Infections are scary but people go through them, even the most healthy and clean, at least once in their lives. Infected tonsils, infected nails, infected wounds and infected sinuses – the list is endless.
The categories and severity of the infections also varies. Bacteria, fungi and parasites that not treated and cleansed out from the body are usually the major causes of infections.
Severe cases can lead to disablement and even death. Now that’s terrifying.
There are many types of infections. Some can be cured by a regular dose of antibiotics, some need surgical intervention, while the unlucky few have to go through a life threatening and altering, gross and morbid experience, which would unlikely make it to their top favorite journal entries and many trips to the doctor.
These worst types of infections can be extremely traumatic,to the point that you would not even wish them on your sworn enemies. As far as education goes, you should at least learn what these types of infections and diseases are that affect people in other parts of the world.
You’ll never know if you catch one, so it’s good to be informed, at the very least. The following content and discussion may be disturbing, so proceed at your own risk – it could save your life.
1. River Blindness
The onchocerciasis infection is the top two in the list of infectious diseases that cause blindness in the world. It is carried by black flies that can commonly be found in fast-running rivers. These black flies contain microscopic larvae called onchocerca volvulus.
When you get bitten by the carrier, the parasite enters your blood stream. The parasite will multiply and spread throughout your body up to your eyes, turning them opaque and blocking your eyesight, leaving you blind.
Symptoms include itchiness under your skin which drastically spreads out through your body. Since the parasite lies under the skin, you will pretty much have an itch that never stops.
An onchocerciasis infection is curable, but as it is internal and can spread to different and many parts of your body, the treatment may take time. That means while waiting for the parasite to be completely washed out from you, you’ll have to endure the itchiness which is under your skin.
Screwworm is a weird name for an infection. You’ll realize why, because a screwworm infections can screw with you so bad. Picture this: maggots feed on dead and rotten flesh, right?
Well, screwworm does exactly that, except that they do it on live human flesh. Although there are very few cases recorded to date, but it is still out there and it is still happening.
A screwworm is carried by a screwworm fly. It can enter your body through open wounds – not matter how small your wound may be. The carrier fly will plant an egg inside your wound, the larvae will hatch, and the screwworm will grow and spread throughout your body.
Typically, a screwworm colony will stay in one part of your body only. But if they are disturbed – say you took medication to kill parasites – the maggots have the tendency to drill further into your flesh and – wait for it – they will not stop until they see the light at the other end. It’s gross and definitely deadly.
3. Mucorales Fungi
A mucorales fungus is basically just mold. As common as fungi are, mucorales is pretty much everywhere – on dirt, on doors and on tables. It can only infect you if you have a really weak immune system.
The infection normally starts like a sinus infection that does not go away. Then comes the other symptoms such as swelling of other parts of the head, the eyes and cranial nerves which can cause severe headaches and can potentially lead to blood clots.
Worst case scenario is the fungi that have already spread will cover the brain. This will lead to disorientation and even blindness.
There is a cure, as long as the fungi has not spread to your brain yet. If the fungi is on the tongue or sinus area, the dead tissue can be removed through surgery.
4. Zombie Meningitis
Meningitis comes in so many types, and neisseria meningitidis is the worse of them all. Otherwise known as the “zombie meningitis,” this infection will literally kill you softly and slowly.
It will rot your limbs and one by one disable your nerve functions, making you move and function like a zombie.
First symptoms of neisseria meningitidis may include high fever and headaches, as well as joint and body pains. As the bacteria spreads, it will start to fail one organ after the other. Your blood pressure will drop drastically, your nervous system and functions will slowly deteriorate, and the zombie meningitis will slowly take your life.
Tapeworm infections arecommon, so you’ve probably heard or read about them.
Infected patients do not really show symptoms or feel any pain or any uneasiness before the severe stage. The only symptoms are the passing of the long tapeworm in your stool.
A tapeworm infection comes from eating undercooked meat or freshwater fish that carries tapeworm cysts in them. Being undercooked meat, the bacteria can potentially survive and eating it would mean ingesting it in your body.
At severe stages, tapeworm infected patients will experience discomfort, a loss of appetite and will have diarrhea. The worst case scenario can lead to seizures and even disorientation.
The good thing is, a tapeworm infection can be treated by antibiotics and de-worming medications.
6. Ascariasis Worm
This is the most common form of worm infection in humans. This is common in tropical and subtropical countries and continents, and children have the highest records of infection.
Ascariasis worms survive in environments where hygiene and sanitation is poor.
The infection happens when an ascariasis ingested food is eaten. The parasite will multiply and spread through the body, mostly in the stomach and abdominal areas.
When treated through de-worming or when adults are injected anesthesia, worms will exit the body and sometimes exit through the mouth and nose. Can you imagine that?
7. Sleeping Sickness
African Trypanosomiasis is commonly known as the “sleeping sickness,” because, as the name suggests, it will cause you to sleep a lot when infected. The disease is carried by a tsetse fly.
When bitten by the tsetse fly, the parasite will travel through the blood streams and later on infect the central nervous system.
First symptoms will include headache, fever, itching and joint pains. On the second stage, which is the severe stage, the parasite will cross the blood-brain barrier and travel to the nervous system, causing disturbance on nerve functions until the sleep cycle if severely affected. If not treated, this condition can potentially lead to death.
8. Naegleria Fowleri Amoeba
Naegleria Fowleri is a type of amoeba that resides in people’s brains causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) which can lead to disintegrating of the brain tissue.
This type of amoeba is caught by drinking water that is infected by the bacteria, albeit it can be treated by antibiotics if detected early.
Early symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting. Failure to treat and wash out the bacteria immediately can lead to severe cases such as hallucinations, disorientation, seizures, fainting and it can even lead to death.
9. The Sweating Disease
The Sweating Disease happens when a person – as the name obviously suggests – sweats. In this case, you sweat profusely, like pouring the water from your skin. Cases have been recorded in Europe although this condition is very rare.
Symptoms start with a strange feeling of uneasiness without a trace of stress. After that, your body will start to shiver, feel cold and you will have a sudden headache, body and joint pains.
After that comes the sweating part. The sweating part can be severe that dehydration would quickly come and you can be dead in a few hours.
The odd thing about this condition is that no one knows what causes it, what carries the sickness and what can cure it. Scientists have never found the answers yet. You just sweat and die. Not fun.
10. Ebola Virus
Last but certainly and never the least, the Ebola Virus, which has plagued people from all over the globe with fear on its recent outbreak. Ebola virus is rampant and in rage in Africa. This disease will make you bleed to death – literally.
What’s worse, it is not yet determined where it came from, what carries the disease and how to cure it.
What’s even worse – can you even imagine anything worse? – is that the disease has killed the patients infected so quickly leaving scientists very little time to process and study the cause of the disease and the cure. A little disturbing, if you must.
Some infections, sickness and ailments can be ridiculously unreal, if you think about it. But they are real; they happen to real people and they sometimes kill people – which makes them terrifying and cringe-worthy in all their essence. Now you know what they are, you can be careful with what you eat, where you go and what you touch, because you never know. Evil germs, viruses and worms are lurking everywhere.