Communicable Diseases

These are the diseases that may pass or carry from one human or animal to other. Communicable diseases are illnesses caused by grams such as bacteria, viruses, and spread by an infected person, animal, or object to other person.

Viral Diseases: The virus is parasitic which causes several diseases like:

(1) Bird Flu (H5 N1)- Bird Flu (Avian influenza) is a disease caused by an influenza virus-A, that primarily affects birds. The following persons who may be at higher risk for developing the bird flu are—

• Travellers, visiting affected countries.

• Farmers and others, who work with poultry.

• Those who have touched an infected bird.

• Those who eat raw or undercooked poultry meat, eggs, from infected birds.

Symptoms- Fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and eye infection (conjunctivitis).

Treatment- Treatment with the anti-viral medication oseltamivir (Tamiflu), or zanamivir (Relena) may make the disease less severe. Oseltamivir may also be prescribed for persons, who live in the same house as those diagnosed with Avian flu.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): It is a serious form of pneumonia. It is caused by a virus that was first identified in 2003. Infection with the SARS virus causes acute respiratory distress( severe breathing difficulty) and sometimes death.

Symptoms- Cough usually starts 2-3 days after other symptoms like fever, headache, and muscle aches.

Treatment- Antibiotics to treat bacteria that cause pneumonia. Anti-viral medications. High dose of steroids to reduce swelling in the lungs. Oxygen, breathing support (mechanical ventilation), or cheat therapy.

Hepatitis: Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver. It is not a condition but is often used to refer to a viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by—

• Immune cells in the body attacking the liver and causing autoimmune hepatitis. Infections from viruses such as hepatitis A, B, or C, bacteria, or parasites. Liver damage from alcohol, poisonous mushrooms, or other poisons.

• Medication such as an overdose of acetaminophen can cause harm or even death.

Symptoms- Abdominal pain or distention. Breasts development in males. Dark urine and pale or clay-colored stools. Fatigue, general itching, fever, usually low-grade jaundice(yellowing of the skin or eyes), and loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.

(2) AIDS: Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome(AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS was first recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) in 1981.

HIV Infection: AIDS is a condition caused by HIV infection. The condition gradually destroys the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight infections.

Transmission- HIV can be spread by the following :

• Through sexual contact i.e. oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

• Through blood transfusions, accidental needle sticks, or needle sharing.

• From mother to child: A pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her fetus through their shared blood circulation or a nursing mother can pass it to her baby through breastfeeding.

Test for AIDS-

• Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/ Enzyme Immuno Assay (ELISA/EIA).

• Radio Immuno Precipitation Assay/ Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Assay (RIP/IFA).

• Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR)

• Western Bolt Confirmatory Test.