New Infectious Diseases | Harmful Fevers | Emerging Disease
The advent of new diseases noticed last year has been the matter of grave concern in the field of medicine all over the world. Most of them are transmitted by the bite of insects like mosquitoes or sandflies. In the absence of prompt treatment, all of them were found to be fatal, making the victims undergo prolonged physiological torture before the eventual death. Before any curative drug is invented, the sole answer to the problem is to prevent it, either by staying away from the possible attack or by getting inoculated if any vaccine has been found. Some of the latest infectious diseases causing major worry have been discussed below.
- Rift Valley Fever
- Oropouche Fever
New Infectious Diseases:
The other name of the disease Leishmaniasis is Aleppo Boil. The disease is caused by the bite of an infected small sandfly (smaller than mosquitoes) which leads to craggy dark patches on the skin, usually on the face or at the bitten-site of the victim. The main culprit of the disease is not the sandfly, but the infective intra cellular protozoan parasite embedded in the body of the biting sandfly. Leishmaniasis is primarily of three types viz., cutaneous, muco-cutaneous and visceral. The ill effects of cutaneous disease are external skin open sores and that of muco-cutaneous variety damage mouth and nasal canal in addition to skin ulcers.
The lesions formed in the buccal cavity, nasal canals and larynx might continue to torment the patients even after months or years of curing the disease. The visceral disease, also known as black fever or dumdum fever, raids the deeper internal organs of the body causing enlarged liver and spleen, diminishing the count of erythrocytes (Red Blood Corpuscles or simply red blood cells), infecting bone marrow preceded by skin ulcers and fever.
Cure for Leishmaniasis:
There is no prophylactic or preventive medicine available. There are two ways being safe from the disease i.e., either making oneself physically inaccessible to the sandflies or undergoing post-attack treatment. There is no medical pre-emptive measure to keep human body immune from the unforeseen attacks.
Skin sores due to cutaneous Leishmaniasis can heal in initial stages normally without treatment. However, medicinal treatment can hasten the process of healing. In some cases, treatments like cryotherapy and local heat therapy at 40-42 degrees centigrade may be required.
The lesions formed by muco-cutaneous Leishmaniasis do not heal without medication. The effective remedy is offered by Liposomal amphotericin B and paromomycin.
Visceral Leishmaniasis makes medication absolutely inevitable. Several medicines are available for treatment. Proper treatment by qualified medical professionals can alone cure the disease.
Instead of undergoing medical treatment, it is much better to take certain precautions beforehand to avoid being bitten by sandflies as follows:
- Ensure your body is enveloped by clothing as much as possible and the minimal part of the body is exposed to air. It is better to wear full sleeved upper garments, thick trousers and lengthy pair of socks reaching the mid-region of calves of legs.
- Apply insect repellent creams on the exposed parts of the skin.
- Stay indoors from dusk to dawn.
- Spray on the sleeping areas and the interiors of bed room with insecticide.
- Sleep on highly elevated areas from the ground. Sandflies fly in low heights.
- Since sandflies are much smaller than mosquitoes in size, thickly-woven nets with miniscule orifices properly tucked below the sleeping mattresses are preferable to deny entry for sandflies. Spraying the net with insecticide is an added preventive measure.
- The rotating air by the fast moving blades of fan would make it difficult for sandflies to fly or stay in the room.
Before travelling to high-risk areas, make it compulsory to carry with you insecticides, repellents, bed nets, thick lengthy garments.
Areas Affected by Leishmaniasis On Earth:
It is unpleasant to note that all the regions on earth are known to be plagued by Leishmaniasis except Australia and Antarctica. The incidence of cutaneous Leishmaniasis is observed mostly in the Central Asian region, both continents of America, Mediterranean basin and the middle-east countries. The main areas where cutaneous Leishmaniasis is mostly found are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iran, Brazil, Peru and the visceral variety is found the in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan.
