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Mankind's 13 Deadliest Diseases

Adam Starr | AllHealthcare

6. Measles

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family. Common in swaths of Africa, Asia, and the eastern Mediterranean, measles are spread through coughing and sneezing. Unfortunately it remains a leading cause of death for young children, according to the WHO there were 197,000 measles deaths globally, or 22 deaths an hour.

Global poverty and a lack of access to medicine is propagating measles despite a widely available vaccine. Some of the world’s poorest children, those already at risk to a weakened immune system because of exposure to HIV/AIDS, are the most likely victims of measles mortality. Historically, measles were thought to have ravaged the Romans, Persians, Incans, Fijians.


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