Top 10 Infectious Diseases


The common cold has no cure. Scientists have been trying for centuries to find the cure, which would undoubtedly make our lives easier. However, the common cold has nothing on these 10 infectious diseases. The diseases are, for lack of a better word, so viral that there is a high percentage chance that you will die from the complications. Some of these diseases have vaccinations, some have preventive measures while others are simply deadly with little chance of survival. To be included on this list, the virus has to have been a major cause of death in history with ranking based on fatality rates and impact worldwide. However, if a disease has been contained it will be lower on the list.

10. Smallpox

A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of smallpox virus particles.

A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of smallpox virus particles.

This variola virus had many forms and continues to be a required vaccination for many countries. Smallpox in its worse forms – hemorrhagic and flat – had the highest fatality rates with only a 10 percent or less chance of survival. Fortunately this disease has been the only one on this list to be completely eradicated from nature since it is only contagious through humans.

9. Typhoid fever

Image result for typhoid fever

Perhaps one of the least lethal diseases on this list, the fatality rate of typhoid fever is only 10-30 percent. But the symptoms show up in stages over a period of three weeks and, in most cases, are not fatal. That said, the disease can stay dormant in a person who has overcome it and then be passed on to another person. The most famous case of this was the American cook in the early 1900s known as “Typhoid Mary” Mallon.

8. Influenza

Image result for Influenza

Perhaps the scariest virus on this list is one that anyone anywhere can contract – influenza. Luckily, the flu is easily identified and in most countries easily combated. However, young children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to flu. And the most famous strain was the Spanish Flu, which was estimated to have killed 2-5 percent of the human population in 1918-1919. Thankfully that strain has never been seen again; however, the flu virus is famous for mutating from animals to humans.

7. Bubonic Plague

This plague is transmitted through infected fleas and kills about 70 percent of its victims in 4-7 days. The most well known epidemic was the Black Death in Medieval times when it was rumored to have killed about 25 million in Europe alone and another 50 million across the world. The bubonic plague is often characterized by swollen lymph nodes though the modern world has seen few breakouts.

6. Cholera

Normally a human gets cholera from eating or drinking infected food or water. And untreated, the disease will progress from massive diarrhea to shock in 4-12 hours and possibly death within 18 hours or several days. Luckily, with oral rehydration therapy, a person can survive from cholera; however, in its most severe form, cholera can kill within three hours. But good sanitation practices can curb an outbreak. As the old saying goes – don’t drink the water – in many underdeveloped countries.

5. Anthrax

While anthrax has been used as a biological weapon before, a person dies from anthrax after inhalation of the spores or through eating or coming in contact with animals who have ingested the spores. Once contaminated, the bacteria quickly multiples and kills its host by producing two lethal toxins. Death can take from two days up to a month from the cold like symptoms, which then lead to serious breathing problems, shock and the eventual fatality. Large amounts of antibiotics have been shown to be able to stop the disease. A vaccine is known, then again there are also antibiotic-resistant strains of anthrax.

4. Malaria

This vector-borne infectious disease still has outbreaks of more than 500 million per year with anywhere between 1-3 million deaths when not treated properly. Fortunately with treatment, a person with malaria can expect a full recovery though like many of the diseases on this list, there is no vaccine. However, it has been noted that the deaths caused by Malaria occur on average about one every 30 seconds.


Image result for SARS disease

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has seen only one major outbreak in Asia a few years ago. In most cases, the disease in its viral pneumonia form has a fatality rate of about 70 percent with the highest fatality rate among victims over the age of 65. Supposedly the Chinese government created a vaccine that was effective in about two-thirds of the test groups; however, outside of that many of the treatments have proven to cause just as many problems as SARS itself. What doesn’t cure you, will kill you?

