Be Aware of The Most Dangerous Infectious Diseases

by admin on 21 October, 2013

in Bio Protection

The Most Dangerous Infectious Diseases

Heavy headache, pain in muscles, high temperature. Are those symptoms of a common flu? Yes, they could be. But they are also early symptoms of Variola, Ebola, Anthrax and Q fever. Just to be aware of.

 What stands true is that smallpox is the only infectious disease which is eradicated today. By 1986 all countries felt so safe because of that fact that they stopped vaccination. However, what also stands true is that there is no cure for Variola virus which causes Variola major, the most severe form of smallpox, and the only way to prevent it is – vaccination. A picture has slightly changed now, hasn’t it?

Actually, the awareness of a new possible epidemic, including worst scenario of Variola, started with the anthrax attack in the United States in 2001. Lung anthrax, the most severe type of the disease spreads by air and nearly all patients who don’t get treatment for it on time die.

Of course, we can talk about using diseases as a possible biological weapon but we can also talk about more real life situations. In 2009, a student stung herself by accident with a needle infected with Ebola virus while working in a high-security laboratory at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany. Ebola treatment focuses on providing relief of Ebola symptoms. In other words, there is no vaccine or drugs for Ebola yet.

In 2008 in Leiden, the Netherlands, a woman died of Marburg haemorrhagic fever. She caught the fever in Uganda, most probably while visiting the cave which is a home of bats that can carry the disease. The Marburg Virus comes from the same family as Ebola and the fever is mostly known as green monkey disease due to its primate origin. The infected person has 10-40 percent chance to survive. There is no specific antiviral therapy for the fever.

We don’t need to go far from our yard to get a zoonotic disease. Very nice animal reservoirs for that are cattle, sheep and goats. One of the diseases which go with them is Q fever. Bacteria Coxiella burnetii which causes Q fever is a highly infective microorganism resistant to hot and dry conditions. Just one (1) microorganism can cause the illness in sensitive persons. It spreads by air and likes stagnant barn air. A treatment with antibiotics is very effective.

All these diseases have one thing in common:  in their early phase they all have symptoms like flu and the worst possible scenario for medical staff would be if they start to spread during winter, a flu and common cold season. Armageddon? No, just a story from a real life to keep in mind and stay alert.


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