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Diseases - major types of disease and their treatment

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´╗┐General Principles of Control and Treatment Major groups of disease Health, as defined by the world health organization, is the complete physical, mental and social well-being of an individual, and not just the absence of disease. Disease is the condition in which the normal state of an organism is modified or damaged. Diseases may be classified as: pathogenic, deficiency, hereditary or physiological. Pathogenic Diseases One of the main causes of disease in an organism is the presence of another organism, a parasite, living on or in its body from which it gets food. In so doing, parasites often damage tissues or produce toxins which poison its host, causing diseases. Pathogen is a term used to describe parasites which cause disease. The diseases are referred to as pathogenic. The main groups of pathogenic organisms include viruses and bacteria. These organisms are responsible for a wide range of pathogenic diseases. Viral diseases include influenza, dengue, polio, chicken pox and AIDS. Bacterial diseases include rheumatic fever, sore throat, food poisoning, leprosy, cholera, typhoid, syphilis and gonorrhea. Other important pathogens are found in protozoa (malaria parasite), roundworms and fungi (ringworm and athlete?s foot). Deficiency Diseases Deficiency diseases are caused by the shortage or lack of certain essential factors in the diet, e.g anaemia, protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and rickets. These diseases are more common in developing and under-developed countries than in developed countries. This may be due to the following reasons: Shortage of a particular type food Low income: shortage of money and an inability to buy the right kinds of food Lack of proper education Hereditary Diseases Hereditary diseases are passed from one generation to another and as such cannot be cured. An individual suffers from hereditary disease simply from a hereditary disease simply because the factors that cause the disease have been passed to him by one or both parents, e.g. sickle-cell anaemia and haemophilia. ...read more.


fish, into the water. Life History of the Housefly Houseflies are household pests. They spread diseases by collecting pathogens on their hairy bodies, on sticky pads on their feet or taking them in along with food into their digestive systems. Pathogens are picked up from faeces, sewage and rotting material and deposited on food, drinks ar open wounds. They do not discriminate in their food source and may fly from a rotting animal to garbage and then to prepared foods in the kitchen, all in a few minutes. They defecate on the food while they feed and may also regurgitate semi-digested food. The adult female housefly lays eggs in moist rotting animal and plant material including human faeces. If conditions are favourable, within a few hours to about three days, larvae or maggots emerge. The larval stage lasts for about one week to two weeks during which the larvae feed, grow and moult. The larvae then change into pupae. Pupae do not feed. Inside, the larval tissues are broken down and adult structures develop. A few days later a young adult emerges. Within two weeks, an adult becomes sexually mature and can begin to lay eggs. Knowledge of this life cycle is important in getting rid of houseflies and preventing them from spreading disease. Potential breeding grounds should be destroyed. Adults and maggots can be killed with chemicals. Foods for human consumption should be properly stored and kept covered. AIDS AND OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES AIDS Causative Agent: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the progressive destruction of the immune system by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). When a person is infected with HIV, the virus binds to the surface of specific white blood cells (called T4 cells or helper cells) and inactivates or destroy these cells which are an important part of the immune system. This weakens the immune system. The infected person becomes susceptible to pathogens which are normally destroyed by these cells and vulnerable to a wide range of diseases. ...read more.


Antibody production is slow at first but as long as the antigens remain in the blood, antibody production increases until the disease is overcome. Some pathogens produce toxic chemicals called toxins. Lymphocytes produce antitoxins which neutralize them. Antibodies are specific in action. Each type of antibody can combine with one type of antigen. Once the lymphocytes have been stimulated to make a particular antibody, they remember how to make them. If the same antigens enter the body, the lymphocytes immediately recognize them and rapidly produce large numbers of the right antibodies, before they can cause disease. The individual does not become ill and is said to be immune to that disease. This is known as natural immunity. Immunity is the ability to resist infection. Artificial Immunity There are some diseases, for which the body cannot make antibodies fast enough to prevent illness. Some of these are either fatal or likely to leave a person with physical disabilities, e.g. polio, if the person survives. A person can be artificially protected against such a disease by vaccination. This process involves the introduction of a preparation called a vaccine which may be administered orally or by injection. The process of giving the vaccine is called inoculation. A vaccine is made from pathogens that have been killed or weakened by some treatment. In this state, these organisms are unlikely to cause disease but they are still recognized as foreign. The lymphocytes therefore produce antibodies against them, just as they would during an actual attack. The person has obtained artificial immunity. For some diseases, e.g. typhoid and cholera antibody levels reduce with time. A second or third dose of the vaccine, called boosters, is needed to maintain the antibody levels, so the person remains protected. ?Ready -made? antibodies can also be introduced into the blood stream. This is done when immediate protection is necessary. For example when a person is exposed to a deadly disease, such as rabies, there is no time to make antibodies. Antibodies are quickly injected to protect the individual. This immunity lasts only a short time, as the injected antibodies are themselves destroyed. ...read more.

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