Deadly Infectious Diseases: Smallpox, Anthrax, Rabies and Their Impact on Humanity

2023-08-04 23:23:39

[대한민국청소년의회 뉴스 / 김민정 기자] Let’s take a look at some of the deadliest infectious diseases that have threatened humanity. First, smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the largepox and smallpox viruses. It is transmitted through the respiratory tract and is highly contagious, with a mortality rate of up to 30%. The main symptoms are high fever and a distinctive rash all over the body. In addition, frightening sequelae such as physical disability or blindness can occur.

In the case of highly toxic largepox, the mortality rate reaches 90% in the non-immune population. It is estimated that more than 500 million people have died from smallpox in human history, more than all people who have died from wars and other epidemics combined. Smallpox, along with malaria, is known as one of the diseases that cause the most deaths in mankind.

There is an area that has suffered the most damage from smallpox in human history. That’s the Americas. After Columbus’ discovery of the Americas in the early 16th century, Spanish troops spread smallpox to South America, infecting the native Incas. South America has never experienced a smallpox virus. Because the new virus is deadly, the natives have all died out and become extinct.

In 1763, British troops deliberately spread smallpox powder to uncooperative Indians, which led to the extinction of the Indians. Europeans stopped by Easter Island while passing by, and it is said that only 111 people out of 4,000 survived.

Fortunately, however, as a vaccine was developed and vaccinia law gradually improved, the WHO officially declared the complete eradication of smallpox in 1980. Smallpox is the only virus that humanity has overcome. Currently, there is no smallpox virus except in two countries, the United States and Russia. Both countries have developed and possessed these as biological and chemical weapons. Countries around the world are urging but refusing to destroy this virus.

Next is anthrax. Bacillus anthrax was the causative agent, discovered by Koch in 1876. Under certain conditions, it forms highly resistant spores that remain toxic for years in contaminated soil or other materials. Representative bacteria that form spores include Bacillus anthracis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. They have great vitality.

When infected with anthrax, large blisters form, causing high fever and death. It is a fungus with a very high mortality rate. Its ability to live in soil or other materials means that it can be made into a powder form, like smallpox powder. In other words, anthrax can be used to create biological and chemical weapons. In fact, it is said that the anthrax powder terror also occurred during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Finally, rabies is an acute viral infection of the central nervous system, also called rabies. A dog with rabies will have red eyes, a high fever, and drooling. So all the moisture is lost and the throat is extremely burned. However, all the nerves around the neck are damaged, so the moment you swallow water, you experience extreme pain. So, even if I want to drink water, I avoid it because I am scared.

The rabies virus attacks nerve cells, and when it invades the central nervous system, it leads to death. Usually there is high fever, headache, vomiting, excitement, anxiety, muscle rigidity and convulsions, followed by impaired consciousness and coma, paralysis of the respiratory center, and death. Since the fatality rate is almost 100%, you must be very careful not to be bitten by these dogs, and other than dogs, raccoons, badgers, and squirrels can also be dangerous.

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