Back to: Jss3 Physical and Health Education (BST)
Topic: Diseases and Their Prevention
WEEK: 8 – 10
A pathogen is a biological agent that can cause disease in the body. These agents can be bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites or prions. Pathogens are harmful to the body because they invade and reproduce within the host’s body, causing damage to the cells, tissues, and organs.
Disease, on the other hand, is any condition that disrupts the normal functioning of the body and causes illness, but which is not caused by physical injury. Diseases can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, as well as exposure to pathogens.
Understanding pathogens and diseases is essential for maintaining good health. By knowing how diseases are caused, we can take measures to prevent them from occurring. Prevention measures include good hygiene practices, such as washing hands regularly, avoiding close contact with sick people, and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Communicable diseases, also known as infectious diseases, are illnesses caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that can be transmitted from one person to another. These diseases can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or their bodily fluids, as well as through indirect contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, or through the air by coughing or sneezing.
Some common examples of communicable diseases include the flu, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
Preventing the spread of communicable diseases involves practising good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals. Vaccines are also an important tool in preventing many communicable diseases.
Examples of communicable diseases are
|Malaria fever||Fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, chills, and sweating||Use of insect repellents, mosquito nets, clearing stagnant water, and antimalarial drugs|
|Measles||High fever, cough, runny nose, red, and watery eyes, rash||Vaccination, isolation of infected individuals, and personal hygiene|
|Pneumonia||Cough, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue||Vaccination, good hygiene practices, avoiding exposure to infected individuals|
|Cholera||Diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, muscle cramps||Safe drinking water, proper sanitation, hand washing, vaccination|
|Ringworm||Red, scaly patches on the skin, itching, and hair loss||Good hygiene practices, avoiding contact with infected individuals, antifungal medications|
|Shingles||Painful rash, blisters, itching, fever, headache||Vaccination, avoiding contact with infected individuals, antiviral medications|
|Scabies||Intense itching, rash, and red bumps on the skin||Avoiding contact with infected individuals, good hygiene practices, topical creams|
|Eczema||Itchy, red, and inflamed skin, rash, and blisters||Good hygiene practices, avoiding triggers, topical creams, and ointments|
|Chicken pox||Rash, blisters, fever, and fatigue||Vaccination, isolation of infected individuals, and good hygiene practices|
|Diarrhoea||Loose or watery stools, stomach cramps, and dehydration||Safe drinking water, proper sanitation, hand washing, and oral rehydration therapy|
|Sinusitis||Nasal congestion, headache, facial pain, and fever||Good hygiene practices, avoiding exposure to infected individuals, and antibiotics|
|Sore throat||Pain, scratchiness, and difficulty swallowing||Good hygiene practices, avoiding exposure to infected individuals, and antibiotics|
|Whooping cough||Severe cough, runny nose, and fever||Vaccination, isolation of infected individuals, and good hygiene practices|
|Meningitis||Headache, fever, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light||Vaccination, avoiding exposure to infected individuals, and antibiotics|
|Tuberculosis||Cough, fever, night sweats, and weight loss||Vaccination, avoiding exposure to infected individuals, and antibiotics|
|Sleeping sickness||Fever, headache, muscle aches, and enlarged lymph nodes||Avoiding contact with tsetse flies, wearing protective clothing, and insecticides|
|Yellow fever||Fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and jaundice||Vaccination, avoiding exposure to infected mosquitoes, and mosquito control measures|
|Leprosy||Skin lesions, numbness, and muscle weakness||Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics, avoiding prolonged contact with infected individuals|
Measles is an infectious viral disease that is highly contagious and predominantly affects unvaccinated children. The symptoms of measles include irritation and inflammation of the eyes, coughing, runny nose, and a characteristic rash of red spots on the skin.
Measles spreads through contact with an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as when they cough or sneeze. As a result, infected individuals are often isolated to prevent the transmission of the disease to others.
While measles is generally a self-limiting disease, it can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems. Fortunately, most people who contract measles develop immunity to the disease following a single infection.
Measles vaccination is highly effective in preventing the disease and its complications. The World Health Organization recommends that all children receive two doses of the measles vaccine, with the first dose given at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose given at 4-6 years of age. In addition to protecting the individual, widespread vaccination also contributes to herd immunity, making it less likely that outbreaks will occur.
Symptoms of measles
- Fever: One of the first signs of measles is a fever, which can range from mild to severe and typically lasts for several days.
- Runny nose: Measles can also cause a runny nose, which may be accompanied by sneezing and congestion.
- Cough: Measles can cause a dry, persistent cough that can last for several days.
