Though is considered as a synonym of measles in humans, it is know that also affects dogs, cats, cattle, and cetaceans serve as natural hosts. Diseases associated with viruses classified in this genus include acute febrile respiratory tract infection and rinderpest.
Kuru is a rare incurable neurodegenerative disorder that was formerly common among the Fore people of Papua New Guinea due to their cannibalistic nature. The term kuru derives from the Fore word kuria (“to shake”) due to the body tremors that are a classic symptom of the disease. Other symptoms includes loss of coordination, and neurodegeneration. While the Fore people stopped eating human in the 1960’s, the disease lingered due to kuru’s long incubation period of anywhere from 10 to over 50 years. Nevertheless, the epidemic declined sharply after discarding cannibalism, from 200 deaths per year in 1957 to 1 or no deaths annually in 2005, with sources disagreeing on whether the last known kuru victim died in 2005 or 2009.