Disease, sickness, and starvation have been part of our lives for decades even before wars have been fought among people. It is controversial to say they have been integral to our lives. They have woven themselves tightly among us, a deep imprint of their presence is embedded in their lives.
Warfare was a common phenomenon in the 1900s. It was rife with illness, starvation, and sickness with many lives being lost. Keeping peace of mind aside, waging war also deteriorated the hygiene levels of people eventually losing their lives to its dangerous fatality.
Health standards were relatively poor because the downtrodden people who were not directly involved in the war were deeply affected. It didn’t occur to them that sick people could be cured of such a casualty. There was also no means to save their lives, so death become the only solution.
1. First Step Towards Control:
In the modern era, impoverished ailments and their long-lasting effects were given more attention and focus intending to uplift health standards and save countless lives. The first step was taken by the impeding doctors, nurses, and health-related practitioners who were entrusted with the responsibility of prolonging the lifespan of people.
There were relative improvements after the interventions, but will that ever magically erase the existence of diseases?
Diseases have made their way and, in some way, they do make our human body immune to many other illnesses. At the same time, the positive aspect balances the negative aspect. The fatality of such illnesses only leads to aggravating the alarming death rate and development of a global rate taking a backseat.
What are the diseases that do not have a cure yet? what about diseases that haven’t even been recognized by scientists yet?
2. Unrecognizable Diseases: How Did They Come Into Existence?
We know the mainstream diseases like the common cold, malaria, and dengue, and efforts are being made to eradicate cancer with the addition of HIV/AIDS. However, there are newly emerging diseases that are growing rampantly posing a threat to humankind.
COVID-19 was one of the diseases which was not heard about or talked about often until it lead to a global pandemic with a million dozen lives being lost without warning. Therefore, as citizens of our society, we should make sure we are wary of such unknown deadly diseases.
According to the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, such rarely recognized diseases are defined in three components. These are unknown diseases that are increasing rapidly geographically as well as regionally and slowly being classified into giving off deadly consequences.
3. Emerging Infectious Diseases:
3.1 Zika Virus
As the name suggests, it is a species of a deadly virus. Originally, it was identified as a mosquito-borne virus, identified in Uganda in 1947 and later by African countries in the 1950s. Records of its outbreak were also identified in Africa, North America, South America, Asia, and the Pacific since 2007.
The aspect which makes this less talked about virus very dangerous is its lack of symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms are very mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, and muscle and joint pain which generally dissipate within two to seven days. The diagnosis requires laboratory confirmation which makes it difficult to measure the casualties.
Pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus are more likely to pass it on to infants causing congenital malfunctions along with Guillain-Barre syndrome, particularly in adults and older children.
Research is still going on to investigate the risk and effects of a relatively rare disease that can take lots of lives with its lethal effects, especially neurological ones.
3.2 Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a chronic condition that is caused by borrelia bacteria. It is usually transmitted after a human comes into contact with a tick carrying the bacteria.
They are usually present throughout most of the United States. Lyme Disease, in general however is common in Europe and South Central and South Eastern Canada.
The symptoms that occur however vary from person to person and happen in stages and they don’t exactly have a specific order and steps through which these stages occur, which include rashes, fever, headache, extreme tiredness, and muscle aches. When it gets worse, there is neck pain, muscle weakness on both sides, and painful swelling.
In the end, Lyme disease weakens muscle function which eventually leads to arthritis with the skin smelling foul and looking discolored. If this condition aggravates, damage to vital muscles and tissues is also possible.
E.coli, originally identified as Escherichia coli, is a harmful bacterium that lives in the intestines of healthy humans and animals. Adults are more likely to recover from infection with proper care and medication within a week whereas young children and older adults are likely to development of life-long kidney failure which is very destructive to their life.
There isn’t a lot of research that has been done on this dangerous form of bacterium. Most types of E.coli are harmless and can only cause brief diarrhea. The most severe ones are prone to cause painful stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and frequent cases of vomiting.