2. Ebola

A discovery in the last 30 years, this strain of viruses has a fatality rate between 50-89 percent. Known to be devastating to both humans and animals, Ebola will kill a person within a week to two weeks usually from multiple organ failure or hypovelmic shock. A Canadian company recently reported that they have created a vaccine that is effective in 99 percent of the test cases of monkeys. Unfortunately, no vaccine or treatment has been approved for humans at this time.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leads to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which cripples a human’s immune system. AIDS has been categorized as an epidemic by the CDC and the life expectancy has been extended despite the lack of a vaccination or cure. While on its own, the Ebola virus is much more deadly in the short term, most AIDS victims eventually succumb to death from an AIDS related sickness.

Other Articles you Might Like
Liked it? Take a second to support on Patreon!


  1. The have been two viruses that have been wiped out, Smallpox and Rinderpest. And the “Spanish Flu” made a reappearance a few years ago but was more commonly known as H1N1 or the Swine Flu.

    • Those claiming small pox doesn’t exist anymore are incorrect. The US and Russian both still posses small pox and it’s possible others do as well. Given that it was weaponized by the former Soviet Union and those stockpiles are not entirely accounted for, the potential remains that we could see it again someday. Either in it’s natural form or as the recombinant chimera virus ebola-pox which was successfully engineered by Biopreparat scientists.

  2. Rabies should be number one, it has the highest case to fatality rate and is far more painful than Ebola. Yes, there is a vaccine but 55,000 people still die every year, a few in the US, mainly from bat bites that go undetected. Once you do get it, you’re almost certainly dead within 10-14 days. Early symptoms are common and go undetected.

    Many of the so called viruses mentioned are of course, not viral, but bacterial. Ebola is bad but I’d much rather have that than rabies. A few have survived but these are mainly very young people with amazing immune systems that have been put into drug comas, this has been tried and failed about 90 percent of the time.

    • It’s true Ebola has a higher Mortality rate, but I agree rabies is worst because Ebola rarely appears, and even then, only in the developing world.

      • No it doesn’t, since we have identified rabies only 10 poeple have ever survived it after the first symptoms appear (thats a 99.9% mortality rate). Ebola only has a 50% – 90% mortality rate (depending on the strain) which makes rabies a much deadlier virus.

        It also controls the creatures thoughts by making it more violent and increasing the chances of infection, it makes the host salivate much more than usual which means more of the virus is in the mouth where it transmits itself. The most interesting part of rabies is that it makes the host terrified of drinking fluids (hyrdophobia), this in turn means that there is a less chance of the host washing the salvia from the mouth, even the mere thought of drinking causes excruciatingly painful spasms of the muscles in the throat and larynx

        You go completely crazy with paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, paranoia, terror, and hallucinations, progressing to delirium…

        The worst part is that rabies is present in every part of the world apart from Australia and New Zealand, that means that you can catch it absoultly anywhere (outside of the forementioned countries)

  3. There is only one virus in this world and all the others come from this one virus. This one virus is called sin. Sin is a virus, and according to the bible, in a full blown state, sin causes death. Following sin on a regular basis, causes all these other diseases to come about in our bodies. Sin causes the body to break down. The only cure for sin is Jesus Christ. Laugh if you must, but it is the truth. Knowledge is power. Jesus is the truth, the life and the way, to a better and more healthy life. If you reply to this as being wrong, or incorrect in anyway, I pray for you to open your bible and tell me different, see it for your self. Jesus is the cure for what ales you.

  4. To me d most deadliest disease is istheamic heart disease. And point of correction homosexuals have high risk of getting aids than heterosexuals. And typhoid is caused by salmonella typhi which is a bacterial and treated with antibiotic-chloraphenicol and cholera is caused by bacteria(vibro cholerae)

  5. Also a new virus (well i say new but been around a while) Hepatitis C possibly D,E,F… Goes unnoticed until it has completely scarred and damaged the liver… Not a quick death but dangerous if left unmanaged with very little treatment to clear it, if It can clear it.

  6. The title of the article is misleading, I was expecting a list of diseases with the highest mortality rates not a list of diseases that have killed many (though SARS and Ebola seem out of place in this list of number of deaths). If this was based on mortality rate then Rabies would be #1 as it was 100% fatal once symptoms appeared (before 2004). After a new experimental treatment was developed in 2004 the mortality rate is 92% which is still quite high. Ebola would probably be 2nd since it’s mortality rates range from 50-90%.

  7. Ebola? Really?

    it happened once in an African village and since then has never been a threat to anything other than the primate population of that area or a couple of television shows of that time that were made for shock value. other that the localized ebola outbreak it has never been a threat to spread.

    • I think Ebola was mentioned because the list appears to be a mixture of diseases that either killed a lot of people or diseases that have high mortality rates. With Ebola, those who are infected there’s a 50-90% chance of dying from it. However, none of these diseases hold a candle to rabies which is nearly 100% fatal once symptoms appear.

      • Very true, rabbies got snubbed! Everyone is saying oh it doesnt kill many ppl… What are they smoking? Rabbies is still very a very serious problem in almost every third world contry. And at one time before pasture’s vacc was completed it was among the most feared infectious diseases anywhere. In more developed countries like US UK FRANCE ECT animals are vaccinated and if ppl recieve a bite from a suspected carrier they recieve a vacc so its not a big problem here but its not like that on the rest of the ?planet ppl, rabbies kills many ppl every year and a grand total of 3 ppl have survived it after becoming symptomatic in history lol.

  8. Hiv can be controlled but due to lust its out of control , ebola is the most letal second is the common flu , these virus human have no control of and will kill within a short period , many virus are man made and are a business tool

    • the good news is though, now they have past a law before you can enter the African Continent you have to get screened for Aids/Hiv, if you are coming from USA/UK or India. i think that this is a brilliant idea, because we all know alot of racist sick people are just bringing the AIDS virus to Africa to kill and murder people.

      Aids didn’t come from Homosexuality, Homosexuals have been around since the start of mankind/human nature/cave man and Aids wasn’t discovered until 1981. we all know AIDS was just a manmade virus to kill people off.

      Viruses were just basically created to use as a biological weapon to kill people!

      Flus evolve and have different types of strains every year, so no true cure for the Flu!
      and Ebola…. who cares? you have a better chance of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning 10X than to catch Ebola!

      • I didn’t think Aids was manmade, i know someone who lived through the time of Aids! And i don’t get how HIV was passed on from monkeys to humans???

      • Actually HIV has been found in bodies from the 60’s in the US and as far back as the 30’s in africa i believe. It was givin a name and classification in 81. Mind you these are recent developments brought to lite over the past 10yrs or so. It is not a man made virus created to kill ppl it was and still is a mutating virus that has made its way from primates to us.

    • The black death isn’t around anymore, it was around in like the 1500’s or around then! But it did kill millions of people! It actually came from some sailors in France who went to Britain and then people in Britain went on holiday and spread it around the world or something like that!

  9. Seriously SARS? It was nothing! The common flu killed more people. It was all a media hype and scare.

    • yeah SARS was a joke, alot of it was just media scare, stuff thats truly deadly rarely gets covered by the media!

  10. Honestly, Ebola should be number one. It’s just as infectious ad HIV/AIDS, and ebola does the same thing in ten days that it takes HIV ten years to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rare virus; its still the most dangerous.

    • well yeah Ebola can kill you within 10days, and you can be carrying Aids/HIV for 10years and no show any symptoms.
      but cholera can kill you within 3hrs (in its most severe form,due to Dehydration)
      Typhoid can kill you within 7hrs to a week(due to dehydration)

      Typhoid,cholera,Malaria,Anthrax,and Bubonic Plague,Flu can kill you within hours/days. faster than Ebola or Aids. which ever virus can kill you faster is considered more deadly!

      the trick to survive cholera is drink lots of sugar water,and alittle bit of salt water.
      small pox doesnt even exist anymore.

      the diseases thats probably will never have a true cure is the Flu,Typhoid,and Anthrax

      because there are different strains of them viruses every year and are constantly developing resistants to antibiotics!

