5 most dangerous viruses and can they be defeated

Throughout history, humanity is constantly faced with various killer viruses that are particularly resistant to medications. Stories about epidemics that can lead to the death of the entire population of the planet, excite the mind and are reflected not only in the media, but also in culture.

The Zika Virus

The zika virus was first detected in 1947 in monkeys in Uganda, and five years later, the first cases of the disease were reported in humans. Today, a total of 86 countries and territories have registered cases of infection with the virus.

5 most dangerous viruses and can they be defeated

The main vectors of zika are Aedes mosquitoes, which are common in tropical and subtropical areas. After an insect bite (the peak activity of mosquitoes falls on the day), people experience symptoms such as high fever, rash, muscle and joint pain, General malaise, and headache. The infection is also transmitted during pregnancy, sexually, through blood transfusions and organ transplants. There is still no vaccine for the virus — it is believed that the disease passes by itself after a few days. The situation is much more complicated during pregnancy: zika can lead to children with congenital malformations. In adults, the virus can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, which leads to muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the legs or arms.

Ebola virus

Ebola symptoms occur suddenly and usually include fever, weakness, muscle and headaches. A dangerous and 90% fatal virus was first recorded in the Congo in 1976: an outbreak occurred in a village near the Ebola river, which is why the virus got its name.

It is believed that fruit bats are the natural hosts of infection, and Ebola enters the human population as a result of close contact with the blood, secretions and organs of infected animals — chimpanzees, gorillas, and others. From person to person, the virus can also get through fluids. Some scientists believe that under certain conditions, Ebola can be transmitted by airborne droplets: this same guess is voiced in the TV series "Hot zone" and Lieutenant Nancy jacks (Julianne Margulies), who is trying to prevent an outbreak of the disease in the United States in the 80-ies. No one believes Nancy, and she has to risk her life to save everyone from a deadly epidemic.

5 most dangerous viruses and can they be defeated

In July 2019, the Ebola vaccine was presented by Russian scientists from the state research center for Virology and biotechnology "Vector". it successfully passed clinical trials and was approved by the Ministry of health of the Russian Federation.

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In 1980, the world health organization announced the final eradication of smallpox through mass vaccination, but over the two thousand years of the virus's existence, humanity has experienced many deadly smallpox epidemics. In the twentieth century alone, the infection killed about 300 million people.

Symptoms of smallpox appear after 12-14 days and include fever, malaise, headache, and severe back pain. After 2-3 days, the temperature drops and a rash appears: first on the face, hands and forearms, and later on the torso. It leaves deep scars on the skin and often leads to loss of vision.

Smallpox no longer occurs naturally, but stocks of the virus are still stored in two laboratories in the United States and in Russia with a high level of protection.

5 most dangerous viruses and can they be defeated


By the end of 2018, there were approximately 37.9 million people living with HIV worldwide. Of these, only 79% were aware of their status.

The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV was first discovered in the late 1980s. it affects the immune system and weakens people's defense systems against infections and certain types of cancer. In nature, the infection is in the body of monkeys, without causing them harm, but for people, its reproduction is fatal.

Most AIDS patients are infected with HIV-1, which is classified as a retrovirus. They enter the body through the mucosa or wounds, and then begin to kill immune cells. To date, there is no cure for HIV infection, but through treatment with special drugs, the virus can be controlled and prevented from transmitting it.

Avian influenza

A high temperature of 38 °C, a strong cough, in some cases nausea and vomiting ... Avian flu is a deadly disease of wild and poultry that came to us from South-East Asia.

The infection is transmitted through the air from a live or dead bird to a person and affects the respiratory tract. People who have had the disease develop immunity. But on average, about 60% of those infected die from the virus.

There is no cure for avian flu. vaccines form immunity to It for a short period of time. Scientists believe that it cannot be eradicated.