What Is A Spotted Fever?
A spotted fever is a type of infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It affects the skin and other body tissues, causing redness, swelling or pain. The disease usually begins with flu-like symptoms such as chills, headache and muscle aches. However, it may progress to include severe joint pains (arthritis) and even death from septic shock if left untreated.
The bacteria spreads through contact with infected animals or contaminated water. People are most at risk when they come into direct contact with an infected animal, such as a rabid dog, or get bitten by one.
It’s estimated that between 10% and 20% of all human cases occur after being bitten by a rabid animal.
Infected animals can spread the disease through bites or scratches on humans, but not through airborne transmission like smallpox. Most people don’t develop symptoms until six weeks after exposure.
Some people do experience flu-like symptoms, which can last up to two months.
Yersinia has an incubation period of one to seven days, followed by symptoms including headaches, high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and swollen lymph nodes. This is then followed by a rash that involves the face, ears, and neck.
When the infection reaches the lungs, it causes shortness of breath. When it affects the brain it can cause seizures, confusion and other neurological symptoms.
The disease is treated with antibiotics in the early stages. In the late stages it can lead to death.
High Counts of Yersinia pestis
A high count of Yersinia pestis is typically determined by a blood test. It can also be determined via spinal fluid when the blood test isn’t accurate.
A high count could indicate that you’ve been bitten by an infected animal recently or have been in close contact.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the measles virus. It’s spread through direct contact, through coughing and sneezing.
It typically begins with a fever that lasts for three to four days. This is followed by cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Small blisters appear in the mouth and throat, and then a skin rash appears.
Measles used to be a very common disease, with hundreds of thousands of people in the United States infected each year. It causes an estimated 48,000 deaths per year worldwide.
The virus spreads easily, infecting people who haven’t been vaccinated or have only been vaccinated once from asymptomatic carriers. In the past, nearly everyone in the world got measles by the time they were 15.
Research indicates that the virus is a strain of Paramyxovirus, and belongs to the genus Morbillivirus within that family. There are two known strains of the virus: measles-mumps-rubella vaccine virus (RV) and vaccine associated virus (VA).
Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pains, and rarely swelling of the brain. This can lead to convulsions, blindness and even death.
Measles was one of the most feared childhood diseases of the 20th century, and once threatened to become a scourge like smallpox. When it became available for general use in 1969 it was hailed as a miracle vaccine.
However, new evidence has emerged that it may not be as effective as previously thought, and in some cases may actually increase the risk of children developing certain types of cancer.
The vaccine is normally given as an injection, but it’s also available in the form of a nasal spray. If you’re traveling to an area where the disease is common, your doctor may recommend that you get vaccinated.
It’s estimated that the measles vaccine has saved more lives than any other vaccine. It’s incredibly effective at preventing the disease in over 95 percent of people who receive it.
Pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, commonly known as “pneumonia”. The infection causes severe lung infections, and if untreated can be fatal.
It affects people of all ages, but is particularly common in young children and the elderly.
There are around 1 million deaths per year from pneumonia worldwide, making it one of the leading causes of death.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of one or both of the lungs. It’s usually caused by an infection, and it makes it difficult to breathe.
Pneumonia can be viral, fungal, parasitic or bacterial in nature. Bacterial pneumonia is the most common type of lung infection, and the most deadly.
Several different strains of the bacteria can cause pneumonia in humans. These include:
Streptococcus pneumoniae (also known as “pneumococcus”)
Bacterial pneumonia is typically diagnosed from a physical exam and a chest x-ray.
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pneumonia, and may be required for a month or more. Most people make a full recovery, so long as the bacteria is caught early enough.
There are over 200 types of the influenza virus, and most of them only affect humans. Types A, B and C normally cause seasonal epidemics known as “flu”, but other types can cause diseases such as “grippe” (type A) or “Spanish flu” (type A).
The virus is spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact with an infected person. It can also be spread through contact with an object that has the virus on it, like a doorknob.
The virus can even survive outside the body for a few hours.
The symptoms of the flu include:
General feeling of tiredness and lack of energy
Headaches and muscular pain.
If you catch the flu you can expect to be sick for around a week, with symptoms usually beginning within two days of infection.
However, in some people the virus can develop into more serious conditions like pneumonia or bronchitis. Some strains of the flu (like the infamous “Spanish Flu” strain) can also be deadly, especially for pregnant women, young children and the elderly.
Ebola is a rare but deadly virus that was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, there have been a handful of major outbreaks in Central Africa.
The virus is fairly rare, with an average of just 400 cases per year. However, the mortality rate is very high at around 50 percent.
The virus is spread through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person. This is why health workers are especially at risk of catching the disease.
Symptoms begin to appear between 2 and 21 days after first showing symptoms. These include:
Joint and muscle pains
Lack of energy
There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola. Treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms with things like bed rest and rehydration therapy.
If hydration is not effective, the patient may need to be put on a ventilator to help them breath.
Ebola is very scary due to the extremely high mortality rate and the gruesome ways in which people tend to die. It causes a lot of pain for the victim, along with severe bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose.
Decomposition can also begin early, so that the skin begins to peel off.
Hantavirus is a rare but serious disease caused by contact with infected rodents and their droppings. The virus was first discovered in the United States in 1993, when it caused an outbreak among visitors of the “fulfilling wilderness experience” attraction known as “El Torro Lodge” in Southwestern Arizona.
The disease is often referred to as “Rat Dropping Disease.”
The virus is not transmitted from person to person and is not an airbourne illness. It is primarily spread through inhaling or ingesting dried rodent urine or feces that harbor the hantavirus.
As a result, you are most at risk of getting the virus if you spend a lot of time in small, enclosed spaces with infected rodents. Rodents are also more likely to transmit the virus during certain times of the year when they are more active and their urine/feces builds up.
While many people who catch the virus develop a fever and muscle aches, between 30 and 50 percent will also develop a severe illness called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). In this condition, the virus attacks the lungs and breathing muscles, causing difficulty breathing and in some cases respiratory failure.
While there is no cure for the virus, oxygen therapy can increase an infected patient’s chance of survival. The mortality rate for hantavirus patients is around 36 percent, but is higher among older patients and those with other medical conditions.
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