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12 Medical Conditions That Can Kill You in 24 Hours or Less

Reader's Digest Logo By Jessica Migala of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 13: Of course, there are heart attacks and strokes that can lead to sudden death. But when it comes to infectious diseases, many factors come into play that will determine if you get sickā€”and how sick you get, says Robert Citronberg, MD, director of infectious diseases at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Genetics can predispose someone to illness, and the aggressiveness of a certain strain of bacteria or virus can make it lethal. But as you read through this list, know that the infections that kill quickly aren't common. 'They're rare but memorable when you see people with them,' he says.

Some diseases can be extremely deadly

Of course, there are heart attacks and strokes that can lead to sudden death. But when it comes to infectious diseases, many factors come into play that will determine whether you get sick—and how sick you get, says Robert Citronberg, MD, director of infectious diseases at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Genetics can predispose someone to illness, and the aggressiveness of a certain strain of bacteria or virus can make it lethal. But as you read through this slide show, know that the infections that kill quickly aren't common. 'They're rare but memorable when you see people with them,' Citronberg says.
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