Communicable Diseases Disease 1: Hepatitis C Question 1 1. What are the symptoms? Symptoms for short term Hepatitis C may include mild cold symptoms, and fatigue. Long-term symptoms include: anorexia, nausea and jaundice. 2. How long does it last? 50% of people who are HCV positive overcome it in a few months. 10% to 15% may develop chronic liver disease over 10 – 20 years.
3. How is it treated? There is no cure for Hepatitis C but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms. They include: The drug Interferon. It is injected three times a week.
Basic healthy lifestyle habits are beneficial too. (Avoid alcohol, have a well balanced diet and rest when tired) Some people also use herbal medicine, Chinese medicine and acupuncture. 4. How is it spread? The most common known method of Hepatitis C infections is by sharing dirty needles. Any contact with contaminated blood is a way to receive Hepatitis C (Un sterilised body piercing, Kidney dialysis etc.
) 5. How can you prevent the spread of the disease? Don’t share needles. Don’t receive any blood products collected before February 1990 in Australia. Be wary of medical procedures in overseas countries.
6. How does the body fight this disease? The body will often produce antibodies. Unfortunately, these will often fail. 7. Can people be immunized against this disease / condition ? There is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C. Disease 2: Gastroenteritis (Gastro) 1.
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What are the symptoms? Symptoms for gastro include: diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sometimes vomiting and a fever. 2. How long does it last? The vomiting settles in a day or two. Diarrhoea will usually settle in 2 – 3 days, but may last for up to ten. 3. How is it treated? There is no drug treatment, but the basic rule is to have lots of fluids and glucose.
Special formulas are available to help with gastro. (A sort of syrupy sugar drink) 4. How is it spread? Other people who have immunity to the disease can pass the infection on to other people. Bacteria, usually on contaminated food, spread by flies, can also cause the problem. 5. How can you prevent the spread of this disease? If you have gastro: wash your hands a lot, don’t touch food, toothbrushes, or anything that will come into contact with others.
Make sure to keep cooking implements clean. 6. How does the body fight this disease? The body tries to expel the bacteria from your gut by making you vomit, and giving you diarrhoea. 7. Can people be immunized against this disease? There is no vaccination for gastroenteritis. Question 2 a) What are Free radicals? When oxygen is metabolized (this process is called ‘oxidation’), it creates ‘free radicals’ (chemicals without paired electrons).
Free radicals damage cell membranes and other structures. What do they do? Free radicals steal electrons from other molecules. This causes damage to cell membranes and other structures. The body can cope with a certain amount of free radicals (and actually need some in order to function properly).
However, stress, cigarette smoking, alcohol, sunlight, pollution and other factors of modern living can accelerate the process of oxidation.
A large amount of free radicals in the body has been linked to certain diseases, including heart disease and some cancers. b) What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are compounds found in certain foods that neutralise free radicals. These compounds include the vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals copper, zinc and selenium. Other compounds, such as the phytochemicals in plants and zoo chemicals from animal products, are believed to have greater antioxidant effects than either vitamins or minerals. What do they do? A diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals from the body cells, and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation.
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The protective effect of antioxidants continues to be studied around the world. For instance, men who eat plenty of the antioxidant lycopene (found in tomatoes) may be less likely than other men to develop prostate cancer. Lutein, found in spinach and corn, has been linked to a lower incidence of eye lens degeneration and associated blindness in the elderly. Flavonoids, found in green tea, are believed to contribute to the low rates of heart disease in Japan.