As if cancer, stroke, and heart disease weren’t scary enough, there are plenty of other conditions out there that are potentially deadlier. Remember Aimee Copeland? She got a severe cut after falling into a rocky creek during a zip-line ride gone wrong in 2012. And that’s not the end of her story. She contracted a flesh-eating bacteria that resulted in several amputations and near death in just two days.
Copeland survived her incident, though many people in her situation do not. It’s a good reminder that we may not always know what to look out for. This is especially true for viruses and other conditions that can turn deadly in just a day. Here are nine that can kill you in 24 hours or less, and what you can do to prevent your demise.
1. Necrotizing fasciitis
If you don’t know this disease by its medical name, perhaps flesh-eating bacteria rings a bell. Necrotizing fasciitis is straight out of many of our nightmares, and as we saw with Aimee Copeland, it can be as devastating as its more common name suggests. WebMD explains it’s an infection in which the bacteria destroys fat, skin, and tissue covering the muscles. In rare cases, this bacteria can enter a wound and wreak havoc. Luckily, it’s pretty rare, but about one in four people who contract it die.
You have a higher risk of getting this infection if you already have a weakened immune system, have a chronic health issue like diabetes or cancer, or have undergone surgery recently and still have open wounds. Once contracted, you’ll notice the infected wound is red, swollen, and extremely painful. The infection can spread extremely quickly, causing shock, gangrene, organ failure, and eventually, death.
Next: This disease sometimes looks like nothing more than a bad cold.