      • Wasn’t the list abt the top 10 most infectious disease’s… 1st of all how many people a day get infected with HIV/AIDS? Exactly a lot of people,though it takes long to kill you but it is the most infectious disease…

      • “because there are different strains of them viruses every year and are constantly developing resistants to antibiotics!”

        Of COURSE these viruses are resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotics are not, or should not if the doctor has bought a clue, to be used on viruses. Antibiotics are used to help or cure Bacterial infections.

  11. What about tuberculosis, it can be carried in your body for as long as it wants even when it is over which is like typhoid but is so much more dangerous, contagious, deadly and also puts a lot of stress in you because you know it will stay with you for a long time.

    • kalvin walkman on

      actually, its like this. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease, which only attacks people who have health problems or a very weak immune system. not as many people catch or suffer from Tuberculosis like they do Typhoid. one thing you have to understand is, Typhoid is basically Food poisoning, typhoid is not airborne or caught thru sexual contact. and it doesnt matter how strong/healthy,and tough you are, Food poisoning can basically Terrorize/attack,and kill anybody even if you are the strongest person in perfect health or never had health problems. Typhoid is Caused by Salmonella Poisoning and yes Typhoid and Anthrax have both been used as Biological weapons. Food poisoning will and can kill anyone and it will attack anyone even if you have never had health problems/medical conditions. but what makes Typhoids so deadly and dangerous is the intense unlimited number of complications as the guy was mentioning in the above post. if typhoid was just a fever….. then it wouldnt be deadly and it would just be considered a common cold. but since typhoid lasts about 3weeks to 4 weeks. in the 3rd or 4th week is when complications develop. pretty much everyone who catches typhoid fever survives the Shock (high fever,unstoppable intense sweating, tachcardia(intense high heart pulse) but…. its the complications that many people do not survive with Typhoid! thats why Typhoid is so deadly and yes it can mix up and start destroying your F4 cells, which leads to Aids. and there is no cure for Aids and Typhoids can cause Mengeitis which has no cure and if does can cause brain damage.

      i do wish they would find a true cure for Typhoids though, even after 10 or 15 years. people still have had relapses of Typhoid. the baculli from typhoid stays and hides in your body. my advice is just to keep drinking water to get it out and avoid/give up soda/coffee/tea.

      • My friends’ brother has tubercolosis. Why should we avoid soda/coffee/tea (if you don’t mind me asking).? I have a piece of work to do and i have to research all about the top ten most deadly diseases. I think Typhoid, Cholera and Malaria are the most deadly!

  12. You guys are stupid, if you think cancer is an infectious disease. The deadliest virus is Ebola.

    • yeah…. but your chances of getting EBOLA is less than 1%. it is very rare and can only happen if your in Africa (like sudan) and come into close contact with corpses,sexual contact thru human or infected primates (monkeys) who carry the disease.

      like the other guy sayed….. ebola doesnt even exist. your chances are like 1 in 400million sort of like getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery.

      we have to pay attention and show focus on diseases that can kill within hours/days and diseases that are very/more common.

      • Despite the fact that Ebola is extremely rare, it is the most potent disease if you actually get it. It has a high transmission rate and it’s symptoms are without a doubt the worst on Earth. Hypocoagulation, depersonalization, massive hemorrhaging. Need I go on?

  13. lobby stanford on

    i do agree. cholera is not as deadly as typhoid fever. if you catch cholera. all you have to do is be hooked up to an iv fluid, then your cured. typhoid can keep relapsing and has serious number of complications. the death rate for cholera is only 134,000 a year. while about 1million die from typhoid every year.
    Aids is not that deadly, people can have aids for 20years and not show any symptoms. but dieases that can kill you within hours is typhoid and anthrax.

    probably the most deadly diseases on this list are typhoid and anthrax. your chance of getting sars or ebola doesnt even exist……so nothing to worry bout

  14. “Typhoids probably the least lethal”

    i somewhat disagree with this list!

    typhoid should be on there as number 5 after malaria. because typhoid is also caused by baculli and it can hide in your body for years (including spleen and gall bladder). typhoid can keep relapsing! cholera is deadly,but once its cured it is cured! you can not be a carrier or cholera,but you can be a carrier of Typhoid. and typhoid can lead to so many complications like colon cancer,chrons disease, hepatitis A+B, meningitis,internal hemorhag, and even Aids by making your body immune system very weak. it can go into your bone marrow and give you 0 white blood cells,and with 0 white blood cells anything can kill you like a common cold or small infection!

    typhoid is more deadly than people think! maybe many people might not get it as much as malaria. but lower numbers of infectious diseases tend to be more deadly. since 500 million people get malaria, its is more common and can be treated easier. but since only 20million get typhoids. typhoids tend to be more deadly because it isnt very common.

    who ever wrote the article about typhoid doesnt know much about it. most people who survive typhoid have to be very strong.

    • Apparrently the worst diseases worldwide are Cholera, Typhoid, Typhus and Malaria!!! In my opinion Typhoid is most deadly!

    • swine flu isnt that deadly. its just like a common cold.

      diseases that can kill you within hours.

    • Influenza has already been mentioned. Swine flu was merely a strain of it that originated from pigs. New strains of influenza develop quite regularly (as with many other viruses and infectious disease) – and will continue to do so so long as we live.

      Which is why it’s not always so bad to catch the flu – because your body will be prepared for later more advanced strains as they come, rather than suddenly catching one horribly nasty flu your body may not be able to handle.

        • That was in 1918 after World War 1, Medical science has come a long way since then, Even
          HIV is no longer a death sentence, there must be at least 30 Anti HIV drugs to keep the Virus in check,

        • HIV is still very much a killer, the drugs we have still carry toxic side effects which can damage the liver after years of use. Why do you think doctors and scientists still emphasize prevention. Not taking the drugs correctly can result in drug resistant strains and as I mentioned before they all damage your body. Our current antivirals damage healthy cells as well not only infected ones. I remember back in 1998 the death toll of HIV/AIDS was around 32,000 a year in the U.S. alone. In 2008, with dozens of drugs at our disposal the death toll had only dropped 50% to 16,000 a year. So, you can see that the drugs are not the miracle many believe them to be and they’re also quite expensive.

  15. Using viruses as biological weapons is one of the nastiest techniques human beings have come up with for war.

  16. Anyone ever hear of Morgellons? it can be spread, it attacks heart, CNS, meninges, connective tissue, it produces cancerlike necrosis, anthrax-like…it is MISDIAGNOSED…it kills, it is DENIED by the medical society.

    • I agree with you morgellons should be on there it is a killer diease that is painfull..

  17. This list is accurate but…rabies should be up there and smallpox isn't here anymore so i dont know if it should be up there.

    • it mentioned smallpox due to its effect on humanity historically. It may not be a particularly prominent disease today, but back then it was a real killer.

      And rabies simply just doesn’t kill enough people to make it to the top 10 – rabies is just relatively scary, thats why it gets so much attention.

  18. You people don't know what your talking about. Cancer is not on there because it cannot be spread and swine flu isn't that bad; the rest are fine.

    • It wouldn’t make it to the top 10 list – that and Influenza was already mentioned – the ‘flu’ is short for influenza, and the swine flu is merely a particular strain of the flu that the world suddenly made a huge fuss about.

  19. i think dorkulosis should be on there because I have it and am the only one in my family

  20. I would add Tuberculosis. It is the number one infectious disease killer around the world. Just a thought.

  21. This is a nice list. However, one disease that has not yet escaped to the public isn't on there. Ebolapox. The Soviet Union manufactured the Ebola and Smallpox viruses together to form Ebolapox. With a 100% fatality rate, Ebolapox needs to be on this list. Ebolapox can also easily be formed into an aerosol form. Ebolapox is also extremely contagious. Though at the top, you said that viruses were rated by fatality rates and impact on the world. This virus has not yet broken out of Russian labs. I think it's only a matter of time.

    Re: Eri!: Rabies kills only 4 people a year, not exactly a huge deal.

    Re: Jimbo: MRSA has not yet had a major effect on humanity.

  22. Phil – I was striving for a shorter title, but obviously it made the list incorrect. I have put the author's original title back: Top 10 Infectious Diseases.

  23. Things on this list that are not viruses

    1. Typhoid fever

    2. Plague

    3. Cholera

    4. Anthrax

    5. Malaria

    So, half of 10 things that are deadly viruses

      • This isn’t strictly discussing viruses; the page specifically says 10 Most Infectious Diseases. Not viruses. However, alie, malaria really isn’t a disease. It’s a parasite.

    • Typhoid,Cholera,Anthrax,and malaria are all Viruses!! (living Bacteria,parasites)
      do you know what the difference between a virus and a disease is?

      a disease is something only affects certain people or people with health problems, a Virus can affect and kill anybody, even if you are healthy or never had any health problems.

      There are no true cures for Viruses!! basically Viruses have to Run their course or your body has to fight it off.

      even many doctors and researchers are complaining about Typhoid fever, as to wether it truly has a cure, because many Typhoid sufferers are still suffering and running Fever at night after 5 or 10 years. viruses become apart of your body and they are able to survive at human body temperature and they can trick/cheat bloodtests showing up as (-)Negative!

      notice how alot of people who catch viruses tend to live short lives, because even though through the doctor tests show up negative and everything looks normal, inside your body the Virus is slowly killing you!

      viruses are hard to detect and can not be seen in your blood and only blood tests can detect so much.

      everything on this top 10 list is Viruses! most of which are man made!!

      • ContestClub265 on

        No they aren’t. Viruses are completely different then bacterial infections and parasitic diseases. The parasite Plasmodium (the one that causes Malaria) is a completely different organism than the virus Ebola. Anthrax, Cholera, and Typhiod Fever are are bacterial infections. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. Anthrax is mistaking for being a fungal infection because of the term spores used to describe it, though it is actually a sporing bacteria. So next time you post something, make sure you know the facts and don’t act stupid. So you are completely wrong, and how in the world could you think those are viruses?

        • I disagree! Yes they are viruses! I know because I have to do a poster on different viruses and these have to be on the poster, so they are obviously viruses!

        • That’s the same thing as saying, “I read about it in a book, so it must be true!”
          Heard of fiction?

        • These comment sections are always painful to read. I always assume ppl are way smarter then what they actually are:

          Parasite: an animal the is dependent of another animal, which in the process of survival causes harm to the host. Examples: worms, ticks, fleas, malaria.

          Bacteria:. A single celled organism, majority of which dont cause disease. A select few opportunistic bacteria and when growing inside of human produce toxic byproducts which can lead to severe illness.

          Virus: not alive as it cannot reproduce, but merely replicate. A virus is simply a small bit of dna or RNA wrapped in a protein which gains entry into a cell, and forces the cell to make more virus until the cell destroys it self, bursting and releasing thousands of more viruses.

          All three are completely different, unrelated conditions for disease only about half of the list above are viruses.

      • Malaria is a parasite.
        Cholera, Anthrax, and Bubonic Plague are all bacteria.
        And did you think that living bacteria and parasites are viruses?
        Oh my.

      • Wade pass… you maybe be one of the dumbest people I have ever come across. If you are not sure of an answer simply say I don’t know. It sounds a lot better than the garbage you try to tell the others on here.

      • ContestClub is correct. Malaria is actually caused by a Protist a single cell organism that is much larger than a bacteria.

    • Actually there is a difference between diseases because viruses cant be killed once they are inside of your body unless your blood cell eat the copies. and bacteria can be killed be cause it is alive and viruses arent alive nor are they dead they are basically a non-adimate object which means as i said before it is not alive nor is it dead it is like a table is was never alive.