10 pharmaceutical technologies that will pave opportunities in the healthcare industry

11 deadly viruses that creates havoc across the world

Viruses have always been there and humans have been fighting them feistily even before our species had even emerged into its modern form. Various research and development have lead to the invention of vaccines and antiviral drugs by scientists and pharmacists, which have helped many to eradicate some and stop the spread widely. Smallpox, poliovirus type 3 are some of them that have been globally eradicated, saving the world from new cases.

However, the road towards success is long and difficult as several other viruses are extremely deadly and have been raking in havoc across the world. In recent times, various viruses jump from animals to humans and have brought it epidemics and pandemics claiming thousands of lives. While some are only deadly and have lower fatality rates, some are deadlier and extremely fatal creating a threat to public health.

Here's a list of some of the deadliest viruses that have killed thousands of people and infected millions -

Marburg virus -
It was first identified in 1967 by scientists. Some lab workers in Germany got contaminated by the virus from the infected monkeys who were imported from Uganda. The virus caused haemorrhagic fever leading to high temperatures and bleeding throughout the body resulting in organ failure, shock and death. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), this virus had a mortality rate of around 25% during the initial outbreak but became 80% during 1998-2000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the 2005 outbreak in Angola.

Ebola virus -
Ebola outbreak was first noticed in 1976 in the Republic of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This infection spread through contact with blood or other body fluids, or tissue from infected people or animals. This strain of the virus has a varied rate of deadliness and while one strain of Ebola Reston, doesn't even make people sick, the same of Bundibugyo can be as fatal as up to 50%. On the other hand, the Sudan strain is deadly by 71%. According to WHO, the largest and most complex outbreak of this happened in West Africa in early 2014.

Smallpox -
It was one of the best days in 1980 when the world was declared smallpox free by the World Health Assembly. However, the situation has always not been like this. This disease killed almost 1 in 3 of those it infected for almost thousands of years. the survivors were left with permanent and deep scars and sometimes blindness. Many historians believed that approximately 90% of the native population of the Americas died from smallpox introduced by European explorers. This disease witnessed 300 million deaths in the 20th century.

Rabies -
The rabies vaccines for pets introduced in the 1920s has exceedingly reduced the rate of serious problems in parts of Africa and India. This disease destroys the mind and without treatment, one will definitely die. However, the vaccine against rabies creates antibodies and when someone is bitten by a rabid animal, he can be treated easily.

Influenza -
According to WHO, a typical flu season can take as many lives as up to 500,000. Very occasionally a new flu strain emerges and creates a pandemic and spreads like a wildfire. One of the notable flu pandemics was created by Spanish flu in 1918 where almost 40% of the world's population was affected and 50 million people died.

Since its first detection in the early 1980s around 32 million people have died. However, an extremely powerful antiviral drug lets people live with it for years. Most of the affected people belong from low- and middle-income countries, where 95% of new HIV infections occur. More than two-thirds of the people are living with HIV worldwide, as per WHO.

Dengue -
This disease first occurred in the Phillippines and Thailand in the 1950s and kept on spreading throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the globe. As the world is warming farther the chances of its spreading escalates as the mosquitoes that carry it is likely to spread farther leading to the 40% population residing in a dengue-endemic area. As per WHO reports, Dengue sickens 50 to 100 million people a year with a very low mortality rate. In 2019 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a Dengue vaccine for children 9-16 years old living in areas where dengue is common and with a confirmed history of virus infection, according to the CDC. Some of the countries even have vaccines for 9-45 years old with a confirmed history of virus infection. If taken without pervious infection, then the person has the risk of developing severe dengue.

According to WHO, SARS is a severe respiratory syndrome originating in 2002 in southern China through bats and then jumping into civets and finally infecting humans. After originating in China, it spread across 26 countries globally and infected 8000 people and killed more than 770 over two years. It is a mortality rate of 9.6% and causes fever, chills and body aches, progressing towards pneumonia and lungs filled with pus, finally death. Although no SARS case was reported since the early 2000s.

Hantavirus -
Itcreates Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which became popular in 1993 after a young couple suffered death within a few days of developing shortness of breath. Scientists figured out that it came from the deer mouse that has been living the infected people's house. Almost 600 people in the US contracted HPS, and 36% died from the disease. Although the virus doesn't transmit from human to human a human gets infected by the droppings of an infected mice. Also, in the early 1950s, a different hantavirus created havoc during the Korean War and 3,000 troops became infected, and about 12% of them died, as per the 2010 paper in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews.

MERS or Middle East respiratory syndrome occurred in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and South Korea in 2015. It belongs to the same family of SARS-CoV and originated in bats. The disease was first infected in camels and then passed to humans and caused fever, coughing and shortness of breath leading to pneumonia. Its mortality rate is between 30% and 40% and has no approved treatment or vaccine.

SARS-CoV-2 -
Also belonging from the SARS-CoV family, this virus is better known as coronavirus and has created havoc across the globe. It was first identified in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, originating from bats and then was passed onto the humans. The virus has claimed tens and thousands of lives across the world and WHO has declared the global pandemic situation. While its mortality rate is 3.4%, it has a high contingency rate. Common symptoms include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, and the disease can progress to pneumonia in severe cases. While scientists are fighting to develop treatments and vaccines, the world is going in quarantine to stay safe from it.
These viruses have created havoc around the world and while some has bid farewell and some have vaccines, some are still infecting people and taking lives. Pharmacists and scientists are working towards innovations to build a sustainable place for the future generation and Annamacharya College of Pharmacy is determined to give the world those responsible scientists and pharmacists.