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The Odd Diseases Most People Die From in Every U.S. State

The U.S. may be divided, however nearly every state dies from the same causes: heart disease and cancer. After these two fatal diseases, stroke, respiratory disease, and accidents follow suit. While over 1 million people die from these diseases, that doesn’t account for the other 2.5 million people on average who die per year.

The CDC released a comprehensive list that details some of the oddest diseases prevalent in each of the 50 U.S. states — and some of them may surprise you. The causes of death represent, at most, 1.8% of all deaths in a given state. So, what is plaguing your state?

Missouri and Washington: Meningitis

A doctor vaccinates a patient in the arm.

A doctor vaccinates a patient in the arm. Meningitis is a common disease in certain states. | Fotograv/iStock/Getty Images

About 1,000 people get meningococcal disease (meningitis) each year in the U.S. The likelihood of getting the disease is greater in Washington and Missouri, with 78 cases reported among the two states over the course of the study.

Although meningococcal disease, or meningitis, is somewhat rare, 10 to 14% of infected people die from it. In instances where it is not fatal, the disease can lead to permanent brain damage, loss of hearing, loss of arms and legs, and potentially lifelong disability according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Next: What’s stumping New Jersey residents.

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