HUMAN DISEASES – BACTERIAL DISEASES

HUMAN DISEASES – BACTERIAL DISEASES

The term disease denotes any condition or disorder that disrupts the steady state of wellbeing of the body. Health is a state of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in the internal environment of the body. Some of the causes of diseases are due to entry of pathogens and parasites.

Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Parasites are organisms which live on or in the body of other organisms. Vectors are animals that carry the pathogen from are person to another. Most are ectoparasites that transmit the disease as they feed.

 

Bacterial Diseases

Cholera

Causative agent a bacterium

Vibrio cholerae.

Transmission 

It is spread through water and food contaminated by human faeces containing the bacteria.

The bacteria produce a powerful toxin, enterotoxin that causes inflammation of the wall of the intestine leading to:

  1. Severe diarrhea that leads to excessive water loss from body.
  2. Abdominal pain
  3. Vomiting
  4. Dehydration which may lead to death.

 

Prevention and Control

  • Adequate sanitation such as water purification sewage treatment and proper disposal of human faeces.
  • Public and personal hygiene e.g washing hands before meals and washing fruits and vegetables, boiling drinking water.

 

Vaccination

  • Carriers should be identified, isolated and treated during outbreaks. Treatment
  • Use of appropriate antibiotics.
  • Correcting fluid loss by injecting fluids or by administration of oral rehydration solutions.

 

Typhoid

Causative agent

  • The disease is caused by Salmonella typhi.
  • Transmission is through contaminated water and food.
  • It is also transmitted by certain ‘e.g foods, e.g. oysters, mussels and shell fish.

Symptoms

  1. Fever
  2. Muscle pains
  3. Headache
  4. Spots on the trunk of the body
  5. Diarrhoea
  6. In severe cases mental confusion may result and death.

 

Prevention

  1. Boil drinking water.
  2. Proper sewage treatment.
  3. Proper disposal of faeces, if not flushed use deep pit latrines.
  4. Observe personal hygiene e.g. washing hands before meals.
  5. Washing fruits and vegetables.

 

Treatment

  • Use of appropriate antibiotics.

 

Protozoa Malaria

  • Malaria is caused by the protozoan plasmodium.
  • The most common species of plasmodium are P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. rnalariae and P. ovale with varying degree of severity.

Transmission

  • Is by female anopheles mosquito as it gets a blood meal.

Symptoms

  • Headache, sweating, shivering, high temperature (40-41 0C) chills and joint pains.
  • The abdomen becomes tender due to destruction of red blood cells by the parasites .

Prevention

  • Destroy breeding grounds for mosquitoes by clearing bushes and draining stagnant water.
  • Kill mosquito larvae by spraying water surfaces with oil.
  • Use insecticides to kill adult mosquitoes
  • Sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • Take preventive drugs.

Treatment

  • Use appropriate anti-malarial drugs.

 

Amoebic dysentry (Amoebiasis)

Cause

  • This disease is caused by Entamoeba histolytica.
  • The parasites live in the intestinal tract but may occasionally spread to the liver.

Transmission

They are transmitted through contaminated water and food especially salads.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea.
  • The parasites cause ulceration of the intestinal tract, which results in diarrhoea.

Prevention and control

  • Proper disposal of human faeces.
  • Boiling water before drinking.
  • Personal hygiene e.g. washing hands before meals.
  • Washing vegetables and steaming particularly salads and fruits before eating.

Treatment

  • Treatment of infected people with appropriate drugs.

 

See also

POLLUTION

HYDROPHYTES (WATER PLANTS)

POPULATION ESTIMATION METHODS

FOOD CHAINS

THE ECOSYSTEM

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