- Sore throat: A sore throat is another common symptom of measles, which can make swallowing difficult.
- Red, watery eyes: Measles can cause red, watery eyes, which can be sensitive to light.
- Rash: A rash is a hallmark symptom of measles, and usually appears a few days after the other symptoms. The rash typically begins on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body. The rash may be raised and bumpy, and it often looks like small red spots that are close together.
- Headache: Measles can cause headaches that range from mild to severe.
- Muscle pain: Muscle pain and stiffness are common symptoms of measles, which can make it difficult to move.
- Fatigue: Measles can cause extreme fatigue and weakness, which can last for several days.
Prevention of Measles
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can lead to serious complications and even death. However, it can be prevented through a combination of vaccination and public health measures. Here are some of the ways to prevent measles:
- Vaccination: The measles vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the disease. The vaccine is usually given as part of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, which is typically administered to children at around 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age. Adults who have not been vaccinated or are unsure of their vaccination status should also get vaccinated.
- Herd immunity: When a large proportion of the population is vaccinated, it creates herd immunity, which helps protect those who cannot be vaccinated, such as infants, pregnant women, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
- Isolation and quarantine: Infected individuals should be isolated to prevent the spread of the disease. Quarantine measures may also be implemented for individuals who have been exposed to the virus but are not yet showing symptoms.
- Hygiene: Good hygiene practices can help prevent the spread of the virus. This includes washing hands frequently with soap and water, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with infected individuals.
- Travel precautions: Travelers should ensure that they are vaccinated against measles before traveling to areas where the disease is prevalent. This is particularly important for individuals who have not been vaccinated or who are unsure of their vaccination status.
Mumps is a viral disease that is highly contagious and causes inflammation of the salivary gland. While people of all ages can be affected by mumps, it is most common among children between the ages of 5 and 9. The virus spreads through close contact with an infected person’s saliva, such as sharing utensils, kissing, or coughing.
Mumps is caused by the paramyxovirus, which primarily affects the salivary glands located behind the cheeks. However, it can also affect other parts of the body such as the central nervous system, pancreas, and reproductive organs. The symptoms of mumps usually appear within two to three weeks after exposure to the virus and may include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swelling of the salivary glands. In some cases, the infection may not cause any symptoms, or the symptoms may be mild, and the infected person may not be aware of the infection.
Mumps is usually diagnosed based on clinical symptoms and a physical examination, but laboratory tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. There is no specific treatment for mumps, and it usually resolves on its own within two weeks. However, supportive care such as rest, fluids, and pain relievers may help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required to manage complications such as meningitis, encephalitis, and orchitis (inflammation of the testicles in males).
Prevention of mumps is primarily through vaccination. The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the most effective way to prevent mumps. It is recommended that children receive two doses of the vaccine, with the first dose given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose given between 4-6 years of age. Vaccination not only protects the individual from mumps but also helps prevent outbreaks in the community.
Symptoms of Mumps
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that primarily affects the salivary glands located near the ears. It can cause various symptoms that can range from mild to severe, and the onset of symptoms typically occurs within two to three weeks after exposure to the virus.
The symptoms of mumps include:
- Swollen and tender salivary glands: The most common symptom of mumps is the swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands located near the ears. This can make it difficult to chew, swallow, or talk.
- Fever: Mumps can cause a fever that can last for several days. The fever typically starts before the swelling of the salivary glands.
- Headache: Many people with mumps also experience headaches, which can range from mild to severe.
- Muscle aches: Muscle aches and fatigue are also common symptoms of mumps, especially during the first few days of the infection.
- Loss of appetite: Mumps can cause a loss of appetite, which can make it difficult to eat or drink.
- Pain while chewing or swallowing: The swelling of the salivary glands can cause pain while chewing or swallowing.
- Sore throat: Some people with mumps may experience a sore throat, especially if the infection has spread to the tonsils.
- Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting can occur in some people with mumps, especially if they have a fever.
- Earache: Mumps can also cause earache, especially if the infection has spread to the inner ear.
Prevention of Mumps
Mumps is a viral infection caused by the mumps virus. The infection typically causes fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen salivary glands. The best way to prevent mumps is through vaccination. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is highly effective in preventing mumps, and is typically given in two doses during childhood.
There are some other preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of mumps:
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Avoid sharing utensils, glasses, or other personal items with someone who may have the infection.
- Cover your mouth and nose: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze to help prevent the spread of the virus.
- Avoid contact with infected individuals: If you know someone who has mumps, avoid close contact with them until they are no longer contagious. The virus can be spread through close contact with infected individuals, such as kissing or sharing drinks.
