Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Art and Science of Laboratory Medicine

Friday, October 28, 2016

Deadliest Viruses on Earth

Humans have been battling viruses since before our species had even evolved into its modern form. For some viral diseases, vaccines and antiviral drugs have allowed us to keep infections from spreading widely, and have helped sick people recover. For one disease — smallpox — we've been able to eradicate it, ridding the world of new cases.

But as the Ebola outbreak now devastating West Africa demonstrates, we're a long way from winning the fight against viruses.

The strain that is driving the current epidemic, Ebola Zaire, kills up to 90 percent of the people it infects, making it the most lethal member of the Ebola family. "It couldn't be worse," said Elke Muhlberger, an Ebola virus expert and associate professor of microbiology at Boston University.

But there are other viruses out there that are equally deadly, and some that are even deadlier. Here are the nine worst killers, based on the likelihood that a person will die if they are infected with one of them, the sheer numbers of people they have killed, and whether they represent a growing threat.

Read more:
The 9 Deadliest Viruses on Earth

Source: Live Science
Image credit: National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

1 comment:

JVKohl said...

The failed pattern recognition of researchers who cannot link virus driven hecatombic pathology from archaea to the innate immune system and negative supercoiling of DNA in virus-damaged patients may be the biggest historical failure of all failed pattern recognition.

People may be very angry if they are ever told that the pathology could be reversed with as little as a single energy-dependent base pair change and one RNA-mediated amino acid substitution.

Telling them that the problem arose in the context of human evolution is an insult to the intelligence of all serious scientists who know how to link energy-dependent changes from angstroms to ecosystems in all living genera without claiming that different species evolved. They adapted to the viruses or became extinct. Adaptation is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to humans.

Why would anyone report polycombic ecological adaptation as if it exemplified evolution of our ancestors to clinical laboratory scientists?

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