7. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome


This virus is spread through contact with the droppings, urine, or saliva of infected wild rodents. The mortality rate of this infection is high at 38%. Fortunately, this disease is very rare. Symptoms occur one to five weeks following exposure and include fever, fatigue, and aching back, thigh, hip, or shoulder muscles. As the disease progresses, the lungs may fill with fluid, resulting in respiratory distress and death. Treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome includes hospitalization, medications for pain and fever, and oxygen therapy.

6. Malaria


Mosquitoes in warm climates such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia may carry malaria parasites that are transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Plasmodium falciparum is one type of malaria that causes severe illness and death. Malaria may present with flu-like symptoms such as chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are other symptoms of this disease. Malaria may also cause anemia and jaundice. Left untreated, malaria can cause kidney failure, coma, and death. The CDC maintains a list of recommended drugs for preventing and treating malaria.

5. Meningococcal Disease


The bacteria Neisseria meningitidis can cause meningococcal meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. This disease can present as fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting and requires immediate medical attention. If this bacterium infects the blood of a victim, it can cause meningococcal septicemia, also known as meningococcemia. Fever, fatigue, chills, severe aches, and rapid breathing may be symptoms. As the infection progresses, a dark purplish rash may appear. Both of these diseases can cause death in only a matter of hours. Diagnosis involves sampling the cerebrospinal fluid to test for N. meningitidis.

Related: 5 Illnesses Your Pets Can Spread to You


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