Travel Diseases Information
Malaria is an infectious disease. It is caused by parasites. People catch malaria when the parasite enters the blood. The parasite causes a deadly infection that kills many people each year.
The parasite that causes malaria is a protozoan called Plasmodium. Protozoa are organisms with only one cell, but they are not bacteria. Bacteria are smaller and simpler than protozoa.
There are several species (kinds) of Plasmodium that cause malaria in humans.
Dengue fever is a fever. It is caused by a virus which can be spread by mosquitos, similar to Malaria. Symptoms resemble that of a common cold.
The WHO says some 2.5 billion people, two fifths of the world's population, are now at risk from dengue. Estimates are that there may be 50 million cases of dengue infection worldwide each year. The disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries.
Yellow fever is an illness that is caused by a virus. The illness can cause bleeding problems. It is called yellow because the skin sometimes becomes yellow as it does with jaundice.
There is a vaccine that can stop the disease, but many people in Africa and South America are not vaccinated against it.
The World Health Organisation says that 200.000 people are made ill with yellow fever every year and that 30.000 people die from it.
Hepatitis A is viral infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. Unlike the other common forms of hepatitis (hepatitis B and C) it does not cause chronic liver disease.
Signs and symptoms include:
Nausea and Emesis
Loss of appetite
Hepatitis B is not spread by food or casual contact. Instead, hepatitis B is spread by blood or body fluids from an infected person.
A baby can get it from its mother during childbirth, and it can also be spread by sexual contact, use of street drugs,
and unsafe medical care.
Some people just have hepatitis B for a little while and then suppress the infection, but others can be infected for life usually with few or no symptoms for many years. Hepatitis B sometimes damages the liver severely and can cause cancer.
There is a vaccine that works very well to prevent hepatitis B, and there is a treatment for people with serious diseases caused by hepatitis B.
Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever are similar diseases caused by bacteria. Salmonella Typhi bacteria cause typhoid fever. Salmonella Paratyphi bacteria cause paratyphoid fever. People infected with these bacteria can spread them to others. This typically happens when an infected person uses the bathroom and does not wash their hands. The bacteria can stay on their hands and contaminate everything that the person touches, including food and drinks. In countries with poor sanitation, the water used to rinse and prepare food and beverages, including tap water, can also be contaminated with these bacteria. Travelers who eat foods or drink beverages contaminated with these bacteria can then get sick.
Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever cause similar symptoms. People with these diseases usually have a fever that can be as high as 103 to 104°F (39 to 40°C). They also may have weakness, stomach pain, headache, diarrhea or constipation, cough, and loss of appetite. Some people have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. Internal bleeding and death can occur but are rare.