Surely, you have heard about medical conditions like heart attack and stroke that can kill humans within hours. However, these are just a few of the many diseases / infections that can prove lethal in a very short time. To help you understand the risks, here’s a quick look at diseases and infections that can kill you within 24 hours.
Necrotizing fasciitis – Caused by one or more bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Necrotizing fasciitis is most commonly referred to as flesh-eating disease. That’s because the underlying infection causes rapid destruction of skin, fat cells and muscle tissue. Although the infection is curable if detected early, the risk of death is around 25% to 30%. Death usually occurs when the infection spreads rapidly, resulting in gangrene, shock, and multiple organ failure. The risk group includes people with weakened immune system, diabetes, peripheral artery disease, obesity, and cancer.
Epilepsy – Most people with epilepsy live a normal life as long as they are taking the required medication. However, there have been several cases of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), where death has occurred in seemingly normal patients taking their medicines regularly. It is estimated that around one individual in every 1000 epilepsy patients dies every year from SUDEP. SUDEP victims are often found lying face down on their bed. Researchers are yet to figure out what exactly causes SUDEP. Some experts say it could be due to irregular heart rhythm whereas others point out to breathing difficulty caused by a seizure.
Meningococcal disease – Caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, the infection can lead to meningitis or a lethal form of sepsis known as meningococcemia. One of the most common causes of death in meningococcal disease is the swelling of the brain’s protective lining and the spinal cord. Even with treatment, an average of one out of ten people will die from this disease. Some patients who survive will be left with conditions such as amputated limb, hearing loss, brain damage or other forms of disability.
Enterovirus D68 – Once considered rare, Enterovirus D68 outbreaks have become more common in recent years. The primary symptom is respiratory illness, which can range from mild to severe. Children are more at risk of contracting Enterovirus D68, as compared to adults. Enterovirus D68 in itself is rarely fatal, but other underlying health conditions may lead to quick death.
Chagas disease – Also known as American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. This parasite is usually found in the faeces of Triatominae insect. Initial symptoms are mild such as headaches, swollen lymph nodes, fever, etc. However, the disease can be lethal when it enters the chronic phase. In such cases, patients can die from sudden cardiac arrest or congestive heart failure.
It’s imperative that one should not ignore symptoms associated with these deadly diseases. It’s always better to consult a doctor. Leading a healthy lifestyle like eating healthy foods, exercising daily, avoiding stress and following proper hygiene can significantly boost your overall health. It will also keep your immune system primed to keep you safe from various diseases and infections.