The diseases that are prevalent in or unique to tropical or sub tropical regions are called as the tropical diseases. These are less prevalent in temperate countries. That is due to the cold season which occurs in the temperate countries and thus controls the insect population by forcing them to hibernate. The most common disease carriers of these tropical diseases are the insects such as flies and mosquitoes. Those are called as the vectors and in the other words tropical diseases are called as vector born diseases. These vectors carry parasites, bacteria or viruses that are infectious to human. When they bite human, the transmission of the pathogenic agent from the vector to the human takes place. That is most commonly via a blood exchange through the superficial skin. These so called tropical diseases are more common in poor, neglected and marginalized populations in developing regions in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. World health organization has been conducting several programs to control the tropical diseases in those countries but due to poor socio-economic back ground of the countries, those programs have not been very successful.
Some common Tropical Diseases:
This disease which is also called as American Tryponosomiasis, is a parasitic disease and more commonly found in south America. Its pathogen is a protozoan parasite called Tryponosoma cruzi which is transmitted to human by blood sucking bugs.
This disease is also called as African Tryponosomiasis and caused by a protozoa called Tryponosoma brucei. These protozoans are carried by the Tsetse fly and more common in African region.
Dengue fever is caused by a virus which is carried by mosquitoes. It is more common in asia and more commonly in south east asia. The virus is called as Dengue virus and transmitted to human body by mosquito bites. 1st infection occur as a simple viral fever, but 2nd and 3rd infections become more severe and sometimes deadly. The severe forms of dengue infection are categorize as dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome which are lethal unlike the primary infection.
This caused by a protozoan parasite called as lieshmania and transmitted by the sand fly.
Leprosy is caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium leprae and is a disease of nerves and upper respiratory tract. Skin rash can be observed as the primary lesion at the presentation of the disease. Those skin patches are anesthetic ( no sensation) and thus the key factor to diagnose the disease. If the disease is left untreated, it can cause a permanent damage to skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.
This disease also a parasitic disease and caused by a parasite called filarial worm. They are transmitted to the human by mosquitoes. The most noticeable symptom of the disease is elephantiasis (enlargement of body parts such as limbs and scrotum).
Malaria is caused by the malaria parasite which is a protozoan and transmitted by mosquitoes. This disease is more prevalent in sub Sahara Africa.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of mainly in lungs as well as other tissues of the body. The mortality is over 50% if the disease is left untreated. The disease is transmitted by the aerosols produced when sneezing, coughing, speaking, kissing and spitting.
Other tropical diseases
- Hook worm infections
The strategies to control the diseases
- In order to reduce the population of the insects, the wet lands should be drained properly.
Use of insecticides and insect repellents
Using mosquito nets at nights as some of the mosquito species bite at night
Use of water filters, water treatment methods, water wells to make the water free of parasites
Development of vaccine to improve the immunity in the population to the disease
Pre exposure prophylaxis (treat to prevent the disease before exposure)
Post exposure prophylaxis (treat to prevent the disease after exposure)
Tips and comments:
Tropical diseases are preventable if the proper precautions have been taken.
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