. After that, it secretes an enterotoxin which leads to gastroenteritis.
This rotavirus affects the digestive system and the main sign is diarrhea among infants and children. To prevent this infection from happening, a vaccine is already suggested to each child.
The medication of this infection depends on its signs and should be treated immediately, because it will lead to severe dehydration to children and will generally leads to death.
3. Hepatitis C Virus – Took 56, 000 lives a Year
There is an estimated of 200 – 300 million people wordwide who are infected with this virus. Hepatitis C is an infectious disease and is the most common unending infection that is acquired and spread through contact with blood which includes sharing of needle or syringe, piercing, infected medical equipments, organ transplants and blood transfusions. People infected with Hepatitis C do not generally have any symptoms and do not feel wrong with their body.
However, this virus primarily affects the liver that leads to liver cancer or cirrhosis if left untreated.
According to studies, 70% of the people infected with Hepatitis C suffer from chronic liver disease, 15% suffer from liver cirrhosis and 5% die from liver cirrhosis or cancer. Unlike Hepatitis A and B, Hepatitis C can be cured with medication and treatment but as of now, there is still no vaccine for this infection to be prevented.
4. Hepatitis B – 521, 000 Deaths every Year
HBV which is commonly known as Hepatitis B is the reason of grave illness to the liver. Hepatitis B is an infectious disease that is acquired by direct contact to infected blood or other body fluids. Once the person is infected, the symptoms of this infection include mild fever, nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine, fatigue, yellowing of the skin and abdominal pain. In addition to this, severe cases of this infection lead to liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
During the early stages of this condition, the infected person will experience no symptoms. While others, experience vomiting, dark urine and yellow skin. Fortunately, 90% of the people infected with Hepatitis B virus were still cured and recovered from it completely. Unlike from Hepatitis C, symptoms of Hepatitis B are more horrible. This constant infection can be cured using drugs but there is still no specific medication and treatment to cure the severe Hepatitis B.
5. Measles Virus – 197, 000 Deaths A Year
Measles which is also known as Rubeola is also one of the viruses that had already killed a lot of people throughout the years. There were already around 200 million people who were killed for the last 150 years because the infected people tend to disregard its flu-like signs. However, due to ignoring the symptoms, it leads to severe and deadly complications such as encephalitis, pneumonia and measles myocarditis.
This measles virus stays in the mucous of nose and throat of the people infected with the virus. When the infected person sneezes, breathes or coughs, the virus spreads. However, getting infected with the Measles virus is not dangerous since, treatments for this virus is available to prevent it from spreading.
6. Hantavirus – 70, 000 Deaths A Year
Hantavirus is also called as House Mouse Flu. This virus commonly infects rodents but the interesting part is, it does not affect the rodents. Instead, humans are greatly affected by this virus. People get infected by this Hantavirus by getting in contact with rodent urine, feces or saliva.
Person infected with this virus shows early symptoms such as headache, fever and myalgia. However, for severe cases of Hantavirus Infection, the early symptoms lead to deadly diseases which include Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This a Deadliest Viruses That Can Cause Death in few days.
Infection of Hantavirus does not literally mean that you’ll get infected once you got in contact with the rodent. Infection only happens when a person get in contact or inhale the dust or dried particles which contains the dried saliva or feces of the infected rodents. As the symptoms are showing, most of the patients die within few days of contamination.
HFRS is cured using the ribavirin that is injected to cut down the disease and minimize the danger of death. However, until now, there is still no cure for this virus.
7. Rabies Virus – 55,000 Deaths per Year
Rabies virus is neurotropic which causes rabies to animals and humans. This virus is transmitted by the bite of infected animals such as monkeys, bats, foxes and dogs. Once a person gets bitten by an infected animal, the virus enters the body and goes towards the brain.
Rabies is an acute swelling of the brain in animals and humans. The duration of the disease and the manifestation of the symptoms depend on the time when the Rabies virus reaches the central nervous system of the body of human or animal.
Early signs of infection may include tingling sensations, uncontrolled excitement, fever, violent movements, water phobia or paralysis which is followed by unconsciousness. Unfortunately, once the symptoms appear, infection always leads to death. However, vaccine is already available to stop this infection.
8. Dengue Virus – 25, 000 Deaths per Year
Dengue fever is also known as break-bone fever or bonecrusher disease. The virus is transmitted to humans through the contaminated female Aedes mosquito bites. Once the virus gets into the body, it circulates for 7 days where the early symptoms occur such as nausea or diarrhea, high fever and muscle and joint pain. However, if this infection gets severe and left untreated, it will put the life of the person at risk due to acute low blood pressure and internal bleeding.
The infection begins with an increase of the body temperature to 41 degrees together with its flu-like signs. However, after few days of fever, symptoms of circulatory failure will emerge. And last, the person infected with Rabies virus may experience state of shock and eventually die within 12-24 hours.
According to World Health Organization, their estimation of the number of people who are in danger of developing dengue fever is already 2.5 million. This dengue fever is the top cause of death in tropical and subtropical countries and this infection recently acquired an epidemic condition in over 100 countries in the world. One of the worst Deadliest Viruses That Can Cause Death.
There is still no definite treatment and vaccine for this virus but as of now, frequent potential vaccines are being studied, processed and developed.
9. Yellow Fever Virus – 30, 000 Deaths per Year
Yellow fever is a severe hemorrhaging disease that is acquired and transmitted by the bite of female mosquitos (Aedes aegypti). Once you got bitten by the mosquito, it multiplies before going towards the lymphatic system of the body. And once the Lymphatic system is taken over by the yellow fever virus, it will attack the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and the heart.
Yellow Fever is recognized to be the most dangerous infectious fever. Once the virus enters the human body, the symptoms are muscle pains, chills, fever, nausea, loss of appetite and headache. However, the signs will gradually improve within five days which includes abdominal pains and discomfort, and yellowing of the skin due to liver damage. If this continues to happen, there will be a tendency of bleeding and kidney disease. After that, the infected patient may experience delirium, coma and the worst part is death.
Unfortunately, up until now, there is still no cure for this infection. However, there was a vaccine that was developed to provide immunity from the infection for 10 years.
10. Influenza Virus – 500, 000 Deaths a Year
Influenza virus is a common infectious disease that causes Influenza to mammals and birds. This virus is transferred from one infected person to another by coughing and sneezing. Influenza virus can also be transmitted through blood, bird stools, saliva and nasal secretions.
Once the person gets infected, he may experience these following symptoms: sore throat, chills, fever, muscle pains, fatigue, headache, discomfort and coughing. Most of the patients suffering from this infection will recuperate completely. However, to people who have respiratory illness, weak immune system and especially elders, this infection might be considered as lethal to them and death is a possibility.
Vaccines for this virus are available to prevent from having this infection. But if you are already suffering from influenza, then it can be cured using antiviral medicines.
So always keep yourself clean and look for prevention measures from these Deadliest Viruses That Can Cause Death.