Rift Valley Fever
Rift Valley Fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by inhaling the polluted air contaminated with the RVF virus, or drinking raw milk from the infected animal, or by touching the blood of the infected animal or by the bite of carrier mosquitoes. In most of the cases, the disease is spread from the infected livestock to humans by the vector mosquitoes that have previously bitten the infected milch animals. Humans are more prone to be affected by the disease when they expose themselves to the air in slaughter houses and to the meat and blood of butchered domesticated animals.
When attacked by the rift valley fever, the initial symptoms like muscle pains, fever and headaches are observed which normally stay for about a week. When the fever gets more severe, the brain is infected resulting strong headache, eddy swing of moods or mental disorientation, liver complications leading to bleeding, petechiae etc.
Since there is no specific remedy for rift valley fever, there is no choice except taking up preventive measures. As the disease is spread from infected livestock to humans, rather than from person to person, vaccination is administered on the affected animals before the outbreak of the infection. Although humans too can be inoculated, the human vaccine is less produced compared to the animal vaccine. People are also advised to stay away from the infected herd of livestock, as mere inhalation of the contaminated air and getting in physical contact with the inner biological fluids of the animals are sufficient to transmit the disease to humans. Draining of stagnant water to curb the population of vectors is another way of prevention.
The name of the disease is attributed to the place in Trinidad and Tobago (in the South Caribbean sea) from where the fever had originated. More recently, the outbreak of the disease was noticed in Brazil, Panama, Peru and Ecuador. The Oropouche fever is transmitted to humans by the bite of mosquitoes or midges which carry the arbovirus from the blood of sloths, marsupials, primates and birds. The disease is marked by the sudden beginning of fever, head ache, joint pains, vomiting, myalgia (muscle pains). The fever causes in some patients more serious symptoms like aseptic meningitis. The symptoms of the disease appear after 3 to 10 days of the attack of the virus in humans. The symptoms are similar to those caused by Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and Mayaro fevers. In some severe cases, Oropouche fever can cause encephalitis.
There is not any established method for treating the disease. The present methods of treatment consist of treating various symptoms appearing in each patient. When all the symptoms are completely treated, the disease is found to retreat itself on its own after a specified period. No fatalities due to Oropouche fever have been reported so far.
Mayaro fever is caused by the mosquito-borne virus of the family Togaviridae and the genus Alphavirus. The sickly features of the Mayaro include the same symptoms cause by Dengue fever like hadache, joint and muscle pains, rashes,vomiting, diarrhea, pain behind eyes. If the severity of the disease is too high, the joint pains might continue for one year after the attack of the virus. Though the initial occurrence of the virus was found in South America, its subsequent appearance was spotted in Haiti, in the Caribbean and later in Bolivia too.
Although there have been no authentic records about the causative factors, established methods of treatment, the recent research about the disease has indicated that for determining the clinical severity of alphavrus-induced musculoskeletal disease a vital role is played by macrophage migration inhibitory factor.
Further research work has been under progress and serious attempts are being made to find effective solutions to tackle the febrile ailment at the earliest.
Elizabethkingia is presently looked upon as one of the deadliest illnesses due to lack of reliable medical treatment. Elizabethkingia is the name of genus of certain bacteria which has been described in detail by the discoverer, Elizabeth in 2005.
Elizabethkingia is found to spread in hospital environment, especially in Intensive Critical Care Units since 2004. The major feature of the Elizabethkingia is unpleasantly its ability of resistance to anti biotics and harmful virulence.
So far, the following categories of the Elizabethkingia have been found:
- Elizabethkingia Anophelis which is isolated from anopheles mosquitoes is found to cause respiratory treact infections and its incidence occurred in Wisconsin, U.S.A. in 2016 resulting in the massive deaths in 20 people.
- Elizabethkingia Miricola is identified in the closed confines of Mir space station, isolated from condensation water.
- Elizabethkingia Meningoseptica is found to be present in fish and frogs and believed to attack newborns and infants resulting in neonatal meningitis.
- Elizabethkingia Endophytica was isolated from the stem of a ten-day old sweet corn.