- Stay home when you are sick: If you have mumps, stay home from work, school, or other public places until you are no longer contagious.
- Boost your immune system: Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress can all help boost your immune system and reduce your risk of getting mumps.
Malaria is a potentially life-threatening communicable disease that affects millions of people globally. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which is transmitted through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are common in tropical and subtropical regions, making those areas more susceptible to the spread of malaria.
Once the parasite enters the human body, it begins to multiply in the liver and then infects red blood cells. This can cause a range of symptoms, including severe chills, high fever, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue. In some cases, the disease can progress rapidly and lead to complications such as anaemia, respiratory distress, and organ failure.
Malaria is a significant public health challenge, especially in developing countries where access to healthcare is limited. The disease can have a profound impact on individuals, families, and communities, causing significant economic and social burdens. Children under the age of five and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the disease, and it can have long-term effects on their health.
Prevention and control of malaria depend on a combination of strategies, including the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, and prompt diagnosis and treatment of infected individuals. Research into new treatments and vaccines is also essential to combat this deadly disease.
Symptoms of Malaria
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Here are some common symptoms of malaria:
- Fever: The most common symptom of malaria is a high fever, which can be cyclic, recurring every few days.
- Chills: People with malaria often experience chills that can be severe enough to cause shaking or teeth chattering.
- Sweating: As the fever breaks, a person may experience profuse sweating.
- Headache: A severe headache is another common symptom of malaria.
- Fatigue: Malaria can cause extreme fatigue and weakness, making it difficult to perform even simple tasks.
- Nausea and vomiting: Malaria can cause nausea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration.
- Muscle and joint pain: Malaria can cause severe pain in the muscles and joints.
- Anaemia: Malaria can cause anaemia, which is a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body.
- Confusion: In severe cases, malaria can cause confusion, seizures, and coma.
Prevention of Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. It is a preventable and curable disease. Here are some ways to prevent malaria:
- Use insecticide-treated mosquito nets: Sleeping under a mosquito net that has been treated with insecticide is one of the most effective ways to prevent malaria. The net creates a physical barrier between you and the mosquitoes, and the insecticide kills any mosquitoes that come into contact with it.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants: When you are in areas where there are mosquitoes, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs. This makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to bite you.
- Use mosquito repellent: Apply mosquito repellent on your skin, especially in the evening when mosquitoes are most active. Choose a repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding sites: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so it’s important to eliminate any sources of standing water around your home, such as empty containers, flowerpots, and buckets.
- Take antimalarial medication: If you are traveling to an area where there is a high risk of malaria, take antimalarial medication as prescribed by your doctor. This medication can prevent the parasite from multiplying in your body if you are bitten by an infected mosquito.
- Seek prompt medical attention: If you experience any symptoms of malaria, such as fever, headache, and chills, seek medical attention immediately. Malaria can be a serious disease, and early treatment is crucial for a successful recovery.
Pneumonia is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia, also known as pneumococcus. This disease primarily targets the lungs, leading to inflammation and infection of the air sacs in one or both lungs.
The bacteria responsible for pneumonia can spread easily from person to person through airborne droplets released during coughing or sneezing. It can also be transmitted by touching a surface contaminated with the bacteria and then touching the nose or mouth. Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as older adults, young children, and those with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to developing pneumonia.
One of the hallmark symptoms of pneumonia is the accumulation of mucus in the lungs, leading to coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. If left untreated, pneumonia can result in severe complications, such as respiratory failure or sepsis.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia are crucial in preventing further complications. Treatment typically involves antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection, along with supportive care to manage symptoms such as fever and coughing. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to receive oxygen therapy or intravenous fluids.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection that affects the lungs, and it can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The symptoms of pneumonia can vary depending on the cause of the infection and the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Cough: A persistent cough is one of the most common symptoms of pneumonia. It may produce phlegm or sputum, which can be yellow or green in colour.
- Fever: A fever is a sign that your body is fighting an infection. In pneumonia, your body temperature may be higher than 100.4 F (38 C).
- Shortness of breath: You may experience difficulty breathing or feel like you can’t catch your breath. This is because the infection can cause inflammation in the lungs.
- Chest pain: You may feel pain or discomfort in your chest when you breathe or cough. This is because the infection can cause inflammation in the lining of the lungs.
- Fatigue: Pneumonia can cause extreme tiredness or weakness. You may feel too exhausted to do your normal activities.
- Sweating and chills: You may experience sweating and chills as your body tries to fight the infection.
