While heart attacks and strokes can, of course, lead to sudden death, when it comes to infectious diseases, many factors come into play that will determine if you get sick – and how sick you get. The good news? Infections that kill quickly are rare.
One of the world’s biggest killers, stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer, according to the Stroke Foundation. A stroke happens when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain (or the blood vessel ruptures), which cuts off oxygen to the brain. In the case of an ischemic stroke, clot-busting medications can be given to save your life – but typically within three hours. Find out the 6 signs of a stroke you might be ignoring.
The mosquito-borne illness can be found in parts of the world such as South America, Africa, and Asia. ‘A particular type of malaria parasite, called P. falciparum, can be life-threatening,’ says Dr. Citronberg, a director of infectious diseases in the US. He explains that the parasite quickly destroys red blood cells, which have the key role in delivering oxygen to your body tissues. If you are travelling overseas, he recommends seeing a travel medicine specialist or doctor who may recommend taking medications that prevent malaria. Check out these 10 conditions mosquitoes love – and some they don’t.
Dengue is another mosquito-borne infection that causes flu-like symptoms, and half the world’s population is at risk, according to the World Health Organisation. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, and joint pain. However, the illness can develop into a complication called ‘severe dengue,’ which can be marked by severe abdominal pain and uncontrollable vomiting, which can turn deadly. A patient needs to seek help within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of these symptoms. ‘Unlike malaria, there is no medicine to prevent dengue. All you can do is use liberal amounts of mosquito repellent,’ says Dr. Citronberg. Read here to find out how to be less of a mosquito magnet.