180 Million People Have This Disease, Yet Few Are Aware of It

Infectious diseases are everywhere, and according to Smart Global Health they're blamed for 16% of global deaths each year. Breaking these deaths down based on data from the World Health Organization, these include close to 4 million respiratory infection deaths annually (e.g., pneumonia), malaria -- which can claim up to 3 million lives per year -- HIV and AIDS, which account for roughly 2.5 million deaths, and tuberculosis, which is the primary cause of death for about 1.7 million people annually.

Right now the disease everyone's paying attention to is Ebola, a virus that presents with flu-like systems but can have serious, and often fatal, consequences. But putting things into context Ebola hasn't become a huge global killer. Thus far the death toll has crossed 4,000. This is a saddening figure, but it pales in comparison to the annual death toll from HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, for example.

180 million have this disease, but few know it!
There is, however, another deadly disease in existence that, based on data from the World Health Organization, affects an estimated 180 million people, or 3% of the world's population. Though it may not be as lethal as Ebola in terms of how quickly it kills it victims, this global disease can, in its chronic state, lead to liver damage, liver disease, liver cancer, or even death. Within just the U.S., it's a disease that claims 15,000 lives annually.