We are blessed to live in an era with readily available vaccines and antibiotics. Therefore, those of us who live comfortably in developed countries may incorrectly assume that many diseases with scary, historical-sounding names have been wiped out. However, many people in other parts of the world are not so fortunate. These populations continue to deal with frightening diseases that should be easily preventable. Furthermore, the ease of travel means that diseases are not always confined to distant parts of the world. The following are 15 diseases you may not even realize still exist to torment humankind.
Sadly, cholera is a disease that is still rampant in countries where individuals do not have access to clean drinking water. Cholera is an illness caused by Vibrio cholerae, which infects the intestines and results in watery diarrhea. While some cholera infections are mild, others bring about such severe diarrhea that the resulting dehydration can cause death. According to the World Health Organization, recent cholera epidemics have occurred in countries such as Haiti, Somalia, Tanzania, and Yemen.
Gout may sound like an old-fashioned condition, but this form of arthritis appears to be on the increase in the United States. In gout, painful uric acid crystals form in the joints. According to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, gout has been referred to as the “disease of kings” because it was linked to the rich diets of the wealthy. While gout is actually caused by an immune reaction to uric acid in the blood, perhaps this nickname isn’t so far off the mark. The incidence of gout has risen in recent years, along with a rise in obesity.