Cholera is an infection of the intestines by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. The dehydration may result in the skin turning bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.
Cholera is caused by a number of types of Vibrio cholerae, with some types producing more severe disease than others. It is spread mostly by water and food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria. Insufficiently cooked seafood is a common source. Humans are the only animal affected. Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty. There are concerns that rising sea levels will increase rates of disease. This disease is diagnosed by the discovery of this bacteria in the stool of the test subject. A rapid test is available but is not as accurate.
2. Enteric fever
Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid, is a symptomatic bacterial infection due to Salmonella typhi. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and usually begin six to thirty days after exposure. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several days. Weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, and headaches also commonly occur.
Diarrhea and vomiting are uncommon. Some people develop a skin rash with rose colored spots. In severe cases there may be confusion. Without treatment symptoms may last weeks or months. Other people may carry the bacteria without being affected; however, they are still able to spread the disease to others. Typhoid fever is a type of enteric fever along with paratyphoid fever.
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung affecting primarily the microscopic air sacs known as alveoli. It is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria and less commonly other microorganisms, certain drugs and other conditions such as autoimmune diseases.
Typical signs and symptoms include a cough, chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing. Diagnostic tools include x-rays and culture of the sputum. Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are available. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Pneumonia presumed to be bacterial is treated with antibiotics. If the pneumonia is severe, the affected person is generally hospitalized.
Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Signs and symptoms may vary from mild to severe. They usually start two to five days after exposure. Symptoms often come on fairly gradually beginning with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases a grey or white patch develops in the throat. This can block the airway and create a barking cough as in croup. The neck may swell in part due to large lymph nodes. A form of diphtheria that involves the skin, eyes, or genitals also exists. Complications may include myocarditis, inflammation of nerves, kidney problems, and bleeding problems due to low blood platelets. Myocarditis may result in an abnormal heart rate and inflammation of the nerves may result in paralysis.
5. Whooping cough
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough or 100 day cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. Initially symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever and mild cough. This is then followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. Following a fit of coughing a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in. The coughing may last for more than a hundred days or ten weeks. A person may cough so hard they vomit, break ribs, or become very tired from the effort.
Children less than one year old may have little or no cough and instead have periods where they do not breathe. The period of time between infection and the onset of symptoms is usually seven to ten days. Disease may occur in those who have been vaccinated but symptoms are typically milder.
Pertussis is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. It is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. People are infectious to others from the start of symptoms until about three weeks into the coughing fits. Those treated with antibiotics are no longer infectious after five days. Diagnosis is by collecting a sample from the back of the nose and throat. This sample can then be tested by either culture or by polymerase chain reaction.
Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is an infection characterized by muscle spasms. In the most common type the spasms begin in the jaw and then progress to the rest of the body. These spasms usually last a few minutes each time and occur frequently for three to four weeks. Spasms may be so severe that bone fractures may occur. Other symptoms may include:
4. Trouble swallowing
5. High blood pressure
6. A fast heart rate
Onset of symptoms is typically three to twenty one days following infection. It may take months to recover. About 10% of those infected die.
Tetanus is caused by an infection with the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacteria generally enter through a break in the skin such as a cut or puncture wound by a contaminated object. The bacteria are commonly found in soil, dust and manure. The bacteria produce toxins that interfere with muscle contractions, resulting in the typical symptoms. Diagnosis is based on the presenting signs and symptoms. The disease does not spread between people.
Tuberculosis, MTB or TB, in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a widespread, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.
The classic symptoms of active TB infection are a chronic cough with blood-tinged sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology, as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids. Diagnosis of latent TB relies on the tuberculin skin test (TST) and/or blood tests. Treatment is difficult and requires administration of multiple antibiotics over a long period of time. Social contacts are also screened and treated if necessary. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infections. Prevention relies on screening programs and vaccination with the bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.
Leprosy also known as Hansen's disease (HD) is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Initially, infections are without symptoms and typically remain this way for 5 to as long as 20 years. Symptoms that develop include granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. This may result in a lack of ability to feel pain and thus loss of parts of extremities due to repeated injuries. Weakness and poor eyesight may also be present.
Leprosy is spread between people. This is believed to occur through a cough or contact with fluid from the nose of an infected person. Leprosy occurs more commonly among those living in poverty and is believed to be transmitted by respiratory droplets. It is not very contagious. The two main types of disease are based on the number of bacteria present:
The two types are differentiated by the number of poorly pigmented, numb skin patches present, with paucibacillary having five or fewer and multibacillary having more than five. The diagnosis is confirmed by finding acid-fast bacilli in a biopsy of the skin or via detecting the DNA by polymerase chain reaction.
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects mostly animals. It is not contagious but can be transmitted through contact or consumption of infected meat. Effective vaccines against anthrax are available, and some forms of the disease respond well to antibiotic treatment.
Anthrax commonly infects wild and domesticated herbivorous mammals that ingest or inhale the spores while grazing. Ingestion is thought to be the most common route by which herbivores contract anthrax. Carnivores living in the same environment may become infected by consuming infected animals. Diseased animals can spread anthrax to humans, either by direct contact or by consumption of a diseased animal's flesh.
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin.
Depending on lung infection, or sanitary conditions, plague can be spread in the air, by direct contact, or by contaminated undercooked food or materials. The symptoms of plague depend on the concentrated areas of infection in each person:
1. Bubonic plague in lymph nodes
2. Septicemic plague in blood vessels
3. Pneumonic plague in lungs
* Until June 2007, plague was one of the three epidemic diseases specifically reportable to the World Health Organization.
Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs. Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation's proximity to the brain and spinal cord; therefore, the condition is classified as a medical emergency.
The most common symptoms of meningitis are headache and neck stiffness associated with fever, confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light (photophobia) or loud noises (phonophobia). Children often exhibit only nonspecific symptoms, such as irritability and drowsiness. If a rash is present, it may indicate a particular cause of meningitis; for instance, meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria may be accompanied by a characteristic rash.
Gonnococcal infection, also known as gonorrhea, gonorrhoea and the clap is one of the two most common sexually transmitted infections along with chlamydia. This infection is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The usual symptoms in men are a burning sensation with urination and penile discharge.
Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain. In both men and women, if gonorrhea is left untreated, it may spread locally, causing inflammation of the epididymis or pelvic inflammatory disease or throughout the body, affecting joints and heart valves.
The common treatment is with ceftriaxone (Rocephin), as resistance has developed to many previously used antibiotics. Ceftriaxone is typically given in combination with either azithromycin or doxycycline, as gonorrhea infections may occur along with chlamydia, an infection that ceftriaxone does not treat. Some strains of gonorrhea have begun showing resistance to this treatment, which will make infection more difficult to treat.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis.
The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages it presents (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). The primary stage classically presents with a single chancre, 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, neurological, or cardiac symptoms.
14. Botulinum (Food poison)
Botulism is a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The disease begins with weakness, trouble seeing, feeling tired, and trouble speaking. This may then be followed by weakness of the arms, chest muscles, and legs. The disease does not usually affect consciousness or cause a fever.
Botulism can occur in a few different ways. The bacterial spores that cause it are common in both soil and water. They produce botulinum toxin when exposed to low oxygen levels and certain temperatures. Foodborne botulism happens when food containing the toxin is eaten. Infant botulism happens when the bacteria develops in the intestines and releases toxin.