- Headache: Some people with pneumonia may experience headaches, which can be caused by fever and inflammation.
- Confusion: In severe cases of pneumonia, you may experience confusion or disorientation.
Prevention of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that can cause inflammation in the lungs and lead to severe illness. There are several ways to prevent pneumonia, including:
- Vaccinations: Vaccinations are an effective way to prevent pneumonia. The pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for children under the age of 2, adults over the age of 65, and individuals with certain medical conditions.
- Hand hygiene: Frequent hand washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of bacteria that can cause pneumonia.
- Avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke: Smoking and secondhand smoke can damage the lungs and increase the risk of developing pneumonia.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick: Pneumonia is often spread through close contact with infected individuals, so avoiding close contact with sick people can help prevent infection.
- Proper nutrition: A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of developing pneumonia.
- Regular exercise: Regular exercise can help keep the body strong and healthy, which can reduce the risk of developing pneumonia.
- Good respiratory hygiene: Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing can help prevent the spread of respiratory infections that can cause pneumonia.
- Treatment of underlying medical conditions: Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can increase the risk of developing pneumonia. Proper treatment of these conditions can help reduce the risk of pneumonia.
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin between the toes, soles of the feet, and nails. The fungus responsible for this condition thrives in warm and moist environments, such as public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools.
While athlete’s foot is not a life-threatening condition, it can be quite uncomfortable and unpleasant. One of the most noticeable symptoms is a whitish coloration between the toes. Additionally, affected individuals may experience small blisters that spread between their toes, as well as intense itching and a feeling of moisture between the toes. Deep breaks in the skin may also occur, causing pain and discomfort when walking.
In some cases, athlete’s foot can also affect the nails, causing them to become thick, yellow, and emit a foul odor. Pus may also ooze out of the affected area, which can be alarming and unpleasant. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you notice any of these symptoms, as they may indicate a more severe infection or a different underlying condition.
Fortunately, athlete’s foot is a treatable condition, and several over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments are available to help alleviate symptoms. However, it’s crucial to practice good foot hygiene to prevent the condition from recurring. This includes keeping your feet clean and dry, avoiding wearing tight-fitting shoes or synthetic socks, and using foot powders to absorb excess moisture. If you’re prone to athlete’s foot or have a compromised immune system, it’s advisable to wear shower shoes or sandals when using public showers or pools. By taking these precautions, you can help prevent athlete’s foot and enjoy healthy, comfortable feet.
Factors and Causative Agents
Here are some of the factors and causative agents of athlete’s foot:
- Moisture: One of the main factors that contribute to the development of athlete’s foot is excessive moisture on the feet. Sweat and dampness can create a suitable environment for the growth of fungi, especially in warm and humid conditions.
- Tight footwear: Tight-fitting shoes or socks can cause friction and pressure on the feet, leading to cracks and fissures that allow the fungi to enter and thrive.
- Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene practices like not washing feet regularly or not changing socks and shoes often can also contribute to the development of athlete’s foot.
- Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer, are more susceptible to fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
- Contagious agents: Athlete’s foot can be caused by direct contact with infected skin, contaminated objects like towels, socks, or shoes, or by walking barefoot in public areas like locker rooms, swimming pools, and showers.
- Fungal species: The most common causative agents of athlete’s foot are dermatophytes, including Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Epidermophyton floccosum.
, it can be prevented by following some simple measures. Here are some prevention tips:
- Keep feet clean and dry: Wash your feet daily with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Use a separate towel for your feet to avoid spreading the infection.
- Wear appropriate shoes and socks: Choose shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather or canvas, that allow air to circulate around your feet. Wear socks made of synthetic materials that wick away moisture from the skin.
- Alternate shoes: Wear a different pair of shoes every day, allowing them to dry out completely between wears.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas: Wear sandals or flip-flops in communal areas like locker rooms, showers, and pools.
- Use antifungal powder or spray: Sprinkle antifungal powder or spray on your feet and in your shoes to kill any fungus that may be present.
- Don’t share personal items: Avoid sharing towels, socks, shoes, or any other personal items that could spread the infection.
- Keep toenails trimmed: Cut your toenails straight across and avoid cutting them too short to prevent ingrown toenails, which can lead to fungal infections.
- Treat any existing fungal infections promptly: If you notice any signs of a fungal infection, such as itching, redness, or scaling, treat it immediately with an over-the-counter antifungal cream or consult a healthcare professional for treatment.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the skin. The condition can be mild or severe and can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly seen in children. In the United States, approximately 30% of the population is affected by eczema, and in Nigeria, the prevalence is slightly higher and also common among adults.
