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Ten Diseases That Can't Be Cured

By: Megan C.

5. Diabetes mellitus (Diabetes)

Fatality rate: unknown.

Diabetes is a syndrome characterized by disordered metabolism and abnormally high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia) resulting from insufficient levels of the hormone insulin. The characteristic symptoms are excessive urine production due to high blood glucose levels, excessive thirst and increased fluid intake attempting to compensate for increased urination, blurred vision due to high blood glucose effects on the eye's optics, unexplained weight loss, and lethargy.

In the developed world, diabetes is the most significant cause of adult blindness in the non-elderly and the leading cause of non-traumatic amputation in adult.

CDC poster from 1989 highlighting the threat of AIDS associated with drug use

4. AIDS

Fatality Rate: 100 percent.

AIDS is the byname of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome - a transmissible disease of the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

HIV slowly attacks and destroys the immune system, the body’s defense against infection, leaving an individual vulnerable to a variety of other infections and certain malignancies that eventually cause death. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, during which time fatal infections and cancers frequently arise.

According to the United Nations 2004 report on AIDS, some 38 million people are living with HIV, approximately 5 million people become infected annually, and about 3 million people die each year from AIDS. Some 20 million people have died of the disease since 1981.

3. Asthma

Fatality Rate: less than 5 percent.

Asthma is a chronic disorder of the lungs in which inflamed airways are prone to constrict, causing episodes of breathlessness, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness that range in severity from mild to life-threatening. Inflamed airways become hypersensitive to a variety of stimuli, including dust mites, animal dander, pollen, air pollution, cigarette smoke, medications, weather conditions, and exercise.

Asthmatic episodes may begin suddenly or may take days to develop. Although an initial episode can occur at any age, about half of all cases occur in persons younger than 10 years of age, with boys being affected more often than girls. Among adults, however, the incidence of asthma is approximately equal in men and women.

2. Cancer

Fatality Rate: Depends on type of cancer as well as size and location.

Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display the traits of uncontrolled growth (growth and division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood).

Cancer affects one in every three persons born in developed countries and is a major cause of sickness and death throughout the world.

Cold viruses are spread by aerosols created when a person sneezes

1. The Common Cold

Fatality Rate: 0 percent.

The common cold is a highly contagious, viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system.

Common symptoms are sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and cough; sometimes accompanied by 'pink eye', muscle aches, fatigue, malaise, headaches, muscle weakness, and/or loss of appetite. Fever and extreme exhaustion are more usual in influenza. The symptoms of a cold usually resolve after about one week, but can last up to two. Symptoms may be more severe in infants and young children.

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