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Deadliest Diseases in human history
HIV attacks the white blood cells that help the body fight disease. The disease can be managed, but AIDS, the final stage of the infection, has claimed the lives of more than 39 million people.
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacteria that infects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and it typically affects those aged one to 30. Even with early diagnosis and treatment, some 5 to 10 percent of patients die.
Originating in southern China in 2002-2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) became a pandemic that spread to 37 countries in just a few weeks. More than 8,000 people were infected, and 774 died from the virus.
14. Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases are now the world?s biggest killer, taking the lives of some 17.5 million people in 2012 - that?s three out of every ten deaths. Over 80 percent of those occur in low and middle-income countries.
15. Bubonic plague
Bubonic plague earned the unenviable name ?the Black Death? when it rampaged through Asia and Europe in the Middle Ages, killing an estimated 25 million, wiping out almost a third of Europe?s population.
16. Whooping cough
Whooping cough affected an estimated 16 million people in 2008. Ninety five percent of those occurred in developing countries, with some 195,000 children dying from the disease.
17. Avian flu
Hot on the heels of the SARS scare, avian influenza or ?bird flu? comes with potentially life-threatening complications. Since the outbreak in 2003, WHO estimates that of the 421 cases reported, 257 were fatal.
18. Influenza A H1N1
More commonly known as swine flu, H1N1 was declared a pandemic in 2009. WHO figures put the estimated number of deaths at 18,550, but it is thought many more could have died as a result of complications.
Historically, leprosy meant life as an outcast, and while it still does in many countries, it is treatable. The slow-growing disease affects the skin and nerves. Almost 250,000 new cases were reported in 2012.
Although easily treatable, this highly contagious sexually transmitted infection can be fatal or result in brain or heart complications if left alone. WHO estimates that some 12 million people are infected every year.
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