Nurse Amy and Dr. Alton of Doom and Bloom Medicine have the first part of a series on Deadly Viruses up at the website. This installment gives a brief overview of several viruses — symptoms, transmission, etc. With the current ebola outbreak now reaching into the million occupant city of Butembo, it’s good to stay informed of health threats that are out there.
Infectious disease is of major concern in good times or bad, and the family medic must be able to identify some of the deadliest. Having just written a book about infectious diseases and the antibiotics that treat them (Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman’s Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings), we’ve done our research on some of the worst illnesses that can occur even in countries with advanced medical systems. There are infections out there, however, that are often fatal and can’t be treated with antibiotics. These are usually viral in nature.
What are the worst viruses on the planet? That depends: Are you looking at the total number that died from a particular disease over the course of history? Are you monitoring the number that die every year in the present, or is it the percentage of people that die if they get infected? In any case, the statistics can be grim.
In this article, we’ll discuss a mix of the above, and examine a number of viral illnesses that you definitely don’t want to contract…