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Top 10 Infectious Diseases Around You, Covid-19 Is Not the Worst

By Chris Last updated on  

Infectious diseases are caused by contact with infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. The recently emerged infectious disease that became epidemic is COVID-19. But many other infectious diseases can be life-threatening even more than COVID-19 if proper care is not taken. Here are some of them. This blog will introduce them one by one, including how it spreads and whether it can be cured or not. 

Top 10 Infectious Diseases Around You

Table of Contents
Top 10 Infectious Diseases Around You
How to Protect Ourselves from Infectious Disease?

1.HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

HPV infection is the most frequently occurring sexually transmitted disease(STD) in the U.S., as it causes warts on the skin. In addition, some types can cause cancer of the genitals (cervix and penis) and anus.

How Does HPV spread?

-Genital contact

-Skin-to-skin contact

-Skin micro-abrasions provide entry of viruses to the basal epithelial cells

How many people contracted HPV?

Around 79 million Americans have contracted HPV. Dating with HPV is very common.

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HPV symptoms

-No symptoms typically

-Painless lumps around Genitals and anus.

Can HPV be cured?

It is non-curable but there are vaccines to prevent it now. 

2. Chlamydia

Chlamydial infection is also a common cause of STDs. Chlamydia is one of the obligate intracellular bacteria that cause Urethritis and cervicitis more commonly but also pneumonia, trachoma, psittacosis, and lymphogranuloma venereum.

How does Chlamydia spread? 

-Sexual contact

-Perinatal transmission

-Respiratory Droplets(Chlamydia pneumoniae)

-Inhalation of birds' feces (Chlamydia psittaci, bird to human transmission)

-Conjunctivitis occurs via finger-to-eye contact

How common is it to get Chlamydia?

Approximately 3 million Americans acquire it annually.

Chlamydia symptoms

-Pain while urinating.

-Pain in the lower abdominal or pelvic region.

-Painful intercourse and bleeding later on.

-Abnormal vaginal discharge

Can Chlamydia be cured?

The DOC for Chlamydia is Azithromycin. The curability success is more than 95%.

3. Herpes 

Herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 are differentiated based on antigenicity and location of lesions. HSV-1 causes gingivostomatitis, recurrent herpes labialis(cold sores), Keratoconjunctivitis(Keratitis), and encephalitis. HSV-2 causes herpes genitalis(genital Herpes), neonatal encephalitis, and aseptic meningitis.

How does herpes spread? 

-HSV-1: Respiratory Secretions and Saliva

-HSV-2: Sexual contact and perinatal transmission

How common is it to get Herpes?

13.2% of the world’s population aged 15 to 49 years have HSV-2 (genital herpes) and 66.6% have HSV-1 (oral herpes). The diagnosis of Herpes can be heartbreaking but getting Herpes is not the end of your dating life. Dating with Herpes is common. What draws people to you in the past will make you a catch.

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Herpes symptoms 

-Pyrexia.

-Enlarged lymph nodes.

-Body pains

-Fatigue 

-Loss of appetite.

-Sharp pain at the site of the infection.

-Headache 

Can Herpes be cured?

The DOC is Acyclovir for encephalitis and systemic disease caused by HSV-1. It decreases the duration of lesions but does not eradicate the latent state.

4. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhea seems like a paired kidney. 

In Men, it causes Urethritis, dysuria, a purulent discharge, and epididymitis. 

In women, it attacks primarily on the cervix, causing purulent vaginal discharge and intermenstrual bleeding. It ascends to uterine tubes(Salpingitis, PID) that can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy.

In Neonates, it causes Ophthalmia neonatorum.

How does Gonorrhea spread? 

The bacteria reside in humans, so Gonorrhea spreads via

-Sexual-contact 

-Neonatal transmission via the birth canal

How common is it to get Gonorrhea?

It's the second most frequently occurring disease in the U.S.

Gonorrhea symptoms

-Frequent urination.

-White, yellow, or greenish discharge 

-Swollen penile opening

-Painful swollen testicles.

-Itchy anus.

-Rectal bleeding.

Can Gonorrhea be cured?

The DOC is Ceftriaxone; however, hospitalization is required in case of salpingitis.

5. Syphilis

Syphilis is an STD caused by Treponema Pallidum, a spirochete bacteria. It's part of the normal flora and grows very slowly.

In primary Syphilis, the chance is formed in 2 to 10 weeks at the site of inoculation.

In secondary Syphilis,

-maculopapular rashes on palms and soles.

-condylomata lata on genitals.

In tertiary Syphilis, CVS lesions, Neurosyphilis, occurs and granulomas are formed on 

-skin

-bones

How does Syphilis spread? 

-Sexual contact 

-Through placenta

How common is it to get Syphilis? 

