The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus is so infectious that one man in Hong Kong infected 183 people in 8 apartment buildings with one horrific bowel movement, causing a plume of aerosolized feces to circulate through the ventilation system and outside in the wind.
2. Malaria was once used to treat syphilis. Dr. Wagner von Jauregg injected sufferers with malaria-infected blood, causing an extremely high fever that would ultimately kill the disease. Jauregg won the Nobel Prize for the treatment and it remained in use until the development of penicillin.
3. Rosacea is a skin disease found mainly in those of Northern European descent and also known as The Curse of the Celts. It is actually an evolutionary adaptation acquired by ancestral Celtic people to fend off bacteria during seasonal periods of low ultraviolet levels.
4. Fatal Familial Insomnia is an inherited brain disease that eventually causes one to be incapable of sleep. It has no known cure. It involves progressively worsening insomnia, which leads to hallucinations, confusional states like that of dementia, and eventually death.
5. Alzheimer's disease does not affect emotional memory as strongly as informational memory. As a result, Alzheimer's patient's given bad news will quickly forget the news, but will remain sad and have no idea why.
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Measles can wipe out the body's immune system "memory" of other diseases for years.
7. Schizophrenia can be diagnosed with 98.3% accuracy using a simple eye test that tracks eye movement abnormalities.
8. Porphyria is a collection of diseases where symptoms include severe sun sensitivity, prominent canine teeth, and peculiar behaviors which are thought to be the basis of the vampire legends – especially as these symptoms are worsened by garlic.
9. Acne is the 8th-most common disease in the world. It was described in Pharaohs over 2,000 years ago. It does not affect other primates, but some cats and dogs and horses can be affected by acne.
10. ”Musicogenic Epilepsy” is a rare disease that makes you have a seizure whenever you hear your favorite music.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease affecting Olympic athletes. 8% of them suffers from the condition.
12. There are people who suffer from something called “reverse anorexia” which causes (primarily) men with already muscular bodies to feel too small.
13. Tuberculosis was so romanticized during the Victorian era that fashion trends emerged to highlight and emulate the symptoms of the disease. This fashion movement is referred to as “Consumptive Chic”.
14. Silent Migraines are migraines that have no pain, but people experiencing them can have vision loss, flashing lights, and wavy lines in the vision, and hallucinations.
15. Dandruff is caused by a fungus that uses lipase to digest lipids, so it lives in areas with many sebaceous glands. The lipases break down skin, as well, and when the fungi grow too fast, larger flakes of skin (dandruff) come off as the epidermis is replaced from the levels below.
Sickle-cell anemia protects the carrier from malaria, which is why it is seen mostly in people of African descent.
17. Kidney stones can grow until they fill up all the crevices in your kidneys and resemble deer antlers; they're called staghorn stones
18. Dyslexia isn't characterized by the reversal of letters or words and mirror writing. It's a disorder of people with at least average intelligence who have difficulty spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, sounding words out, pronouncing words read aloud, understanding what they read.
19. Heartburn actually has nothing to do with the heart at all. It occurs when the sphincter muscle at the end of the esophagus abnormally relaxes and fluids from the stomach, such as stomach acid and bile, flow back up into the esophagus. It is more likely to happen when bent over or lying down.
20. Complications of Crohn's disease include fistulas between your gut and several abdominal organs, resulting in passing gas and feces into places like your skin, urine, or vagina.
The flu presents as asymptomatic 75% of the time in otherwise the young and healthy, and yet is still highly contagious and deadly to vulnerable populations.
22. Sufferers of acid reflux disease occasionally report a distinct feeling of something stuck in their throat, often lasting for days. This happens because the acid causes the throat tissues to swell, creating a lump feeling.
23. Canker Sores are a mystery to modern medicine, they don't know why they happen and there is no cure.
24. Yellow fever came to the Americas aboard slave ships. Two hundred years later, it helped end slavery in Haiti. An epidemic broke out during the Haitian Revolution, killing two-thirds of the French army. It killed almost none of the slaves. France was therefore forced to surrender the island.
25. Marjolin's ulcer is a type of cancer that grows only on scar tissues and usually mostly from a burn injury. It is very aggressive and lethal.