8 Interesting Facts About Common Diseases

You'll probably be surprised by these interesting facts about common disease. We're sure you haven't heard them before!
8 Interesting Facts About Common Diseases

Last update: 26 May, 2022

The human body and mind still hold endless secrets that science has not been able to reveal. However, over the years, researchers have been able to uncover several curious facts about common diseases.

In this article, we want to share some of these revelations with you. We’re sure that more than one will leave you speechless! Are you ready?

Let’s take a look!

Interesting facts about common diseases

1. By the time you turn 75, you’ll have suffered at least 150 colds

A woman with a cold, a very common disease.
Everybody catches between 2 and 5 colds per year.

Different studies have concluded that each of us usually suffers from two to five colds a year. If you take into account the current life expectancy in Spain, for instance, (83 years), everyone will have suffered at least 166 colds in their life!

2. The cold virus is not just one virus

Of course not! In fact, there are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold. For this reason, the human body never develops resistance to this disease. Among the most common viruses that cause colds are rhinoviruses and coronaviruses.

3. Children can have up to 12 colds in a year

Parents can attest that this is true. How many times has your kid caught a cold, gets better for two days, and comes home from school with snot hanging again?

4. A quarter of people with colds do not experience symptoms

We all know the symptoms of colds. After all, it’s one of the most common diseases.

However, not everyone knows that some people can be infected with one of the cold viruses and not have a cough, sneeze, or runny nose.

5. A sneeze can travel as fast as 60 km per hour (37 mph)!

A woman sneezing into a tissue.
A sneeze moves about as fast as a greyhound!

The reality is that measuring the speed of a sneeze isn’t easy, but this is what specialists calculated. For a bit of perspective, greyhounds can run 60 km/h!

In some cases, a sneeze can even exceed this speed and the saliva drops can fall up to five meters away!

6. Viruses from common diseases can survive on various surfaces.

When you sneeze, you spread the virus around you and it can stay active on different surfaces. For example, the flu virus can survive about 24 hours, and the cold virus, up to seven days!

Now, do you understand why it’s so important to cover your mouth with your elbow when you sneeze? That way, you avoid infecting others.

7. The flu is constantly evolving

A kid getting her temperature checked for common diseases.
Every year new strains of the flu appear.

The flu is one of the common diseases that people contract the most throughout their lives. Surely you know that there are three classes of Influenza: A (this is the most virulent and affects humans and birds), B (this is the most common and affects only humans), and C (this is less common and affects humans and animals).

However, every year new strains of each type of Influenza appear. For this reason, vaccines can’t always protect you, and you may still end up getting sick.

8. In the last century, we’ve had several influenza epidemics

Today, the flu is a common disease that people don’t usually pay attention to. However, as we’ve already seen, it’s extremely easy to transmit through saliva and can also cause complications such as pneumonia.

  • The Spanish flu lasted from 1918 to 1919 and affected 40% of the world’s population. In fact, it claimed the lives of approximately 50 million people around the world. One interesting fact: Despite its name, it did not originate in Spain, but in the United States.
  • The Asian flu originated in China in 1957 due to the mutation of a virus transmitted by wild ducks in combination with a human strain.
  • The Hong Kong flu left approximately one million dead. Thanks to technological advances, they developed a vaccine that prevented further loss of human life.
  • The swine flu of 1976 caused more than 12,000 victims and caused panic among the population since the virus was similar to that of the great epidemic of 1918.
  • Bird flu had its first outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997. The virus was identified as H5N1 and after being controlled, it reappeared in 2003 in Asia and Europe.

As you can see, although you know how to act against common diseases, there are many facts you might not have known. We hope we’ve surprised you with some of these interesting facts.

Until next time!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.