Sunday, August 16, 2020

Airborne diseases

The current coronavirus pandemic has brought our attention to airborne diseases and how to prevent the contagion. Even though coronavirus is not airborne, as several studies have shown, it raised awareness to them. As the name says, airborne diseases are transmitted through the air.

Some airborne diseases are:

The common cold. 
It is common because it affects millions of people worldwide each year. The common cold is caused by rhinovirus and it is the main cause of absence from schools and workplaces.

The flu is quite common and has been the protagonist in previous pandemics, such as the H1N1 outbreak years ago or the super deadly Spanish flu that killed over 50 million people in 1918. Influenza viruses mutate continuously, which is why vaccination happens yearly.

This disease is characterized by high fever, flu-like symptoms, hearing aches, and hives all over the body. Chickenpox is most common in childhood and it typically attacks only once, though it can resurface in adulthood in the form of shingles. There is a vaccine for chickenpox, and it is highly advisable.

This viral ailment has practically disappeared due to vaccination, hopefully, it won't resurface due to the anti-vax movement.

Measles is a very contagious disease; it is a leading cause of death for children all over the world. Vaccination is the most successful preventive measure against measles. It is calculated that it prevented 23 million deaths from 2000 to 2018.

Whooping Cough.
Another viral disease that has resurfaced due to the lack of vaccination.  It causes swelling of the airways that result in persistent cough.

This disease is mostly eradicated thanks to vaccination campaigns throughout the world. This bacterial disease is very hard to get, you have to be in close contact with someone who has it for a very long time. This disease can appear after a few days or maybe years after exposure. 

This disease affects most people with weakened immune systems.

This disease damages the respiratory system, the heart, kidneys, and nerves. It is eradicated and as few as five cases have been reported in the U.S.

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