The symptoms of eczema can vary from person to person and can include dry, itchy, and inflamed skin, rashes, and blisters. These symptoms can be particularly troublesome, causing discomfort and affecting daily life. Eczema can also lead to infections and other complications, especially if left untreated.
While eczema is a chronic condition, it can improve over time, particularly with appropriate treatment. However, relapses can occur, particularly in those with a family history of eczema or other allergic conditions. It is worth noting that eczema is not contagious, and it cannot be spread from person to person.
The exact cause of eczema is not entirely clear, but it is thought to be related to genetics, environmental factors, and immune system dysfunction. There are several triggers that can exacerbate eczema symptoms, including stress, certain foods, irritants, and allergens.
Treatment for eczema typically involves managing symptoms and preventing flare-ups. This can include the use of moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, and other medications. Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and practicing stress management techniques, can also be helpful. In severe cases, phototherapy or systemic medications may be necessary.
Eczema can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating condition, it is important to remember that effective treatment options are available. With proper management, individuals with eczema can experience improved skin health and a better quality of life.
Prevention of Eczema
There are several steps you can take to prevent flare-ups and minimize symptoms. Here are some ways to prevent eczema:
- Moisturize regularly: Keeping your skin moisturized is crucial in preventing eczema. Use a fragrance-free moisturizer at least twice a day, especially after bathing or showering.
- Avoid triggers: Certain triggers can cause eczema flare-ups. These include allergens, irritants, stress, and temperature changes. Identify your triggers and take steps to avoid them.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing: Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, as they can irritate your skin and trigger eczema flare-ups. Choose loose, comfortable clothing made of soft, breathable fabrics.
- Use mild soap and detergents: Harsh soaps and detergents can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause eczema flare-ups. Use mild, fragrance-free products that are gentle on your skin.
- Keep your home humid: Dry air can aggravate eczema symptoms. Use a humidifier in your home to keep the air moist and prevent your skin from drying out.
- Manage stress: Stress is a common trigger for eczema flare-ups. Practice stress-management techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to keep stress levels in check.
- Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help prevent eczema flare-ups. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in saturated fats.
Cholera is a severe food-borne illness that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. It is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and is typically contracted by consuming contaminated food or water.
When a person ingests food or water that has been contaminated with Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria can multiply in the small intestine, causing severe diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, dehydration can occur rapidly, leading to shock and even death.
Preventing cholera transmission is essential, and one of the most effective ways to do so is by practicing good hygiene and sanitation. This includes washing hands with soap and water regularly, especially before handling food, and avoiding uncooked or undercooked seafood.
Another crucial factor to consider is the use of clean utensils and food preparation surfaces. If contaminated utensils are used to prepare food, they can easily become infectious and spread the bacteria to those who consume the food.
The housefly is a known carrier of Vibrio cholerae and can easily contaminate food and surfaces if allowed to fly around unsanitary environments. Proper food storage, waste management, and pest control measures can help reduce the risk of contamination by houseflies and other insects.
Symptoms of Cholera
Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The symptoms of cholera can range from mild to severe, and can appear within a few hours to five days after infection. The symptoms of cholera include:
- Diarrhea: This is the most common symptom of cholera, and it is characterized by frequent, watery stools. The diarrhea can be so severe that it can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
- Vomiting: Vomiting is also common in cholera, and it can be severe in some cases. Vomiting can also contribute to dehydration.
- Dehydration: Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in. In cholera, dehydration can be severe and can lead to symptoms such as dry mouth, decreased urine output, sunken eyes, and lethargy.
- Muscle cramps: Cholera can cause painful muscle cramps, especially in the legs and feet.
- Rapid heartbeat: Dehydration can cause the heart rate to increase, and in severe cases, it can lead to irregular heart rhythms.
- Low blood pressure: Dehydration can also cause a drop in blood pressure, which can result in dizziness, fainting, or shock.
- Dry skin: Dehydration can cause the skin to become dry, cool, and clammy.
- Sunken eyes: Severe dehydration can cause the eyes to appear sunken, and the cheeks to appear hollow.
- Confusion: Severe dehydration can also affect brain function, leading to confusion or even coma.
Prevention of Cholera
Cholera is a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. It is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is typically spread through contaminated food or water. Prevention of cholera involves a combination of public health measures and personal hygiene practices. Here are some of the key strategies:
- Access to safe water: Cholera is most commonly spread through contaminated water sources. Therefore, ensuring access to safe drinking water is crucial. This can involve measures such as treating water with chlorine or other disinfectants, or providing access to safe sources of water, such as wells or water purification systems.