E.coli might not be generally very harmful while approaching it whilst at face value, but it has long-lasting impacts that deter the quality of life among human beings.
SARCS is the abbreviation of Severe Acute Respiratory Condition and in recent times, it is being talked about in debates and counter-debates.
Much like the rampant COVID-19, this had originated in China in November 2002, with its spread being ever so fast which introduced a new concept in the illness arena, travel-related disorders. As this involves damage to respiratory function, it is highly categorized as a communicable disease that can be easily spread.
This could make it a common disease, but the existence of such an ailment was found after it was caused by the same strain as coronavirus, hailing from the same family of common colds, making it more dangerous and life-threatening.
Some of the symptoms are closely related to normal fever symptoms. This includes high fever with a temperature of about 105 degrees or above, shortness of breath, and also dry cough. These warning signs are usually unnoticed by many people passing it off as a normal cold, however, scientists are looking for concrete signs on how to recognize such chronic illnesses and bring them to light.
3.5 West Nile Virus
This is another form of the virus that is lethal and swift, and its spread is slowly reaching the ranks and is slowly being rated as high risk. It is not clear how the infection is being transmitted but human infection is mostly caused by mosquitoes which obtained the particular infection from infected birds and blood circulation happens through those specific stages.
Like the Zika Virus, it was found in Uganda but 9 years before its first appearance and proof of its existence. It was an isolated woman who was the first one to fall victim to the first occurrence of this illness in the West Nile region which was how the virus was named.
Like any other virus, this virus is also asymptomatic in almost 80 percent of the cases. In severe cases, symptoms start developing in the form of headache, fever, neck stiffness, disorientation as well as muscle weakness, and paralysis which makes this disease more deadly.
If we analyze all of the diseases mentioned above, then West Nile Virus is a combination of Zika Virus and Lyme Disease making it more threatening and destructive.
4. Possibility of a Bio War?
With the rise of illness, and the number of people falling sick too so many different kinds of diseases that are catastrophic and destructive and an obvious threat to wiping humankind as a whole.
Previously emerging diseases’ tenacity has been ignored and they have grown to be massive threats and have led to the beginning of biological warfare. Although the fault doesn’t only lie with the growing presence of diseases, the manipulation of human beings to use the bacterium toxins, and other harmful substances to deliberately kill and decapacitate human beings.
During World War I, Germans tried a tactic by infusing a chemical called anthrax in one of the enemies’ horses and also were the first people to use biological warfare tactics who had infected the animals that were being shipped to other countries with the help of bioweapons. This had a massive effect and they fulfilled their goal of destabilizing the source of food that enemies might get from animals leading to death.
The question of bio wars in a society like now might be a farce and it is a factor that cannot be easily predicted, not even scientists. Sure, it has been said that anything is possible in such a modern world, but as a society, we weren’t able to predict the possibility of the deadly coronavirus which had diverse effects on a global level.
4.1 What’s the Difference?
So how different will bio wars be in the present compared to the past?
Bio wars in the past were prominent among countries with the greed for territorial expansion and control will go to lengths to gain power by incapacitating humans with the use of bioweapons. In the late 20th century when plagues, droughts, and the recent predicament named coronavirus terrorized the world into lockdown, the suffering and the spread of diseases were much more common.
In this era, we come together as a group or work together in segments that are unique to each country to get our tracks in the right direction to defeat the biological phenomenon gripping us in one place. The difference is stark, however biological warfare ceases to exist in the slowly democratic world we are creating.
In the end, diseases and illness will always stay a part of us, in a way strengthening our immune systems. However, it is also important to acknowledge the diseases that have been plaguing our lives and wiping them off because of a weak immune system or weak economic status which leads to losing lots of lives.
Therefore, as citizens, doctors, and sources of service in our country, we should make sure that these diseases don’t play a prolonged role in our lives which eventually leads to us making our whole life lost in the clutches, imprisoned by the illness.
We are so much more than just our shortcomings and illnesses and it’s our responsibility to take control of our lives.