Infectious diseases

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The striking contrasts in factors governing morbidity and mortality in the Third World as compared with the developed nations call for a few comments. The two essential features are the increased lethal effects of the commoner bacterial and viral diseases, and the enormous degree of morbidity occasioned by those due to parasites. Simple infections such as nonspecific gastroenteritis and associated disorders acquired through the gastrointestinal tract, account for a high proportion of the world's mortality, probably some 6% of deaths from all causes as compared with the 10% believed to be due to pneumonia. However, it was recently estimated that the disease-specific mortality rates are higher in the poorer countries than in the richer by the following factors: influenza, pneu­monia, bronchitis 2.3; respiratory tuberculosis 5; dysentery (all forms) 7.5; typhoid 160; diphtheria 100; whooping cough 300; measles 55.

Including the parasitic infections, communicable diseases account for about one third of all recorded deaths, but the degree of mortality caused directly by parasites is difficult to estimate except in the case of malaria where a case mortality rate of up to 1% seems a probable figure.

Parasitic infestation is usually multiple. According to recent estimates intestinal helminths probably affect at least 1,000 million, about 300 million are exposed to schistosomiasis, and 250 million to filariasis, not counting another 50 million at risk of acquiring onchocerciasis and river blindness. Of these helminthiases it is suggested that about 13% are transmitted by arthropods, 46% are soil-borne and seven per cent are transmitted through snails. Malaria, according to a recent WHO estimate, is still endemic in areas occupied by 800 million people, ie 21% of the world's 3.8 billion population. In Africa 50 million inhabitants face the threat of trypanosomiasis, and a similar number are exposed to Chagas' disease in the New World, while at least seven million in various continents live in areas where leishmaniasis is present.

Between 10 and 15% of the world's population is estimated to be undernourished and this is manifested by a spectrum of sequelae ranging from a diminished resistance to infection, to death from acute starvation in times of famine such as we have recently experienced on the African continent and the Indian peninsula. Some estimates put the total figure for undernutrition or frank malnutrition as high as 50%.The striking contrasts in factors governing morbidity and mortality in the Third World as compared with the developed nations call for a few comments. The two essential features are the increased lethal effects of the commoner bacterial and viral diseases, and the enormous degree of morbidity occasioned by those due to parasites. Simple infections such as nonspecific gastroenteritis and associated disorders acquired through the gastrointestinal tract, account for a high proportion of the world's mortality, probably some 6% of deaths from all causes as compared with the 10% believed to be due to pneumonia. However, it was recently estimated that the disease-specific mortality rates are higher in the poorer countries than in the richer by the following factors: influenza, pneu­monia, bronchitis 2.3; respiratory tuberculosis 5; dysentery (all forms) 7.5; typhoid 160; diphtheria 100; whooping cough 300; measles 55.

Including the parasitic infections, communicable diseases account for about one third of all recorded deaths, but the degree of mortality caused directly by parasites is difficult to estimate except in the case of malaria where a case mortality rate of up to 1% seems a probable figure.

Parasitic infestation is usually multiple. According to recent estimates intestinal helminths probably affect at least 1,000 million, about 300 million are exposed to schistosomiasis, and 250 million to filariasis, not counting another 50 million at risk of acquiring onchocerciasis and river blindness. Of these helminthiases it is suggested that about 13% are transmitted by arthropods, 46% are soil-borne and seven per cent are transmitted through snails. Malaria, according to a recent WHO estimate, is still endemic in areas occupied by 800 million people, ie 21% of the world's 3.8 billion population. In Africa 50 million inhabitants face the threat of trypanosomiasis, and a similar number are exposed to Chagas' disease in the New World, while at least seven million in various continents live in areas where leishmaniasis is present.

etween 10 and 15% of the world's population is estimated to be undernourished and this is manifested by a spectrum of sequelae ranging from a diminished resistance to infection, to death from acute starvation in times of famine such as we have recently experienced on the African continent and the Indian peninsula. Some estimates put the total figure for undernutrition or frank malnutrition as high as 50%.


» Fingertip ulcers
» Herpetiform lesions
» Zocteriform lesions
» Uncommon species of intestinal flukes
» Infections Acquired through the Gastro-intestinal Tract
» Infections Acquired through the Skin and Mucous Membranes
» Airborne Infections
» Nutritional Disorders
» Miscellaneous Disorders
» Arthropod-borne Infection
» Soil-mediated Helminthiases
» Snail-mediated Helminthiases


Nikolay Kushpela medical-photographs.com 2017