Yaws is the name of infectious skin disease occurring predominantly in Tropical humid regions, but reports of infections are found all over the world. It usually affects children below the age of 15 years, children living in under developed nations with poor hygiene; sanitation and congested environment are at higher risk. It’s caused by the Bacterium Treponema Pallidum Pertenue of the Spirochete Family. The Disease is treatable with Antibiotics. But people in under developed Countries lack the proper Resources and knowledge in this matter.
This Highly infectious disease is considered to have its origins in Africa and later spread out to other countries during slave trade. Signs of this disease has been found in fossilized remains of ‘Hominids’ dating back millions of years, Suggesting the presence of the infection even in ancient times. World Health Organization (WHO) launched a massive awareness campaign on the Treatment for Yaws in 1950s-1960s to eradicate this disease with mixed success. WHO also recognizes countries which have successfully eradicated Yaws by giving Certification for disease free status to respective countries. A country must have no Incidence of this disease in past five years to be eligible for this award.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Yaws primarily is a skin infection which spreads from person to person via skin contact. The spread of the infection is rapid but initial symptoms takes anywhere from few days to months to appear on the affected individual. The first symptom is formation of a localized lesion on the body. The infection can be confirmed by a laboratory Blood test for treponematoses. As the infections progresses the number of lesions increases quickly spreading all over the body and in severe cases affecting the Bone, Joints and other soft Tissues of the Body during the final stages. Usually it takes several months to reach the final stage depending on the affected individual’s immune response. If the infection is left untreated for extended periods of time permanent disfigurement and disability can occur due to bone and soft tissue Damage.
Prevention and treatment
Yaws can be treated by administering a dose of intramuscular penicillin and other Antibiotic tablets. But in most cases the spread of the Disease is fast and unchecked as the Authorities usually fail to Quarantine the Patients thus drastically increasing the number of infected people. Since there is no known vaccine to this disease prevention and containment are the best options. Once a person is infected quarantining him in a Hygienic and clean environment till the end of treatment is at most important. Also it must be ensured the no one comes in direct contact with the affected person’s skin.
Tips and comments
Even after repeated attempts by WHO and UNICEF incidence of this disease is still reported in many African Nations millions of Penicillin injections are being donated every year in an attempt to eliminate this disease of the face of our Planet. Doing simple things like maintaining cleanliness, Hygiene and disinfecting one house with good disinfectant can easily help in keeping harmful infections at bay.
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