PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What is the historical importance of bacterial and viral infections?

ANSWER

Throughout history, millions of people have died of diseases such as bubonic plague or the Black Death, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria, and smallpox, which is caused by the variola virus. In recent times, viral infections have been responsible for two major pandemics: the 1918-1919 “Spanish flu” epidemic that killed 20-40 million people, and the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic that killed an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide in 2013 alone.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Understanding Microbes in Sickness and in Health.”

MicrobeWorld.org: “Virus or Bacterium?” “Viral vs. Bacterial Reproduction.”

Merck Manual Second Home Edition: “Bacterial Infections,” “Viral Infections.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 23, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Understanding Microbes in Sickness and in Health.”

MicrobeWorld.org: “Virus or Bacterium?” “Viral vs. Bacterial Reproduction.”

Merck Manual Second Home Edition: “Bacterial Infections,” “Viral Infections.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 23, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What are symptoms of bacterial and viral infections?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: