5 Microbial Diseases That Could Kill You

What Are Microbial Diseases?

Microbial diseases are the diseases caused by microbes. There are 4 different types of microbes responsible. They are bacteria, virus, fungi and protozoa.

1) Rabies
Percent Mortality Rate: 100% if left untreated

Rabies is a fatal disease caused by rabies virus. Rabies virus resides in the saliva of a contaminated animal, which can further spread it by biting another animal or human. The most prevalent cause of rabies infection is dog bite.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 55,000 people die of rabies every year. Most reported cases are from Asia and Africa, where the population of stray dogs is higher.

Percent Mortality Rate: 80% if left untreated 

Deadly Microbial Diseases

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AIDS is the acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).


The virus attacks the immune system of the person contaminated, weakening it gradually. As infection advances, patient gets more and more susceptible to common ailments due to a weakened immune system, eventually leading to death. HIV virus can only be transmitted between two persons through direct contact of bodily fluids. In the year 2013, 1.5 Million people died of AIDS worldwide.

3) Ebola
Percent Mortality Rate: 70% is left untreated

Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a disease caused by the Ebola Virus. Humans as well as primates could be infected with this virus. Like HIV, Ebola is spread by direct contact with body fluids of the infected person. Once infected, the symptoms usually manifest in 2 weeks.


Although Ebola is a lethal disease, early detection and intervention can improve the chances of survival. Several Ebola outbreaks have occurred in the past few years, the latest being the West African outbreak of 2014, in which around 12,000 people lost their lives.

4) Tuberculosis
Percent Mortality Rate: 65% is left untreated

Tuberculosis or TB claims the second most number of lives worldwide. In 2013, 1.5 million people died of TB, out of the 9 million infected. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria.


TB is communicable and can spread from one person to another by air. The disease mostly attacks lungs. A person suffering from TB infection shows symptoms of chronic cough, night sweating and weight loss. If left untreated, the infection progresses to active disease, in which case the mortality rate is above 65%. Tuberculosis is treatable with proper medicine and care.

5) Avian Flu
Percent Mortality Rate: 60% is left untreated

Avian Flu, also commonly known as Bird Flu is caused by avian influenza virus. The virus infects birds with influenza, which can then infect humans, through direct or indirect contact. Human to human transmission can happen in cases of prolonged contact.


There are different strains of virus, out of which H5N1 is the most dangerous. Scientists fear a possible pandemic, if inter-human transmission of virus becomes easily possible.

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