Interesting Tropical Diseases

Discussion in 'Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QARANC' started by Trick, Sep 16, 2008.

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  1. Can anyone suggest any interesting tropical diseases to include on a presentation on the subject?
  2. Bilharzia
  3. Lassa Fever.
    Haemoragic like EBOLA
    Found in Sierra Leone. We had a chap sent back to UK with it. No one realised until he had been in UK for 1 week. PM me if you want more details.
  4. Dracunculiasis, more commonly known as Guinea worm disease:

    Guinea worm disease thrives in some of the world’s poorest areas, particularly those with limited or no access to clean water.[4] In these areas, stagnant water sources may host microscopic, fresh-water arthropods known as copepods ("water fleas"), which carry the larvae of the Guinea worm.

    Inside the copepods, the larvae develop for approximately two weeks.[2] At this stage, the larvae can cause Guinea worm disease if the infected copepods are not filtered from drinking water.[2] The male Guinea worm is typically much smaller (1.2–2.9 centimeters, 0.5-1.1 inches long) than the female, which, as an adult, can grow between 2 and 3 feet (0.91 m) long and be as thick as a spaghetti noodle.[2][4]

    Once inside the body, stomach acid digests the water flea, but not the Guinea worm larvae sheltered inside.[2] These larvae find their way to the body cavity, where the female mates with a male Guinea worm.[2] This takes place approximately 3 months after infection.[2] After mating, the male worm dies and is absorbed.[2]

    The female, which now contains larvae, burrows into the deeper connective tissues or adjacent to long bones or joints of the extremities.[2]

    Approximately one year after the infection began, the worm attempts to leave the body by creating a blister in the human host’s skin—usually on a person’s lower extremities like a leg or foot.[5]

    This blister causes a very painful burning sensation as the worm emerges. Within 24 to 72 hours, the blister will rupture, exposing one end of the emergent worm.

    To relieve this burning sensation, infected persons often immerse the affected limb in water. Once the blister or open sore is submerged in water, the adult female releases hundreds of thousands of Guinea worm larvae, contaminating the water supply.

    During the next several days, the female worm is capable of releasing more larvae whenever it comes in contact with water. These larvae contaminate the water supply and are eaten by copepods, thereby repeating the lifecycle of the disease. Infected copepods can only live in the water for 2 to 3 weeks if they are not ingested by a person. Infection does not create immunity, so people can repeatedly experience Guinea worm disease throughout their lifetime.[4]

    In drier areas just below the Sahara desert, cases of the disease often emerge during the rainy seasons, which for many agricultural communities is also the planting or harvesting season. Elsewhere, the emerging worms are more prevalent during the dry season, when scarce surface water is most polluted. Guinea worm disease outbreaks can cause serious disruption to local food supplies and school attendance
  5. Elephantiasis can be entertaining.
  6. Got a dose of that in Africa in the 80's. The tablets I was given where huge and rendered me incapable for a couple of days.

    Some of the side affects:

    Side effects
    The majority of side-effects develop due to the release of the contents of the parasites as they are killed and the consequent host immune reaction. The heavier the parasite burden, the heavier and more frequent the side effects normally are.

    Central nervous system: Frequently occurring side effects are dizziness, headache, and malaise. Drowsiness, somnolence, fatigue, and vertigo have also been seen. Almost all patients with cerebral cysticercosis experience CNS side effects related to the cell-death of the parasites (headache, worsening of preexisting neurological problems, seizures, arachnoiditis, and meningism). These side effects may be life-threatening and can be reduced by coadministration of corticosteroids. It is strongly recommended that all patients with cerebral cysticercosis are hospitalized during treatment.
    GI Tract: Approximately 90% of all patients have abdominal pain or cramps with or without nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea may develop and may be severe with colicky. Sweating, fever, and sometimes bloody stools may occur together with diarrhea.
    Liver: Asymptomatic and transient increases of liver enzymes (AST and ALT) are noted frequently (up to 27%). No case of symptomatic liver damage has ever been seen so far.
    Sensitivity reactions: Urticaria, rash, pruritus and eosinophilia in White Blood Counts.
    Other locations/Body as a whole: Lower back pain, myalgia, arthralgia, fever, sweating, various cardiac arrhythmias, and hypotension.

    Oh what fun.
  7. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - I know its not tropical but its a great name for a disease.
    Sin Nombre Virus - The virus with no name, how cool and enigmatic is that?
  8. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

    Rife in countries like Belize, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and other places in the Middle East.

    Its a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies, which causes skin sores, and which affects some of the internal organs of the body (for example, spleen, liver, bone marrow).

    The sores can change in size and appearance over time. They often end up looking somewhat like a volcano, with a raised edge and central crater. Some sores are covered by a scab. The sores can be painless or painful. Some people have swollen glands near the sores (for example, under the arm if the sores are on the arm or hand).

    Although I was lucky enough not to get it I saw a couple of chaps who did and it wasn’t a pretty site. They were excluded from further tours where there was a possibility of getting re infected.

    On return from a tour in Belize we had to carry a card for 2 years giving details of the tour and the symptoms.
  10. Monkeyknob, caught from being in close proximity to apes. Swells to twice the usual size but the pain is intense. Usually brings on a secondary infection of Skidmarks
  11. Leptospirosis

    Though being recognised among the world's most common zoonoses, leptospirosis is a relatively rare bacterial infection in humans. The infection is commonly transmitted to humans by allowing fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine to come in contact with unhealed breaks in the skin, eyes or with the mucous membranes. Outside of tropical areas, leptospirosis cases have a relatively distinct seasonality with most of them occurring August-September/February-March.

    As proved by a Booty officer two down the rope from me on a river crossing in Brunei
  12. acl

    acl Old-Salt

    Can't remember its scientific name but there is a very small red fish (yes it's a fish) that lives in the tropical Amazon River in Brazil. This fish acts like a parasite and it enters the male body via the penis. It has to be removed through surgery.

    Google it and you should find the name for it.
  13. EBOLA!!! :puker: :puker: :pukel:
  14. That was his excuse for his dose.

    But there again:
  15. Its a parasitic disease spread by the bite of infected sand flies, which causes skin sores, and visceral leishmaniasis which affects some of the internal organs of the body (for example, spleen, liver, bone marrow)

    Cheers Neanderthal
    Should have read as above