Vector-borne Diseases: Awareness is the Key to Treatment Miscellanous

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”
Herophilus

MWH finds the above quote extremely apt, significant, and relevant today, April 7, 2014, which is celebrated all over the world as “World Health Day.” The World Health Organization (WHO) began celebrating this day to promote awareness among people regarding their health. MWH, being committed to the health care of mankind, dedicates this post to all people who consider health as the true wealth. The theme of World Health Day 2014 is “Vector-borne diseases,”and MWH provides comprehensive information on these diseases. Read on to know more.

Vectors are a type of organism that transmits parasites and pathogens from an infected person or animal to another, resulting in serious illnesses among human beings. These diseases are more prevalent in tropical or sub-tropical places and regions, where there are problems with basic sanitation and no access to safe drinking water. Malaria is the most deadly vector-borne disease, causing nearly 627,000 deaths in the year 2012.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common vector-borne diseases.

Malaria: A parasite known as Plasmodium causes malaria. The parasite is transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquito. After entry into the human body, the parasites rapidly multiply in the liver and then cause infections in the red blood cells. Malarial symptoms include fever, chills, sweating, nausea, headache etc. By not treating this disease on time, it can be potentially life-threatening by obstructing supply of blood to key organs.

Yellow Fever: Yellow fever is caused by a virus, which is found in tropical areas of Africa and America. It predominantly affects monkeys and humans. The Aedes mosquito is responsible for its transmission. An outbreak of yellow fever could be devastating, and can be controlled and prevented through mass vaccination. The acute phase of the disease is characterised by fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, shivers, headache, and muscle pain. During the “toxic” phase, there is reappearance of fever, development of jaundice, and bleeding, with blood in the vomit. Nearly 50% of individuals who reach the toxic phase die within a period of 10 to 14 days.

Lyme Disease: Lyme disease or Lyme Borreliosis is caused by spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi, which has numerous serotypes. The infection is spread through tick bites, both nymphs and adults. The ticks belong to genus Ixodes. Several mammal species can be infected. The disease is characterised by appearance of skin lesions in combination with fever, headache, myalgia, and chills.

Other vector-borne diseases include Chagas disease, Chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, Dengue, Plague, Avian (bird) flu, Leptospirosis, West Nile Virus etc.

Vector-borne diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide. MWH considers it a duty to spread the message regarding preventing these vector-borne diseases. Prevention has never been more better than cure when it comes to these deadly diseases. Therefore, spread the message, launch awareness programs, and opt for vaccination wherever applicable.