- Sanitation: Proper sanitation measures, such as the use of latrines and the proper disposal of human waste, can help to prevent the spread of cholera. In addition, improving overall hygiene, such as through handwashing, can also help to reduce the spread of the disease.
- Vaccination: Vaccines against cholera are available and can be an effective means of preventing the disease, particularly in areas with high rates of cholera. However, vaccines are not 100% effective and should be used in conjunction with other prevention strategies.
- Food safety: Cholera can also be spread through contaminated food, particularly seafood that has been harvested from contaminated water sources. Ensuring that food is properly cooked and avoiding raw or undercooked seafood can help to reduce the risk of infection.
- Travel precautions: When traveling to areas with high rates of cholera, it is important to take extra precautions to prevent infection. This can include avoiding raw or undercooked food, drinking only bottled or purified water, and practicing good hygiene, such as through frequent handwashing.
Gonorrhoea, also known as “the clap,” is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can infect both men and women and is a significant public health issue worldwide. While it is one of the oldest known human diseases, it continues to be a major concern due to its high incidence rates, especially among teenagers and young adults.
The primary mode of transmission of gonorrhoea is through sexual contact with an infected person. The bacteria can be present in the vaginal, anal, or oral secretions of an infected person, and can be passed on during sexual activity. In addition, an infected mother can pass the infection to her newborn during delivery.
The symptoms of gonorrhoea can vary depending on the location of the infection, but may include painful urination, abnormal discharge from the genitals, and pain or swelling in the genital area. In some cases, the infection may not cause any symptoms at all. If left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to serious health complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and an increased risk of HIV infection.
Diagnosis of gonorrhoea typically involves a physical exam and laboratory testing of a sample of the infected person’s bodily fluids. Treatment usually involves antibiotics to eliminate the infection, but it is important to follow the prescribed treatment regimen to avoid antibiotic resistance.
Prevention of gonorrhoea is primarily through practicing safe sex by using condoms and limiting sexual partners. Regular screening for sexually transmitted infections is also recommended, especially for those who are sexually active.
Symptoms of Gonorrhoea in women
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. Women infected with gonorrhea may experience a range of symptoms, some of which include:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge: Women with gonorrhea often experience an unusual discharge from the vagina. The discharge may be yellowish or greenish in color and may have a strong odor.
- Painful urination: Women with gonorrhea may experience pain or a burning sensation while urinating.
- Bleeding between periods: Gonorrhea can cause irregular bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Pain or discomfort during sex: Gonorrhea can cause pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Abdominal pain: In some cases, gonorrhea can cause lower abdominal pain.
- Fever: Women with gonorrhea may develop a fever, particularly if the infection has spread to other parts of the body.
- Painful bowel movements: If the infection has spread to the rectum, women with gonorrhea may experience pain or discomfort during bowel movements.
Symptoms of Gonorrhoea in Men
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The symptoms of gonorrhoea in men can vary from mild to severe and may appear within a few days to weeks after exposure to the bacteria. Here are some common symptoms of gonorrhoea in men:
- Painful urination: One of the most common symptoms of gonorrhoea in men is pain or burning sensation while urinating. This is due to the inflammation of the urethra caused by the infection.
- Discharge from the penis: Gonorrhoea can cause a thick, cloudy, and yellowish-green discharge from the penis, which may also be foul-smelling. The discharge may be present even when the person is not urinating.
- Swollen or painful testicles: In some cases, gonorrhoea can lead to epididymitis, which is the inflammation of the epididymis. This can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in one or both testicles.
- Anal discharge or itching: Gonorrhoea can also infect the rectum, causing anal discharge or itching, pain, and discomfort while passing stools.
- Sore throat: Gonorrhoea can infect the throat through oral sex, leading to a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
- Conjunctivitis: In rare cases, gonorrhoea can cause conjunctivitis or pink eye, which is the inflammation of the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye.
The infection can affect both men and women and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Here are some ways to prevent the spread of gonorrhea:
- Practice safe sex: Gonorrhea is spread through unprotected sexual contact. Using a condom or other barrier method, such as a dental dam, can greatly reduce your risk of infection.
- Get regular STI screenings: If you are sexually active, it’s important to get tested regularly for STIs, including gonorrhea. This is especially important if you have multiple sexual partners or if you have had unprotected sex.
- Limit your number of sexual partners: The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risk of contracting gonorrhea. Limiting your number of partners can help reduce your risk.
- Talk to your partner about STIs: It’s important to have open and honest communication with your sexual partner(s) about STIs. This can help you both make informed decisions about your sexual health.
