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Some Common Communicable When a person consumes the contaminated

food or water, the bacteria release a toxin in


Diseases in the Community the intestines that produces severe diarrhea.
Community, Communicable or infectious Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a
diseases are those that spread through few hours or as long as five days after
people, animals, foods, surfaces or the air. infection. Often, symptoms are mild. But
When communicable diseases occur, we sometimes they are very serious. About one in
identify them, isolate them and work with 20 people infected have severe
our local health care providers to stop them watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting,
from spreading. They are the leading cause which can quickly lead to dehydration.
of sickness and death worldwide. Taking Although many infected people may have
care of our health should be a top priority. A minimal or no symptoms, they can still
sudden change in the climate as well as an contribute to spread of the infection.
abrupt change in ones eating habits can
affect the physical conditions of a person. Prevention:
Using only water that has been boiled, water
that has been chemically disinfected, or
Cholera bottled water. Be sure to use the bottled,
Is an infectious disease that causes severe boiled, or chemically disinfected water for the
watery diarrhea, which can lead following purposes:
to dehydration and even death if untreated. It  Drinking
is caused by eating food or drinking water  Preparing food or drinks
contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio  Making ice
cholerae. The disease is most common in  Brushing your teeth
places with poor sanitation, crowding, war,
 Washing your face and hands
and famine.
 Washing dishes and utensils that you
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes use to eat or prepare food
cholera, is usually found in food or water  Washing fruits and vegetables
contaminated by feces from a person with the
infection. Common sources include:
 Municipal water supplies Dengue
 Ice made from municipal water Fever is a mosquito-borne disease. Dengue
 Foods and drinks sold by street fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes
vendors Aegypti mosquito infected with a dengue
 Vegetables grown with water virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it
containing human wastes bites a person with dengue virus in
 Raw or undercooked fish and seafood their blood. It can’t be spread directly from
caught in waters polluted with sewage one person to another person.
Symptoms:
 Sudden high fever
 Severe headaches change the water in outdoor bird baths
 Pain behind the eyes and pets' water dishes.
 Severe joint and muscle pain
 Nausea
 Vomiting Malaria
 Skin rash, which appears three to
Is a serious and sometimes life-threatening
four days after the onset of fever
tropical disease that spreads through parasites.
 Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, Malaria can cause high fever, chills, and
bleeding gums, or easy bruising) flulike symptoms that can be life-threatening
Serious problems can develop. These include when not treated quickly. The disease is
dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are
characterized by high fever, damage to lymph carried by Anopheles mosquitoes.
and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and Only female mosquitoes spread the malaria
gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of parasites. When a mosquito bites a person
the circulatory system. The symptoms may who already has malaria, it sucks up the
progress to massive bleeding, shock, and person’s blood, which contain the parasites.
death. This is called dengue shock syndrome When the mosquito bites its next victim, it
(DSS). People with weakened immune injects the parasites into that person. That’s
systems as well as those with a second or how the disease is spread.
subsequent dengue infection are believed to be
at greater risk for developing dengue How do they occur?
hemorrhagic fever.
Once the parasites enter your body, they travel
Prevention: to your liver, where they multiply. They
invade your red blood cells, which are
To protect yourself: important cells in your blood that carry
 Use mosquito repellents, even indoors. oxygen. The parasites get inside them, lay
 When outdoors, wear long-sleeved their eggs, and multiply until the red blood cell
shirts and long pants tucked into bursts.
socks. This releases more parasites into your
 When indoors, make sure window and bloodstream. As they attack more of your
door screens are secure and free of healthy red blood cells, this infection can
holes. If sleeping areas are not make you feel very sick.
screened or air conditioned, use
mosquito nets. Symptoms for malaria usually start about 10
 If you have symptoms of dengue, to 15 days after the infected mosquito bite.
speak to your doctor. Prevention:
 To reduce the mosquito population,
get rid of places where mosquitoes can Malaria can often be avoided using the
breed. These include old tires, cans, or ABCD approach to prevention, which stands
flower pots that collect rain. Regularly for:
Awareness of risk – find out whether you're How Is It Treated?
at risk of getting malaria.
If you think you’ve been exposed to HAV,
Bite prevention – avoid mosquito bites by you should see your doctor right away.
using insect repellent, covering your arms Getting a hepatitis A vaccine or a drug called
and legs, and using a mosquito net. hepatitis A immune globulin could keep you
from getting sick. But for this to work, you’ll
Check whether you need to take malaria
need to get the vaccine very soon after coming
prevention tablets – if you do, make sure
into contact with the virus.
you take the right antimalarial tablets at the
right dose, and finish the course. There’s no treatment once you’ve been
infected. You’ll have to wait until your body
Diagnosis – seek immediate medical advice
gets rid of the virus. Most people find that
if you have malaria symptoms, including up
their liver is healed within 6 months.
to a year after you return from travelling.
Prevention:
 Stay home
Hepatitis A  Rest up
Your liver is the second-largest organ in your  Take care of your skin
body. It turns what you eat and drink into  Eat small meals
energy. It also helps to remove harmful  Get enough calories.
substances from your blood.  Abstain from alcohol
If your liver gets infected by HAV, it can  Go easy on your liver.
swell and stop working as well as it should.  Keep your illness to yourself.
 Check in with your doctor.
The hepatitis A virus is carried in the stool of
infected people. You can get the virus if an
infected person doesn’t wash his hands after
Cold / Flu
using the bathroom and then touches food, a
surface, or your mouth. Foods most likely to When you wake up sneezing, coughing, and
be affected are fruits, vegetables, shellfish, ice, have that achy, feverish, can't move a muscle
and water. feeling, how do you know whether you
have cold symptoms or the flu?
The symptoms of HAV
include fever, fatigue, nausea, stomach It's important to know the difference
pain, vomiting, and joint pain. Some people between flu and cold symptoms. A cold is a
notice that their skin and the whites of milder respiratory illness than the flu.
their eyes turn yellow. This is a condition While cold symptoms can make you feel bad
called jaundice. It’s also common to for a few days, flu symptoms can make you
have pain around your liver, which lies under feel quite ill for a few days to weeks.
your rib cage on your right side. The flu can also result in serious health
problems such as pneumonia and
hospitalizations.
Cold symptoms usually begin with a sore
Symptoms Cold Flu
throat, which usually goes away after a day or
two. Nasal symptoms, runny nose, and
congestion follow, along with a cough by the Fever Sometimes, Usual; higher
fourth and fifth days. Fever is uncommon in usually mild (100-102 F;
adults, but a slight fever is possible. Children occasionally
are more likely to have a fever with a cold. higher, especially
in young
How long do cold symptoms last? children); lasts 3
Cold symptoms usually last for about a week. to 4 days
During the first three days that you have cold
symptoms, you are contagious. This means Headache Occasionally Common
you can pass the cold to others, so stay home
and get some much-needed rest.
General Slight Usual; often
If cold symptoms do not seem to be improving Aches, severe
after a week, you may have a bacterial Pains
infection, which means you may
need antibiotics.
Fatigue, Sometimes Usual; can last 2
Flu symptoms are usually more severe than Weakness to 3 weeks
cold symptoms and come on quickly.
Symptoms of flu include sore throat, Extreme Never Usual; at the
fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, Exhaustio beginning of the
congestion, and cough. Swine flu in particular n illness
is also associated with vomiting and diarrhea.
Most flu symptoms gradually improve over Stuffy Common Sometimes
two to five days, but it's not uncommon to feel Nose
run down for a week or more. A common
complication of the flu is pneumonia,
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
particularly in the young, elderly, or people
with lung or heart problems.
Sore Common Sometimes
Just like cold viruses, flu viruses enter your Throat
body through the mucous membranes of the
nose, eyes, or mouth. Every time you touch
your hand to one of these areas, you could be Chest Mild to Common; can
infecting yourself with a virus, which makes it Discomfor moderate; become severe
very important to keep hands germ-free with t, Cough hacking
frequent washing to prevent both flu and cold cough
symptoms.
Prevention Wash hands Wash hands often;  Slight or partial paralysis
often; avoid avoid close  Hyperactivity
close contact contact with  Being easily agitated
with anyone anyone who has  Hallucinations
with a cold flu symptoms; get  Salivating more than usual
the annual flu  Difficulty swallowing
vaccine
An Animal Bit Me. What Should I Do?
Wash the wound right away with soap and
water. That’s the best way to lower your
chances of infection. See a doctor as soon as
Rabies
possible. He’ll treat the wound and decide
Rabies is a virus that attacks the central whether you need a rabies vaccination.
nervous system. It’s found only in mammals.
If your doctor suspects rabies, he’ll begin
Rabies has the highest mortality rate -- 99.9%
treatment with the rabies vaccine – post
-- of any disease on earth. The key is to get
exposure prophylaxis (PEP). The vaccine is
treated right away if you think you’ve been
always successful if it’s given immediately
exposed to an animal that has rabies.
after exposure. You’ll get one dose of fast-
How Is It Spread? acting rabies immune globulin, which will
prevent you from getting infected by the virus.
Normally, rabies is spread through a deep bite
Then you’ll get four rabies vaccine shots over
or scratch from an infected animal. Nearly all
the next 14 days.
humans infected with the virus got it from pet
dogs. The best way to avoid getting rabies is Can You Tell If An Animal Has Rabies?
to have your pets vaccinated.
You might have an image in your head of a
Typically, there are no symptoms right away. dog acting aggressively and foaming at
Rabies can lay dormant in your body for 1 to 3 the mouth. But it’s not so easy to tell if you’re
months. Doctors call this the “incubation looking at a rabid animal. Most wild animals
period.” Symptoms will appear once the virus that have rabies actually act shy or timid.
travels through your central nervous system That’s not the way wild animals normally act,
and hits your brain. so steer clear.
The first sign that something is wrong is fever. Prevention:
You might feel generally tired or weak. You
may also feel pain, tingling, or burning at the  Never pet a stray dog or cat.
site of the wound. As the virus spreads  If you see an animal acting strangely
through your central nervous system, you’ll (it’s aggressive or tries to bite you),
develop other, more severe symptoms. They call your local animal control.
include:  Never touch a wild animal -- even if it
looks dead.
 Inability to sleep (insomnia)
 Anxiety
 Confusion Maristela Denise A. Molina, BSN-IV