Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I am not a doctor or nurse. I have no medical training. The following information is just the basics. The goal is for my students to be able to explain them in simple terms. All information gathered from Wikipedia, as of November, 2013:







Typhus – (škvrnitý týfus) is any of several similar diseases caused by the bacteria Rickettsiae, spread by lice. The name comes from the Greek typhos meaning smoky, describing the state of mind of those infected. The two main types of Typhus are Epidemic and Murine. Symptoms of Epidemic Typhus are chils, cough, high fever, headache, delirium, stupor, photophobia (sensitivity of light), joint and muscle pain, rashes, and low blood pressure. Symptoms of Murine typhus are abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, backache, high fever, hacking cough, joint pain, headaches, and a dull red rash that begins in the middle of the body and spreads. There is a Typhus vaccine. Treatment with antibiotics cures most patients:

Typhoid fever – (brušný týfus) unrelated to Typhus, is a common, bacterial disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, containing the bacterium Salmonella. Typhoid fever has four week-long stages. First, there is a fever slowly climbing as high as 40 °C (104 °F), profuse sweating, and stomach flu. Then there is a week of delerium, rash on the chest, swollen spleen and liver, and a green diarrhea that smells like pea soup. The third week includes complications like intestinal perforation and hemorrhaging. In the fourth week, the fever finally recedes.


Crabs – (kraby) are parasitic insects notorious for infesting human pubic hair. The species may also live on other areas with hair, including eyelashes. They feed on blood. Humans are the only known hosts of this parasite. The main symptom is itching. Crab lice can be treated with permethrin 1% cream rinse and pyrethrins. Shaving off any hair in the affected areas is necessary to ensure full removal of the dead lice and nits. A second treatment after 10 days is recommended. It is crucial to change all bed sheets. Sheets must be put away in a plastic bag, without air and well shut, and left alone for 15 days before washing to avoid survival of lice eggs that may lead to reinfestation.

Gonorrhea – (kvapavka) or The Clap, is a common sexually transmitted infection. The usual symptoms in men are a burning pain while urinating and penile discharge. Women, while asymptomatic half the time, may have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain. If left untreated, it may spread locally causing epididymitis (inflamation of the testicles), pelvic inflammatory disease, or inflammation throughout the body, affecting joints and your heart. Treatment is commonly with ceftriaxone as antibiotic resistance has developed to many previously used medications.

Syphilis – (syfilis) called the Great Imitator due to its frequent atypical symptoms, is a sexually transmitted infection. The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages present (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). The primary stage typically starts with a single chancre (a firm, painless, non-itchy skin ulceration), secondary syphilis with a diffuse rash which frequently involves the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, latent syphilis with little to no symptoms, and tertiary syphilis with gummas (a soft, non-cancerous growth), neurological problems, and/or cardiac symptoms. Syphilis can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Syphilis remains a global problem with an estimated 12 million people infected each year, with greater than 90% of cases in the developing world.

Hepatitis B – (hepatitída B) is an infectious, sexually transmitted virus which infects the liver. Symptoms include liver inflammation, vomiting, jaundice, and (rarely) death. Chronic hepatitis B may eventually cause cirrhosis and liver cancer—a fatal disease with very poor response to current chemotherapy. The infection is preventable by vaccination. the disease has caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China.

HPV (Human papillomavirus) – (ľudským papilomavírusom) Is a family of 200 different viruses, of which, about 40 are sexually transmitted, the majority of which have no symptoms. Some types can cause warts, while others can (rarely) lead to cancers of the genitals, and/or mouth. Most HPV infections in young females are temporary and have little long-term significance. Seventy percent of infections are gone in 1 year and ninety percent in 2 years. However, when the infection persists (5% to 10% of infected women) there is high risk of developing precancerous lesions of the cervix, which can progress to cervical cancer. This process usually takes 10–15 years. Cervical screening using a Pap test is used to detect abnormal cells that may develop into cancer. There are an estimated 490,000 cases and 270,000 deaths each year.

Chlamydia – the Silent Epidemic, is a common sexually transmitted infection and a major cause of human genital and eye disease. If untreated, chlamydial infections can cause serious reproductive and other health problems. Between half and three-quarters of all women who have a chlamydia infection of the cervix have no symptoms for years and do not know that they are infected. Of these women, approximately half will develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a generic term for infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. PID can cause scarring inside reproductive organs, chronic pelvic pain, difficulty becoming pregnant, ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, and other dangerous complications of pregnancy.