- Avoid alcohol and drug use: Alcohol and drug use can impair your judgment and increase your risk of engaging in risky sexual behaviors that can lead to STIs, including gonorrhea.
- Take antibiotics as prescribed: If you are diagnosed with gonorrhea, it’s important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This will help ensure that the infection is completely cleared from your system.
Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is a serious and potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacteria Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. The disease is primarily spread through contaminated food and water, and it is most common in developing countries with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
Symptoms of typhoid fever include high fever, headache, weakness, abdominal pain, and a rash. These symptoms can be easily confused with other illnesses, such as malaria, making diagnosis difficult. Without proper treatment, typhoid fever can lead to serious complications, including intestinal bleeding and perforation of the bowel.
Fortunately, typhoid fever is curable with antibiotics, and early treatment is crucial for a successful recovery. If you suspect you or someone you know has contracted typhoid fever, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment usually involves a course of antibiotics, which can be administered orally or through injection, and hospitalization may be required depending on the severity of the illness.
Prevention of typhoid fever is key, particularly for individuals traveling to developing countries. Basic hygiene practices, such as hand washing and avoiding contaminated food and water, can go a long way in preventing the spread of the disease. Vaccines are also available and can be recommended for travelers to high-risk areas.
Symptoms of typhoid fever
The symptoms of typhoid fever can vary in severity, and some people may experience mild symptoms, while others may have more severe symptoms. Here are some of the most common symptoms of typhoid fever:
- Fever: One of the main symptoms of typhoid fever is a high fever that can last for several days.
- Headache: People with typhoid fever often experience severe headaches, which can be accompanied by fatigue and weakness.
- Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain is another common symptom of typhoid fever, and it is often felt in the area around the belly button.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common symptom of typhoid fever and can be very severe in some cases.
- Constipation: In some cases, people with typhoid fever may experience constipation instead of diarrhea.
- Rash: A rose-colored rash may appear on the chest and abdomen of people with typhoid fever.
- Loss of appetite: Many people with typhoid fever experience a loss of appetite and may have trouble eating.
- Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of typhoid fever, and can be severe in some cases.
- Weakness and fatigue: People with typhoid fever often experience extreme fatigue and weakness.
- Delirium: In some cases, people with typhoid fever may experience confusion, delirium, or even hallucinations.
Prevention of typhoid fever
It spreads through contaminated food or water and is common in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. Here are some preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of getting typhoid fever:
- Vaccination: Typhoid fever vaccines are available and are recommended for people traveling to areas where typhoid fever is common. The vaccine is available in two forms – oral and injectable.
- Clean water and food: Drinking safe and clean water is essential to prevent typhoid fever. It is important to drink only bottled or boiled water, and avoid drinks made with ice. Eating cooked food and avoiding street foods is also important.
- Hand hygiene: Washing hands with soap and water frequently can help prevent the spread of the bacteria. It is especially important to wash hands before eating, after using the toilet, and after handling food.
- Sanitation: Maintaining good sanitation and hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of typhoid fever. This includes proper disposal of human waste and regular cleaning of food preparation areas and utensils.
- Avoiding close contact with infected individuals: It is important to avoid close contact with individuals who are infected with typhoid fever to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Antibiotic treatment: Antibiotic treatment can help treat typhoid fever and prevent its spread. If you suspect you may have typhoid fever, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately.
Tetanus, commonly referred to as “lockjaw,” is a severe bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. The bacteria responsible for the disease, Clostridium tetani, are commonly found in soil and other environments that are rich in organic matter. Tetanus can occur anywhere in the world, but it is particularly prevalent in developing countries with inadequate healthcare and vaccination infrastructure.
The symptoms of tetanus are caused by a toxin that is produced by the bacteria, which affects the nervous system and causes painful muscle contractions. The disease can be life-threatening, particularly in older adults who have not been vaccinated or who have inadequate immunity. Tetanus can also result from minor wounds that are often dismissed as too trivial to require medical attention.
Prevention of tetanus involves vaccination with the tetanus toxoid vaccine, which is typically administered as part of the standard childhood immunization schedule. Booster doses of the vaccine are recommended every 10 years to maintain immunity. In addition, it is important to clean and properly dress any wounds, particularly those that occur in environments where the tetanus bacteria are likely to be present.
Symptoms of Tetanus
Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection caused by Clostridium tetani bacteria that affects the nervous system, leading to muscle stiffness and spasms. The symptoms of tetanus can vary in severity, but early diagnosis and treatment are critical to prevent complications. Here are some common symptoms of tetanus:
- Stiffness and spasms: One of the most common symptoms of tetanus is stiffness and spasms in the muscles. The muscles of the jaw, neck, and back are often affected first, leading to lockjaw (trismus) and difficulty opening the mouth or swallowing. The spasms can spread to other muscles, causing painful contractions and rigidity.
