Weird and Not-So-Wonderful Diseases

This article was posted on 22 August 2016

Posted in Health Cover

Acquired diseases clipart 1

We have all been faced and forced to cope with an ailment that we might think is the worst. An infection, a virus or even the common cold and flu can be a terrifying experience at large but seeing a doctor and having to discover that you have some sort of unusual and horrific disease can shock even the bravest of folks to the core of their being.


Here are some of the most bizarre disorders afflicting the human race.

Lymphatic Filariasis

Commonly known as Elephantiasis, this disease is a parasitic infection caused by the roundworm family. It causes the arms, legs and in some cases the genitals to swell severely.

It is transferred by mosquito (usually female) bites where the bite will create a parasite that grows into a worm which makes a nest in the lymphatic system of the body.

Symptoms of this disease includes painful swelling of the infected parts of the body, say arms, legs or genitals. The skin will also become much thicker (harder) and the skin colour will appear to be much darker – appearing to look like an elephant.

Because there is no vaccine available as yet, antibiotics are used to combat the infection and although a surgical procedure can be done it has proven to be unsuccessful with Elephantiasis of the limbs.



Polydactyly (polys refers to ‘many’ and dactylys refers to ‘fingers’) is a condition where humans (and some animals) have one or more extra fingers and or toes.

The condition is genetically transmitted so if you have a familial medical history where Polydactyly has been present, the chances of you inheriting it is very likely. Even if only one of your parents have the disorder, you can still get it.

The extra fingers or toes can be surgically removed depending on how it connect to the rest of the hand or foot.



More commonly referred to as Werewolf Syndrome, this is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation where an irregular and unusual amount of hair grows all over the body.

Hypertrichosis can either be present at birth or you can develop it at a later stage in your life. This is a very rare and uncommon condition with less than 100 cases documented in the world.

There is no cure for Hypertrichosis as treatments such as homeopathy and laser surgery has proven to be unsuccessful however cosmetic procedures can be used for temporary hair relief.


Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome

Shortly known as Progeria is one of the rarest diseases known to man with reports of cases where only 1 in every 8 million people are born with it.

Symptoms include rapid aging and people who suffers from this disease typically live to their mid-teens to early twenties. At least 90% of patients die from complications of atherosclerosis, such as heart attack or stroke

There is no treatment available for this disease but complications such as cardiovascular disease can be reduced with surgery.


- Enzo Leigh Botes


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