It's the leading notifiable disease in the U.S.

Syphilis symptoms 

-Pyrexia

-Myalgia

-Headache

-Pharyngitis

-Enlarged glands

Can Syphilis be cured?

Yes, the effective treatment is a single injection of Benzathine penicillin G.

6. HIV 

Human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) is a T cell lymphotropic retrovirus that causes AIDS by killing helper (CD4) T lymphocytes predisposing to opportunistic infections. It's an enveloped virus with two copies of a single-stranded RNA genome with long incubation periods.

How does HIV spread?

-Blood (infected syringes and needles)

-Sexual Contact

-Anal Sex

-Breast milk

How common is it to get HIV?

>1.1M individuals are infected in the U.S. 

What are the symptoms of getting HIV/AIDs?

-Diarrhea.

-Weight loss.

-Pyrexia

-Myalgia

-Rash 

-Pharyngitis

Can HIV be cured?

Yes, HAART therapy is given, but the virus persists. Symptomatic treatment. The progress we made in the fight against HIV is Cabreuva (cabotegravir+rilpivirine). It's injected once a month rather than plenty of pills daily. 

Can I date with HIV? 

Yes, many HIV positive singles live normal lives and enjoy happy dates thanks to the achievements  made in the medical field. By taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) daily, your viral load can be kept undetectable so that you can’t transmit HIV to your partner even if you don’t wear condoms. (U=U). However, during HIV dating, PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) for the HIV-infected partner is still advised to be done (not 100% safe) and always practice safe sex. 

7. Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C Virus, a member of the flavivirus family, causes hepatitis C. More than 50% of HCV Infections cause chronic infection predisposing to Hepatocellular Carcinoma. 

HCV has six genotypes based on envelope glycoprotein variability.

How does Hepatitis C spread? 

-Blood 

-Perinatal 

-Sexual contact

-Breast milk

How common is it to get Hepatitis C?

HCV is the most prevalent bloodborne infection in the U.S.

Hepatitis C symptoms

-Jaundice

-Dark yellow-colored Urine

-yellow conjunctiva and skin 

-Fatigue

-loss of appetite

-Itching

Can Hepatitis C be cured?

Yes, for the treatment of Acute condition= Sofosbuvir, Ledipasvir, and paritaprevir are given combinedly. Chronic condition= Pegylated Interferon Alpha.

8. Influenza A

Influenza A virus causes Global epidemics(Pandemics) of Influenza, which contains a new hemagglutinin against the population with no preexisting antibodies. It is the virion with a single-stranded segmented RNA genome. It infects upper and lower respiratory tract sites.

How does Influenza A spread? 

-Airborne respiratory droplet.

-Birds-to-human(H5N1 strain) transmission.

How common is it to get Influenza A?

3 to 11% of the population gets infected in the U.S. annually.

Influenza A symptoms 

-Rhinitis(runny nose)

-Pharyngitis

-Pneumonia

-Myalgia

-Fatigue

-Pyrexia

-Headache

Can Influenza A be cured?

Yes, Virazole is recommended for severely ill hospitalized infants.

9. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is due to the fluid infiltration within the inflamed alveoli, unilaterally or bilaterally in the lungs. It is caused by bacteria(Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, Streptococcus pneumoniae, etc.), Viruses(Influenza virus, Coronavirus, etc.), Fungi(Pneumocystis, Cryptococcus, or Aspergillus).

How does pneumonia spread? 

-Air droplets

-Cough

-Sneeze

-Inhalation of spores(causative agent)

Pneumonia symptoms 

-Thoracic pain while coughing 

-Cough with green, yellow, or bloody sputum

-Pyrexia

-Nausea

-Vomiting

-Diarrhea

How common is it to get pneumonia?

Approx 1M adults get pneumonia annually in the U.S.

Can pneumonia be cured?

Yes, the following treatment is given;

Antibiotic

Antifungal

Analgesics

Hydration

10. Norovirus

Norovirus causes Gastroenteritis, which results in watery diarrhea, and belongs to the Calicivirus family. No Vaccine has been formed yet.

How does Norovirus spread? 

-Feco-oral route

-Contaminated seafood or water

How common is it to get Norovirus? 

Norovirus is the No.1 cause of food poisoning in the U.S.

Norovirus symptoms 

-Stomach ache

-Vomiting 

-Diarrhea

Can Norovirus be cured?

-No antiviral therapy is there.

-Oral hydration or IV fluids are given.

How to Protect Ourselves from Getting Infectious Diseases?

You can protect yourself by obtaining the following Strategies:

Stay Hygienic

-Get the habit of washing hands frequently

-Public health measures should be taken

Exercise Regularly 

-The daily habit of exercise boosts immunity.

Get Vaccinated 

-Vaccination has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves from getting infectious diseases.