- Pain and sensitivity: People with tetanus may experience pain and sensitivity in the affected muscles. Even slight movements or touch can trigger muscle spasms and pain.
- Fever and sweating: Tetanus can cause a high fever and profuse sweating, especially during muscle spasms. The body may feel hot and feverish, and the skin may be clammy or moist.
- Rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure: Tetanus can also affect the cardiovascular system, causing a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure. This can lead to complications such as heart failure or stroke if not treated promptly.
- Difficulty breathing: As tetanus progresses, it can affect the respiratory system, leading to difficulty breathing or even respiratory failure. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
- Irritability and restlessness: People with tetanus may also feel irritable, restless, or anxious due to the discomfort and pain caused by the muscle spasms.
Prevention of Tetanus
Tetanus is a preventable disease, and here are some ways to prevent it:
- Vaccination: The most effective way to prevent tetanus is to get vaccinated with the tetanus vaccine. The vaccine contains a weakened form of the toxin produced by the Clostridium tetani bacteria. It helps the body to develop immunity against tetanus.
- Proper wound care: Tetanus spores can enter the body through open wounds. It is essential to keep the wound clean and dry to prevent the growth of the bacteria. Wash the wound with soap and water, and cover it with a clean, dry bandage.
- Boosters: Tetanus vaccine requires booster shots to maintain immunity. A tetanus booster is recommended every ten years. If you have a deep or dirty wound, it is advised to get a tetanus booster shot immediately, even if you have had one in the past five years.
- Wear protective clothing: If you are working in an environment that has a high risk of tetanus, wear protective clothing such as gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. It helps to prevent the entry of the tetanus bacteria through cuts and scratches on the skin.
- Proper hygiene: Good hygiene is crucial to prevent tetanus. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after working in the garden or handling animals. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid injecting drugs: Tetanus spores can be present in the soil and other materials that are injected directly into the body. It is essential to avoid injecting drugs, especially if you are unsure about the cleanliness of the equipment.
- Seek medical attention: If you have an open wound, and you suspect that it may be contaminated with tetanus spores, seek medical attention immediately. A doctor may recommend a tetanus booster or provide other medical treatment to prevent tetanus
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are chronic diseases that are not spread from person to person. They are also known as chronic diseases and include conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
NCDs are often caused by lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Other risk factors include environmental factors such as air pollution and genetics.
NCDs are a major public health challenge, responsible for approximately 70% of all deaths worldwide. They are also a significant cause of disability, leading to reduced quality of life and increased healthcare costs.
Prevention and control of NCDs require a multi-sectoral approach that addresses the underlying risk factors. This includes promoting healthy lifestyles, reducing exposure to environmental risk factors, improving access to health services, and strengthening health systems.
Examples of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are chronic diseases that are not infectious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. examples of NCDs, their symptoms, and prevention measures are:
|Cardiovascular disease (CVD)||Chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue||Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, manage stress, control blood pressure and cholesterol|
|Diabetes||Increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue||Maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, manage stress, monitor blood sugar levels, take medications as prescribed|
|Cancer||Unexplained weight loss, fatigue, pain, changes in skin, lumps or bumps||Quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, avoid sun exposure, get regular screenings|
|Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)||Shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, chronic cough||Quit smoking, avoid exposure to pollutants and irritants, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, get regular check-ups|
|Obesity||Excessive body fat, high BMI, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer||Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, limit processed foods, avoid sugary drinks, get enough sleep, manage stress|
|Osteoporosis||Weak bones, fractures, loss of height, back pain||Get enough calcium and vitamin D, exercise regularly, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, take medications as prescribed|
|Alzheimer’s disease||Memory loss, confusion, personality changes, difficulty with language and communication||Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, stay mentally active, manage stress|
|Depression||Persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep||Stay socially connected, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, manage stress, seek treatment if necessary|
|Arthritis||Joint pain, stiffness, swelling, limited range of motion||Exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, use proper body mechanics, take medications as prescribed, manage stress|
|Chronic kidney disease||Fatigue, nausea, difficulty concentrating, swollen hands and feet||Control blood pressure and blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, avoid excessive use of pain relievers, get regular check-ups|
Prevention measures for NCDs often involve lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and managing stress. It is also important to get regular check-ups and follow medical advice if you have been diagnosed with an NCD.