Humans have been battling viruses since before our species had even evolved into its modern form. For some viral diseases, vaccines and antiviral drugs have allowed us to keep infections from spreading widely, and have helped sick people recover.
Despite modern sanitary practices, prevention strategies, and vaccines, there is much to fear from tiny imperialistic pathogens—invisible to all but the most powerful microscopes—that invade our cells to replicate, messing them up like a coke-fueled rock band destroys a hotel room after a concert.
All the hand sanitizer, face masks, and toilet paper in the world can’t save us from some of history’s nastiest viruses and the horrifying diseases they cause in humans.
Here are 12 of the most dangerous viruses the world has ever seen.
- MERS-CoV : Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS
- Hepatitis B Virus
- Ebola virus
- Marburg virus
- SARS-CoV Severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS,