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What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle andjoint pain, swollen glands(lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence (the "dengue triad") of fever, rash, andheadache (and other pains) is particularly characteristic of dengue. Other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles. Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) strikes people with low levels of immunity. Because it is caused by one of four serotypes of virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular serotype to which the patient was exposed. Dengue goes by other names, including "breakbone" or "dandy fever." Victims of dengue often have contortions due to the intense joint and muscle pain, hence the name breakbone fever. Slaves in the West Indies who contracted dengue were said to have dandy fever because of their postures and gait. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of the viral illness. Manifestations include headache, fever, rash, and evidence of hemorrhage in the body. Petechiae (small red or purple blisters under the skin), bleeding in the nose or gums, black stools, or easy bruisingare all possible signs of hemorrhage. This form of dengue fever can be life-threatening and can progress to the most severe form of the illness, dengue shock syndrome.

What areas are at high risk for contracting dengue fever?


Dengue is prevalent throughout the tropics and subtropics. Outbreaks have occurred recently in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, and Central America. Cases have also been imported via tourists returning from areas with widespread dengue, including Tahiti, Singapore, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, the West Indies, India, and the Middle East (similar in distribution to the areas of the world that harbormalaria and yellow fever). Dengue is now the leading cause of acute febrile illness in U.S. travelers returning from the Caribbean, South America, and Asia. A 2009 outbreak of dengue fever in Key West, Fla., showed that three patients who did not travel outside of the U.S. contracted the virus. Subsequent testing of the population of Key West has shown that up to 55 of the people living in the area have antibodies to dengue. As of July 17, 2010, 17 individuals have been identified that acquired dengue in Key West in 2010. Dengue fever is common, and statistics show it may be increasing in Southeast Asia. Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia have all reported an increase in cases. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 100 million cases of dengue fever with several hundred thousand cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever requiring hospitalization each year. Nearly 40% of the world's population lives in an area endemic with dengue.

How is

dengue fever contracted?


The virus is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. The mosquito flourishes during rainy seasons but can breed in waterfilled flower pots, plastic bags, and cans year-round. One mosquito bite can inflict the disease. The virus is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person. There must be a person-to-mosquito-to-another-person pathway.

Filariasis (Philariasis) is a parasitic disease and is considered an infectious tropical disease, that is caused by thread-like filarial nematodes(roundworms) in the superfamily Filarioidea,[1] also known as "filariae".
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There are 9 known filarial nematodes which use humans as their definitive host. These are divided into 3 groups according to the niche within the body that they occupy: 'lymphatic filariasis', 'subcutaneous filariasis', and 'serous cavity filariasis'. Lymphatic filariasis is caused by the worms Wuchereria bancrofti,Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. These worms occupy the lymphatic system, including the lymph nodes, and in chronic cases these worms lead to the disease elephantiasis. Subcutaneous filariasis is caused by loa loa (the African eye worm), Mansonella streptocerca, Onchocerca volvulus, andDracunculus medinensis (the guinea worm). These worms occupy the subcutaneous layer of the skin, in the fat layer. Serous cavity filariasis is caused by the worms Mansonella perstans and Mansonella ozzardi, which occupy the serous cavity of the abdomen. In all cases, the transmitting vectors are either blood sucking insects (flies or mosquitoes), or copepod crustaceans in the case of Dracunculus medinensis. Individuals infected by filarial worms may be described as either "microfilaraemic" or "amicrofilaraemic," depending on whether or not microfilaria can be found in their peripheral blood. Filariasis is diagnosed in microfilaraemic cases primarily through direct observation of microfilaria in the peripheral blood.Occult filariasis is diagnosed in amicrofilaraemic cases based on clinical observations and, in some cases, by finding a circulating antigen in the blood.

What is malaria?
Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite,Plasmodium, which infects red blood cells. Malaria is characterized by cycles of chills,fever, pain, and sweating. Historical records suggest malaria has infected humans since the beginning of mankind. The name "mal aria" (meaning "bad air" in Italian) was first used in English in 1740 by H. Walpole when describing the disease. The term was shortened to "malaria" in the 20th century. C. Laveran in 1880 was the first to identify the parasites in human blood. In 1889, R. Ross discovered that mosquitoes transmitted malaria. Of the four common species that cause malaria, the most serious type is Plasmodium falciparummalaria. It can be life-threatening. However, another relatively new species, Plasmodium knowlesi, is also a dangerous species that is typically found only in long-

tailed and pigtail macaque monkeys. Like P. falciparum, P. knowlesimay be deadly to anyone infected. The other three common species of malaria (P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) are generally less serious and are usually not life-threatening. It is possible to be infected with more than one species of Plasmodium at the same time. Currently, about 2 million deaths per year worldwide are due to Plasmodiuminfections. The majority occur in children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan African countries. There are about 400 million new cases per year worldwide. Most people diagnosed in the U.S. obtained their infection outside of the country, usually while living or traveling through an area where malaria is endemic.

What are malaria symptoms and signs?


The symptoms characteristic of malaria include flulike illness with fever, chills, muscle aches, and headache. Some patients develop nausea, vomiting, cough, and diarrhea. Cycles of chills, fever, and sweating that repeat every one, two, or three days are typical. There can sometimes bevomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and yellowing (jaundice) of the skin and whites of the eyes due to destruction of red blood cells and liver cells. People with severe P. falciparum malaria can develop bleeding problems,shock, liver or kidney failure, central nervous system problems, coma, and can die from the infection or its complications. Cerebral malaria (coma, oraltered mental status or seizures) can occur with severe P. falciparuminfection. It is lethal if not treated quickly; even with treatment, about 15%20% die.

How is malaria transmitted?


The life cycle of the malaria parasite (Plasmodium) is complicated and involves two hosts, humans and Anopheles mosquitoes. The disease is transmitted to humans when an infected Anopheles mosquito bites a person and injects the malaria parasites (sporozoites) into the blood. This is shown in Figure 1, where the illustration shows a mosquito taking a blood meal