1) Speaking about infectious diseases (they are also called communicable diseases) Iíd like to mention such diseases as: influenza, tuberculosis, AIDS, measles, polio, tetanus, smallpox, chicken- pox, rubella(german measles), scarlet fever, whooping cough, diphtheria, mumps, pneumonia, bronchitis, rheumatic fever, typhoid fever, hepatitis A|B, cholera, plague, meningitis, quinsy, scabies. To childrenís infectious diseases I define measles, smallpox, chicken-pox, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria, rubella, quinsy, and scabies. These diseases also belong to the group of highly contagious ones.
2) Communicable diseases are usually caused by various pathogenic agents. For example, viruses, bacteria, germs, fungi, helminthes and other different parasites penetrate into the human body and cause infectious diseases.
3) According to the way of getting infected highly contagious diseases can be divided into 5 groups:
∑ The diseases that are transmitted by airborne droplets with nose and throat discharges(sputum, mucus, nasal fluids, saliva) while coughing, sneezing, spitting.
∑ The diseases transmitted by fecal- oral route with intestinal discharges(feces, stool).
∑ The diseases transmitted by blood and blood products.
∑ The diseases transmitted by skin contact.
∑ Sexually transmitted diseases with body fluids(STD).
4) The immunity can be defined as insusceptibility of the organism to various pathogenic agents or simply the ability to resist the impact of the negative factors of the environment. There are such types of the immunity:
Active immunity: after exposure to a disease, organism causes the immune system to produce antibodies in order to protect from this disease. Natural immunity develops after the attack of the illness, when the organism has to cope with the disease by his own; vaccine induced immunity develops after the introduction of the weakened or killed pathogenic microorganisms into the human body.
Passive immunity : it is the type of the immunity which develops when the ready antibodies are received for the immediate action ( for example, during the surgical involvement).
5) Influenza is an acute infectious disease usually caused by three different types of viruses. It is transmitted by airborne droplets. It can be sporadic or epidemic. Epidemics are the regional outbreaks of the flu when from 1 to 10% of the population are infected. As a rule they are shorter lived than pandemics. Hippocrates described the flu and named the cause of the flu ascribing it to bad air and some bacteria. Influenza A is responsible for the annual outbreaks of epidemics. B and C viruses are less common. The incubation period often lasts from 1 to 2 days. The patient is hit by the symptoms of headache, dry cough, fatigue, prostration, chills, high grade fever, muscle and joint aches, sore throat, scratchy throat, loss of appetite, sweating, running nose(coryza), stuffy nose(ablocked), upset stomach.
There is no special treatment for the flu. The symptoms can be relieved with bed rest and by keeping well-hydrated. To relieve a headache and other aches and pains the patient should take analgesics, to decrease fever some fever- reducing drugs(pyretics) are recommended. To treat sore throat and scratchy throat the patient should take lozenges, gargle it with antiseptic solutions and spray it with inhalators. To relieve runny and stuffy nose, nose drops and sprays are advisable. For a dry cough the patient should use cough syrups or pills belonging to the group of antitussives. To make breathing easier a steam vaporizer may be used. The food must be nourishing and appetizing. The complications of the flu: the disorders of the respiratory tract. The flu becomes complicated when the bacterial infection develop in the lower respiratory tract causing bronchitis, pneumonia, hemoptysis, that is manifested by chest pain , dyspnea, cyanosis, finger clubbing productive cough with thick yellowish- green sputum. The other complications include sinusitis, otitis, cervical lymphadenitis.
6) Chicken-pox is a highly contagious infectious disease which usually belongs to the group of childrenís inf. Diseases. It is caused by varicella zoster virus belonging to the group of herpes viruses. The chicken pox can be passed by direct contact with an infected person while he sneezes or coughs. A person may also contract ch.p. from direct contact with the infectious blisters and scabs. The symptoms of ch/p are usually mild(low grade) fever,headache, general fatigue(malaise), and a characteristic itchy rash. 24 to 36 hours after the onset of the ch/p red spots(macules) appear on the face and the body, then they transform into small red pimples(papules), developing into blisters(vesicles). The blisters are filled with the fluid. Later they burst, forming scabs. Thereís no special treatment for ch/p, usually itís symptomatic. The patient must stay at home and have a bed rest. The doctor prescribes antivirus therapy to release general fatigue and headache and to shorten the duration of the rash formation. He also recommends some ointment to minimize itching and disinfect the eruption. The doctor warns the patient about the danger of scratching blisters because it can lead to bacterial infection and scaring. If sores become infected an antibiotic ointment is prescribed. The other recommendation involve the healthy diet, the use of supplements, vitamins especially C, herbal teas to keep the body well-hydrated.
7) Diphtheria is an acute contagious bacterial disease characterized by the formation of the thick gray covering (membrane) upon the mucosa of the respiratory tract. It is caused by Corunebacterium diphtheriae. It is transmitted by infected secretions of the nose and throat expelled by persons who have the disease in a preclinical or a postclinical phase. It Is also can be spread with milk or the other food. The incubation period of 2 or 4 days and prodromal period of 12-14 days are among the shortest in disease caused by bacteria. The symptoms are usually only a slightly sore throat and elevation of temperature, general fatigue . As the disease progresses it becomes difficult to swallow and the signs of toxemia become prominent, severe prostration occurs. The patient should be hospitalized for the immediate and aggressive treatment. The doctor prescribes antitoxins intravenously and intramuscularly. They mutualize diphtheria toxins circulating into the body. Doctors is also treated by antibiotics to kill bacteria. In severe cases doctors remove a thick gray covering obstructing breathing. Sometimes when thereís severe dyspnea and suffocation the patient needs a ventilator to help him to breathe. The other recommendations include nourishing nutrition and the use of vitamins.
8) Tuberculosis is considered to be an infectious highly contagious and life-threatening disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are two forms of Tb : active when the immune system of the body is unable to resist mycobacteria and latent which means that the person is unsusceptible to this disease. According to the location of the inflammation tuberculosis can be divided into two types: pulmonary when it affects lungs and other organs of respiratory tract and extrapulmonary which involves the organs of the nervous, lymphatic and genitourinary system. In addition pulmonary tb is subdivided into such types :
Primary tuberculosis pneumonia. This type of the disease occurs most often in children, elderly and in patients with immunosuppression, such as HIV-infected and AIDS patients.
Tuberculosis pleurisy is diagnosed by a granuloma with ruptures into the pleural space, the space between the lung and the chest wall. A chest x-ray usually shows significant amount of fluid.
Cavitary Tb involves the upper lobes of the lung. The bacteria cause progressive lung destruction by forming cavities, or enlarged air spaces.
Miliary tb or disseminated tb is characterized by the appearance of very small nodules throughout the lung which look like millet seeds. It can be difficult to diagnose because the initial chest x-ray may be normal.
Laryngeal Tb which can infect the larynx (the voice box) or the vocal chord area. Itís extremely contagious.