The International Vaccine Institute collaborated with Seoul-based artists, designers, models, and photographer create striking images to raise awareness of neglected diseases. The concept was to use reproductions of the diseases cells painted onto models to attract attention to some of the diseases that affect the lives of millions around the globe.

The Deadly Beauty campaign seeks to start a discussion of some of the neglected diseases that strike the poor, particularly children, in developing nations as well as the good work done at the International Vaccine Institute to help by discovering, developing and delivering safe, effective and affordable vaccines for the world’s developing nations.

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Enteric Fever

Annual deaths – 216,000 worldwide. Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are enteric illnesses that are caused by different strains of bacteria commonly acquired by consumption of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Enteric fever is common in the developing world, where it affects about 22 million people each year with an estimated 90% of cases occurring in South and Southeast Asia.


Total cases: 9,216 and rising (as of October 14, 2014); total deaths – 4,000+ (2014 outbreak). Ebola is a severe acute viral illness that spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. The case of fatality for Ebola is up to 90%. The 2014 West Africa outbreak is the largest scale and most severe outbreak recorded.


Annual deaths – 100,000 to 130,000 worldwide; at risk – 3 to 5 million reported. Children less than the age of five years are at highest risk for getting the disease, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia where the disease burden is greatest. Although the provision and establishment of safe water, food, and sanitation systems continues to be at the root of cholera prevention, these measures can’t be fully implemented in the near future in most areas where cholera is endemic.

Dengue Fever

Annual deaths – 21,000 worldwide; at risk – 3.6 billion. Since the 1970s, dengue has expanded regionally and globally and is now endemic in over 100 countries across the globe. Dengue fever is caused by one of four related, but distinct, virus serotypes (DEN 1-4), which are transmitted to humans by mosquito. Infected humans are the main carriers and multipliers of the virus, serving as a source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes.

Hepatitis E

Annual deaths – 57,000 worldwide; at risk – 3 million. Hepatitis E is a viral liver infection which is usually self-limiting, but may develop into acute liver failure. The virus is transmitted mainly via the fecal-oral route through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water. The highest numbers of people in a population who test positive for the disease are observed in regions where low standards of sanitation increase the risk for transmission of the virus


Annual deaths – 1 million; at risk – 165 million. Shigellosis is transmitted through direct person-to-person contact, or indirectly through contaminated food or water via the fecal-oral route. Though it does occur in industrialized locations and is known to be the cause of traveler’s sickness, Shigella is the leading cause of severe diarrhea in developing nations and one of the major causes of deaths in children under 5. Currently no vaccine exists for shigellosis causing bacteria. Research shows an increasing prevalence of Shigella strains resistant to antibiotics.

Rota Virus

Annual deaths – 450,000-500,000 worldwide; at risk – 111 million. Rotavirus is extremely contagious and the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Its transmission is primarily through contaminated water and food. The clinical spectrum of rotavirus illness ranges from mild, watery diarrhea of limited duration to severe diarrhea with vomiting and fever that can result in dehydration with shock, electrolyte imbalance, and death.