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Home / More Lifestyle / 5 deadly viruses that the world faced in the last few years

5 deadly viruses that the world faced in the last few years

Wuhan Coronavirus has so far claimed 106 lives in China and an increasing number of confirmed cases are being reported each day.

more-lifestyle Updated: Jan 28, 2020 14:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Wuhan Coronavirus : Masked health professionals check the driver of vehicle at a screening checkpoint on a highway toll station on the outskirts of Shanghai, China.
Wuhan Coronavirus : Masked health professionals check the driver of vehicle at a screening checkpoint on a highway toll station on the outskirts of Shanghai, China. (Bloomberg)

Coronavirus has so far claimed 106 lives in China and an increasing number of confirmed cases are being reported each day. Several countries have issued advisories asking their citizens to avoid travelling to China.

Let us take a look at five deadly viruses the world has faced in the last few years:

MERS

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The virus soon spread to several other countries with people showing signs of severe acute respiratory illness, fever, cough and shortness of breath.

MERS is more dangerous for the elderly and people with low immunity. Those with chronic diseases such as renal disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes are also at higher risk.

SARS

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is also a viral respiratory illness first reported in Asia in 2003 and spread to other countries.

Droplets from coughing and sneezing and close human contact are believed to transmit SARS virus. According to Medical News Today, the respiratory droplets are probably absorbed into the human body through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose as well as eyes.

Ebola Virus

Also known as Ebola haemorragic fever, Ebola virus disease (EVD) is rare but highly deadly. It is transmitted to people from wild animals. Ebola has a fatality rate of roughly 50%. Vaccines to make people immune to Ebola are in the research stage.

In 2014-2016, West Africa came under the grip of the Ebola outbreak.

The virus is spread in humans through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with either blood or body fluids. The virus is also transmitted through things that are contaminated with body fluids (like blood, faeces, vomit).

Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat. These are followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes and symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function.

Some people diagnosed with the Ebola virus may witness both internal and external bleeding (for example, oozing from the gums, or blood in the stools).

Zika

The mosquito-borne disease was first reported from the Island of Yap (Federated States of Micronesia) in 2007. It became severe in French Polynesia in 2013 and other countries and territories in the Pacific.

A total of 86 countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-transmitted Zika infection so far.

Fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache that lasts for at least a week are also symptoms of the disease.

Nipah

Nipah virus is spread through contaminated food or directly through people and claimed several lives in Kerala in 2018.

Fruit bats of the genus Pteropus are the main carriers of NiV. The NiV may be transmitted through consumption of fruit contaminated by the saliva of infected bats, from direct contact with infected bats or their faeces/urine, or human-to-human transmission through unprotected close contact with an infected patient in the community or hospital.

Those infected with Nipah virus show symptoms such as fever, headaches, myalgia, vomiting and sore throat. These symptoms are followed by dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis.

Some patients also witness atypical pneumonia and severe respiratory problems, including acute respiratory distress.

Swine Flu

Another respiratory disease that is caused by one of the many Influenza A viruses, it is spread to humans who come in contact with infected pigs. It may also be spread through contact with infected humans.

Symptoms of swine flu or H1N1 include body aches, chills, cough, headache, sore throat, fever and tiredness.

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