Communicable Diseases

Virus - HIV


HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. This waets down the immune system and means that a sufferer is very susceptible to viruses that would easily be faught off by a healthy person; they often end up dying to something like a cold. The HIV virus is spread in the following ways:

  • Sharing dirty needles
  • Unsafe sex
  • Mother to child
  • Breast milk
  • Blood transfusions
  • fever (raised temperature)
  • sore throat
  • body rash
  • tiredness
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • swollen glands

Once the virus has destroyed the immune system (which can take up to 10 years), sufferers experience symtoms such as:

  • weight loss
  • chronic diarrhoea
  • night sweats
  • skin problems
  • recurrent infections
  • serious life-threatening illnesses

36.7 million people around the world live with HIV/AIDS. Over 60% of these people are living in Sub-Saharan Africa the highest infection rates in the world are:

  1. South Africa - 5.6 million
  2. Nigeria - 3.3 million
  3. India - 2.4 million
  4. Kenya - 1.5 million

Bacteria - Salmonella


Salmonella is a bacterial infection of the intestines that causes illnesses such as typhoid and food poisoning. You often can't tell when food is infected and it is spread in the following ways:

  • Food contaminated during preparation or handling
  • Found in beef, poultry, milk and eggs
  • Passed on from pet rodents and reptiles to food

Symptoms can take up to 3 days to develop and are unpleasant but not dangerous. The only real danger is dehydration. Here are the symptoms of salmonella:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps

Due to salmonella, in the uk every year there are:

  • 500,000 cases of food poisoning
  • 2,500 hospital admissions
  • 244,000 cases due to poultry

Protist - Malaria


Malaria is an infection of the plasmodium parasite. There are many different types of this parasite however only 5 of them cause malaria in Humans. It is spread when a infected mosquito, mainly female Anopheles', bite and inject the parasite into the bloodstream. It is very rare however malaria has been spread by sharing needles.

The parasite isn't found in the UK, these are the areas where malaria exists:


Symtoms can take anywhere between 7 days and a year to develop and initially they include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sweats
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

There are many complications of malairia that suffererscan develop:

  • Anaemia
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • ARDS
  • Low blood sugar
  • Kidney failure
  • Raptured spleen
  • Dehydration
  • Miscarriage
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • 70% of malaria deaths are among 1-5 year olds
  • There were around 212 million cases and around 429,000 death of malaria in 2015
  • Malaria mortality rates have fallen by 29% since 2010

Fungi - Ringworm


Ringworm is a fungal infection that that is known as a Tinea infection. The fungal spores are spread in the following ways:

  • Contact between infected pets and humans
  • Direct conctact between humans
  • Sharing of objects such as hairbrushes, towels and bedding

The only symptom of ringworm is the red or silvery, ring shaped rashes on the skin. They may be sore however they are not dangerous and will go away with some anti-fungal cream.

  • Between 10 and 20 percent of people are affected in their lifetime
  • Most common in African-Carribbean children
  • More common in urban areas

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