In men, about 50% get an infection of the urethra. Symptoms include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, an unusual discharge, swollen or tender testicles, or fever. Untreated, chlamydia can spread to the testicles causing epididymitis, and possibly sterility. Chlamydia conjunctivitis or trachoma is a common cause of blindness worldwide.The infection can be spread from eye to eye by fingers, shared towels or cloths, coughing, sneezing, and eye-seeking flies.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) - is a disease of the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The illness interferes with the immune system destroying CD4+ T white blood cells, making patients much more likely to get infections. Once the number of CD4+ T cells per microliter (µL) of blood drops below 200, immunity is lost. In the absence of treatment, the average progression from HIV to AIDS takes nine to ten years, and the median survival time after developing AIDS is only 9.2 months. However, the rate of clinical disease progression varies widely between individuals, from two weeks up to 20 years. Although treatments for HIV/AIDS can slow the course of the disease, there is no cure or HIV vaccine.

HIV is transmitted through anal, vaginal, or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated needles, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. The disease is a major health problem all over the world, and is considered a pandemic, a disease outbreak that is actively spreading. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated there are 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.7 million new infections per year and 2.0 million annual deaths. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both deaths and new infections, but these drugs are expensive and are not available in all countries. Prevention is a key goal, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programmes to slow the spread of the virus.

Symptoms of AIDS are encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain), AIDS dementia complex (ADC), severe diarrhoea, fevers, night sweats, swollen glands, chills, weakness, weight loss, and certain cancers. Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is the most common, often appearing as purplish nodules on the skin, and can affect other organs, especially the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs:

Invasive cervical cancer in HIV-infected women is also considered AIDS-defining, and is caused by human papillomavirus. Pneumocystis pneumonia is relatively rare in healthy people, but common among HIV-infected individuals. In developing countries, it is still one of the first indications of AIDS in untested individuals. Tuberculosis co-infection is unique because it is transmissible to healthy people as well. Unexplained chronic diarrhea in HIV infection is due to many possible causes, including common bacterial and parasitic infections. In some cases, diarrhea may be a side effect of several drugs used to treat HIV.


Scarlet Fever
– (šarlach) is a disease caused by exotoxin released by Streptococcus pyogenes. Once a major cause of death, it is now effectively treated with antibiotics. Symptoms are sore throat, fever, bright red tongue, and a rash, starting on the face and spreading down to the rest of the body, and eventually peeling.

Polio – (obrna) is a viral, infectious disease spread by ingesting contaminated food or water. Although about 90% of polio infections cause no symptoms, affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the virus enters the blood stream. In about 1% of cases, the virus enters the central nervous system, infecting and destroying motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness. Different types of paralysis may occur. Spinal polio is the most common, characterized by asymmetric paralysis that most often involves the legs. There is no cure for polio, but there are vaccines. The focus of modern treatment has been on providing relief of symptoms, speeding recovery, and preventing complications. Measures include antibiotics to prevent infections, painkillers, moderate exercise, and a nutritious diet. Treatment often requires long-term physical therapy, braces, corrective shoes, and orthopedic surgery. Portable ventilators may be required for breathing. While now rare in the Western world, polio is still endemic to South Asia and Nigeria. A global effort to eradicate polio began in 1988, reducing the number of annual cases 99% from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to a low of 483 cases in 2001, after which it has remained at a level of about 1,000 cases per year.

Plague – (mor) is a deadly infectious disease caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis. Plague is notorious throughout history, due to its unrivaled scale of death and devastation. In the 14th century killed an estimated 100 million worldwide (30-60% of the European population and half of China). Primarily carried by rats and spread to humans via fleas, Plague can also be spread in the air, by direct contact, or by contaminated undercooked food or materials. There are three major forms of plague in history: Bubonic, Pneumonic, and Septicemic. The most infamous symptom of bubonic plague is the infection and swelling of lymph glands, called buboes. Other symptoms are Acral gangrene, chills, malaise, high fever, muscle cramps, seizures, change in skin color, and bleeding of the ears.

Pneumonic plague, rarer than bubonic, infects the lungs. The first signs of illness are fever, headache, weakness, and rapidly developing pneumonia with shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing blood. The pneumonia progresses for two to four days and may cause respiratory failure and shock. Patients will die without early treatment, some within 36 hours.

Septicemic plague is the rarest and deadliest. Bacteria get into the bloodstream, forcing the blood to clot inside the victim. This results in depletion of the body's clotting resources, so that it can no longer control bleeding. Consequently, there is bleeding into the skin and other organs, which can cause red and/or black patchy rash and vomiting blood. There are bumps on the skin that look somewhat like insect bites. Untreated, septicemic plague is fatal. Early treatment (within 24 hours) with antibiotics reduces the mortality rate to between 4 and 15 percent. In some cases, people may even die on the same day they contract it.

While there are still reported cases of plague, there is also a vaccine against bubonic plague, and incidents are much smaller now than before. It is possible that plague could be used as a biological weapon, by terrorist groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment