We do not know what the next wave of infectious diseases will be, which the researchers fear even more than bird flu, for example. A new, very deadly disease that suddenly emerges would be the worst.
Type: Virus - influenza A H5N1.
Zoonosis: Yes, from birds.
Source of contamination: Direct contact with birds.
Incubation time: 1-3 days.
Symptoms: Fever, head and body pain. Respiratory problems, pneumonia and bleeding in the lungs.
Distribution: Especially in China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.
Sick: 447. Dead: 263.
Special: Bird flu is very deadly, but does not easily pass from person to person. A pandemic is possible, in the worst case with excesses such as with the Spanish flu.
Type: Bacterium - Coxiella burnetii.
Zoonosis: Yes, from cows, sheep, goats etc.
Source of contamination: Air or contact with animals.
Incubation time: 9-40 days.
Symptoms: High fever, fierce headache, dry cough, chills. The rare chronic Q fever needs four years of treatment.
Distribution: Livestock in large parts of the world.
Sick: Not known. More than 3500 in the Netherlands at the current outbreak. Kill: 1-2% with acute Q fever, 60% with chronic Q fever.
Special: Very contagious, because one bacterium is enough to light a person.
Type: Fixed an RNA virus that mutates quickly. A disease that is completely new to us.
Zoonosis: Yes. From an Asian cattle farm with a huge number of animals and little hygiene - or from the pristine rainforest.
Source of infection: Via a cold.
Incubation time: The blackest scenario is a virus infection such as HIV, which has a long incubation time but is contagious all the time.
Symptoms: The symptoms occur late.
Distribution: Fast, worldwide. Originates in Asia, Mexico, the Amazon or the Congo Basin.
Sick: 2 billion. Dead: 500 million.
Special: A new disease that overwhelms us.