The world is sadly still fraught with diseases and illness which will see a perfectly healthy person become drastically ill in just a matter of hours. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to battle these contagions, there’s only so much they can do on a relatively limited budget.
- Typhoid – Asia, Africa & Latin America
Typhoid was once a prevalent issue across most of Europe, but has recently become more restricted to continents to the east and west of the Eurozone.
This fever is technically part of the Salmonella group and is somewhat unsurprisingly spread via bacteria commonly associated with food and drink.
Symptoms of the disease include a high fever (usually of around 40 degrees Celsius), with stomach pains, headaches and a severe loss of appetite also common.
While less deadly now than it has been in the past, Typhoid is still a major killer when left untreated.
- Polio – Afghanistan, Nigeria, India & Pakistan
Polio is, rather disgustingly, most often contracted after the infected stool of another person is consumed – usually via contaminated water or food.
As such, it’s perhaps not surprising this is a disease commonly found in nations with lower food hygiene standards.
Common symptoms include a high fever, headaches, nausea and immense vomiting. If you fail to treat the condition, further issues such as respiratory problems and paralysis can also come into play.
The polio vaccine is pretty readily availableso make sure to get yours before travelling to any country that’s a high risk.
- Malaria – Sub-Saharan Africa, India, South-East Asia, Central and Southern America
With a rap sheet as long as your arm, it’s no shock Malaria finds its way onto our list of deadly diseases.
This global killer is most commonly spread through mosquitos and has the power to strike more suddenly than any other condition we’ve covered.
Common symptoms include chills, nausea and aches, with severe versions of the disease eventually resulting in organ failure and eventual death.
What’s perhaps most scary about Malaria is how it strikes out of nowhere, with television personalities like Cheryl Cole and Charlie Webster contracting the contagion relatively out of the blue.
- Ebola – West Africa
It would have been basically impossible to miss the recent hysteria surrounding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
While things have calmed down considerably since then,the disease has been far from taken care of fully, with it still a prevalent issue in Africa.
The WHO now suggests 71 percent of people who contract Ebola in Sudan will die from it, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, stomach pains, weight loss and bleeding from the orifices.
- Dengue Fever –South America, Central America & India
Much like Malaria, Dengue Fever is spread via mosquitos, who carry the disease inside them before injecting it into a person’s bloodstream.
The majority of people who suffer from the condition will experience something known as “breakbone fever’ – which sees sharp pain in the muscles simulate the feeling of a snapped bone.
More serious symptoms will see the blood system become permeable, resulting in a person vomiting blood and experiencing organ failure.
Dengue Fever is said to infect up to 100,000 people every year and cause at least 20,000 deaths a year, making it one of the deadlier killers despite its relatively unknown status across most of Europe.
These are five deadly diseases which could strike when you’re overseas. Make sure to keep yourself safe by vaccinating against all of them before heading to a country or region where you might be affected.