Are we forgetting important diseases?

They lurk in the dark corners of our forgotten memories, but they are by no means gone. Global attention is still focused on malaria, Ebola, E. Coli and HIV and yet there are other diseases, long forgotten, that continue to claim lives in the darkness, when no one is looking.

Thanks to scientific research, technological advances and medicine, we have been able to control a multitude of diseases lowering their impact on the world; but only one has ever been completely wiped off the face of the earth – smallpox.

So, which diseases are still crippling our society when we least expect it?

  • Plague: Formally known as the Black Death, this deadly disease spread by rodents still claims 3,000 lives annually, mainly in Madagascar, Peru and India. The US reported 16 cases in 2015.

Our living conditions, incredible advancements in medical research and vaccinations have helped to reduce the incidence of these diseases. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to them, which is why it’s important to keep the conversation going. Some of these diseases made their comeback after the anti-vaccination movement, which began after an unaccredited report linked autism with vaccinations.

Before travelling make sure you and your family are up to date with the vaccinations and find out whether there are any further vaccinations required. If you’re packing up your life and settling in a country where these diseases are still present, don’t risk your health, even if the risk of contracting these diseases is low.

[Images: Eprunier; Michiel Sweerts; Center for Diseases Control (CDC); Edward ReevesTony Alter; Courier Company; Anonymous (Wikipedia)Sue ClarkCristobal RojasNational Museum of Health and MedicineRIBI Image Library]