Whenever people say “Oh I was born in the wrong decade/century!” it kind of makes you wonder if they realized how sick people got from, uh, everything back then. For many of us, pretty much anything before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin (1928) is a no. Still, part of the price we pay to live in glorious times such as these is that we don’t realize how good we have it. To help remind us of a few reasons why, despite it’s problems, living in the 2010’s is pretty amazing, here are 25 Illnesses And Diseases That Aren’t As Deadly As They Used To Be.
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Chicken Pox and Shingles
In 1995, a vaccine was developed for Chicken Pox and Shingles. While for most people, getting Chicken Pox was a weird right of passage where you spent the week slathered in calamine lotion watching Nickelodeon and were generally pretty itchy, feverish, and grumpy, now that there’s a vaccine for the virus that causes Chicken Pox and Shingles – the Varicella-Zoster virus – those days are over.
Diphtheria generally starts with a fever and sore throat (like nearly every illness ever), and can worsen into heart and nerve issues, an extremely swollen neck and weird white or grey things in your throat. It’s an infection caused by bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae. There’s a vaccine for it, and even if you do contract the infection, there’s antibiotics and advanced breathing assistance that can keep it from killing you.
RH-Negativity & Pregnancy
If you are RH negative, it means that your red blood cells lack a certain marker, called RH, within them. Generally, this causes no problems, and the overwhelming majority of people are Rh+. However, if an Rh-negative woman becomes pregnant, and the baby has Rh-positive blood, sometimes the mother’s immune system will attack the baby’s red blood cells. This used to cause all kinds of complications and even the death of the baby, but now, there’s a simple blood test doctors do in the first trimester of pregnancy, and if the mother is Rh-negative, she gets a few shots at specific times during pregnancy, and mom and babe are both happy and healthy.
Polio is largely eradicated in the West due to vaccines but is still quite common in parts of the world. It’s caused by a virus called Poliovirus and in 0.1%-0.05% of cases caused muscle weakness or paralysis, which sometimes lead to death; however, in most people with a normal immune system, polio is asymptomatic – meaning you have the virus, but you have no symptoms; you don’t actually get sick. It’s in those patients where the virus enters and infects the Central Nervous System that paralysis and other devastating symptoms occur.