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Health Matters

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Posted by  Simba Sunday, 06 March 2011 09:48

Health Matters


Health Information, Diseases and Vaccine Information

Before setting off, you may want to check the illnesses described below that occur in Kenya and its surrounding Tropical countries. The information displayed is from the CDC and should be pretty accurate. As a strict rule of thumb; if you think that there is something wrong, go see a doctor.

In general, 1st timers to Tropical African countries worry about medical attention & care. We personally can inform you that these countries have qualified doctors that are highly skilled and know tropical diseases better than your average 1st world doctors.
Let this not be the reason to stop you travelling on your own or with your friends and family – what ever age.

If you're not sure where to find good medical attention, check with the nearest international hotel as they usually have their own "house doctor" that can help you (note: the facilities and / or doctors they refer you to will most likely ask for payment).

Our personal opinion on Bushdrums.com – prevention is better than cure! Therefore take the necessary steps to prevent drinking dirty water, getting bitten by mosquitoes, getting a sun stroke or infected by sexually transmitted diseases amongst others.

Remember, when you are back home and your stay in Africa has become a unique memory; should you feel uncomfortable in any way, please inform your doctor that you were away on vacation / work in a tropical country – even after 6 months.

Below the list of diseases we have preselected all news published on bushdrums for you to see if any outbreak recently occured.

AIDS

AIDS is a serious disease, first recognized as a distinct syndrome in 1981. This syndrome represents the late clinical stage of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIVGG), resulting in progressive damage to the immune system and in life-threatening infectious and noninfectious complications.

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Cholera

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O-group 1 or O-group 139. The infection is often mild and self limited or subclinical. Patients with severe cases respond dramatically to simple fluid- and electrolyte-replacement therapy. Infection is acquired primarily by ingesting contaminated water or food; person-to-person transmission is rare.

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Dengue Fever

Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are viral diseases transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, usually Ae. aegypti . The four dengue viruses (DEN-1 through DEN-4) are immunologically related, but do not provide cross-protective immunity against each other.

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Hepatitis, Viral, Type A

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV infection may be asymptomatic or its clinical manifestations may range in severity from a mild illness lasting 1-2 weeks to a severely disabling disease lasting several months. Clinical manifestations of hepatitis A often include fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, and abdominal discomfort, followed within a few days by jaundice.

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Hepatitis, Viral, Type B

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The clinical manifestations of HBV infection range in severity from no symptoms to fulminant hepatitis. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B may include fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, and abdominal discomfort, followed within a few days by jaundice.

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Hepatitis, Viral, Type C

Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Most persons who acquire acute HCV infection either have no symptoms or have a mild clinical illness. However, chronic HCV infection develops in 75%-85% of those acutely infected, with chronic liver disease developing in 60%-70% of chronically infected persons. Chronic hepatitis C is the leading cause for liver transplantation in the United States.

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Hepatitis, Viral, Type E

Hepatitis E, which is caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV), cannot be distinguished reliably from other forms of acute viral hepatitis except by specific serologic testing.

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Malaria

Malaria in humans is caused by one of four protozoan species of the genus Plasmodium: P. falciparum , P. vivax , P. ovale , or P. malariae . All species are transmitted by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Occasionally, transmission occurs by blood transfusion, organ transplantation, needle-sharing, or congenitally from mother to fetus. Although malaria can be a fatal disease, illness and death from malaria are largely preventable.

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Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a member of the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae. CHIKV was first isolated from the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953, and has since been identified repeatedly in west, central and southern Africa and many areas of Asia, and has been cited as the cause of numerous human epidemics in those areas since that time. The virus circulates throughout much of Africa, with transmission thought to occur mainly between mosquitoes and monkeys.

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African Sleeping Sickness

Trypanosomiasis is a systemic disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei . East African trypanosomiasis is caused by T. b. rhodesiense and West African trypanosomiasis by T. b. gambiense . Both forms are transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly, a gray-brown insect about the size of a honeybee.

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Tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a rod-shaped bacterium that can cause disseminated disease but is most frequently associated with pulmonary infections. The bacilli are transmitted by the airborne route and, depending on host factors, may lead to latent tuberculosis infection (sometimes abbreviated LTBI) or tuberculosis disease (TB). Both conditions can usually be treated successfully with medications.

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Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Illness ranges in severity from an influenza-like syndrome to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever. The yellow fever virus is maintained in nature by mosquito-borne transmission between nonhuman primates. Transmission by mosquitoes from one human to another occurs during epidemics of "urban yellow fever."

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Rift Valley Fever

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease generally found in sub-Saharan Africa where sheep and cattle are raised, but the virus has also occurred in Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and in Madagascar. Rift Valley fever virus primarily affects livestock and can cause disease in a large number of domestic animals. Although the virus is usually transmitted by infected mosquitoes and possibly other biting insects that have virus contaminated mouthparts, Rift Valley Fever virus is occasionally transmitted to humans through contact with the blood, body fluids, or tissues of the infected animals.

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