Many infectious diseases can be prevented by vaccines.” (www.mayoclinic.com)
What is an infectious disease exactly?
Ours is a big world.
A big world with many people.
Over 7 billion people currently. According to the most recent United Nations estimates, the human population is expected to reach 8 billion people by the spring of 2024.
With many people come many problems, among these – infectious diseases. What is an infectious disease exactly? The variations are endless, and our world has seen them all; some people and places suffering more than others due to the region and challenges that tend to breed certain deadly diseases. PCI is constantly striving to ease the suffering of people across the globe, to introduce treatment, and in many cases, cures. To bring hope where there once was none.
Infectious Disease: Definition
“Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies. They’re normally harmless or even helpful, but some organisms under certain conditions may cause disease.
Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. Some, however, are transmitted via bites from insects or animals. Others are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or other exposures in the environment.
In some cases, organisms that cause infectious diseases prey upon weakened immune systems. Disease causing bacteria are manipulators of cells, seeking survival and multiplication by promoting their existence in hosts and environments that best serve them. Particular climates and regions are plagued by illnesses because of certain conditions specific to those areas and populations.
The infectious disease list is long. But country by country, disease by disease, person by person, PCI is focused upon specific and concentrated efforts – all aimed at infectious disease prevention, at infectious disease control, committed to saving lives.
- An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.
- 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized.
- Children are absent 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.
- Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
The struggle against TB stimulated some of the first quests for antibiotics. The disease most likely promoted pasteurization, which heats and kills TB and other pathogens that can contaminate milk. The infectious nature of tuberculosis also prompted the building of sanitariums, where people could be isolated and treated.
The bacteria causing tuberculosis is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. Spread of tuberculosis is facilitated by several factors like overcrowding, living in close quarters like in orphanages, prisons etc. and presence of other medical problems.” (www.news-medical.net)
TB is treatable and curable. The main reason for the prevalence of Tuberculosis in our world today is because many people either don’t have access to needed medication or they don’t take the medication properly. Consequently, each year, nearly two million people die unnecessarily from TB.
“It is likely that polio has plagued humans for thousands of years. An Egyptian carving from around 1400 BCE depicts a young man with a leg deformity similar to one caused by polio. Polio circulated in human populations at low levels and appeared to be a relatively uncommon disease for most of the 1800s.
Polio is caused by one of three types of poliovirus. These viruses spread through contact between people, by nasal and oral secretions, and by contact with contaminated feces. Poliovirus enters the body through the mouth, multiplying along the way to the digestive tract, where it further multiplies.” (www.historyofvaccines.org)
Because no cure for polio exists, the best course of polio treatment focuses on increasing comfort, speeding recovery and preventing complications. Supportive treatments include: bed rest, a nutritious diet, antibiotics for secondary infections, analgesics for pain, portable ventilators to assist breathing, and moderate exercise (physical therapy) to prevent deformity and loss of muscle function.
Because polio is preventable through vaccination, goals have been established worldwide for polio eradication. Many world regions have been successful in reaching this goal, but not all. Polio still exists as a disabling reality in several parts of the world.
“You can’t talk about infectious diseases without discussing AIDS. While today’s chemotherapy cocktails—when available—are effective at reducing the number of AIDS-related deaths, it’s a disease that also can be controlled by the most difficult intervention: behavioral control.” (Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World by Irwin Sherman)
The spread of HIV infection is attributed to 4 main factors: transmission of HIV infection during sex, through blood transfusions, by sharing needles, and from mother to child (in utero, during delivery and/or breast feeding.)
Despite the decades-long efforts by millions of dollars and people dedicated to finding a cure for AIDS,prevention remains the most effective defense against the spread of HIV/AIDS. Significant progress has been made. There are lots of reasons AIDS is more under control these days, from improved sexual education to needle exchange programs. Most important, though, is the widespread availability of anti-retroviral drugs, which allow HIV and AIDS patients to live with lower viral loads, making it less likely that they’ll pass the disease on.
Waterborne illnesses: Cholera
Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Left untreated, cholera can be fatal in a matter of hours even in previously healthy people.
Modern sewage and water treatment have virtually eliminated cholera in industrialized countries. The last major outbreak in the United States occurred in 1911. But cholera is still present in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, India and sub-Saharan Africa. The risk of cholera epidemic is highest when poverty, war or natural disasters force people to live in crowded conditions without adequate sanitation.
Most recently, the people of Haiti, already traumatized by natural disasters, have suffered a cholera epidemic, caused by contamination by relief workers of a tributary that feeds one of Haiti’s main sources of drinking water. Owing to the base’s shoddy sanitation system — drainage sites containing human feces that flooded and overflowed in the rain — waste water flowed into the tributary and contaminated the river.
It is a tragic situation that has sickened over 600,000 people, and killed more than 8,000 men, women, and children.
“In a country where no cases of cholera had been recorded in more than 150 years, the disease spread so fast that within nine months of the battalion’s arrival in late 2010, the number of cholera-infected Haitians surpassed all recorded cholera infections in the rest of the world combined. Hundreds more will continue to die annually for years to come in a nation whose anemic health, hygiene and sanitation infrastructure is no match for the ravages of a water-borne disease.” (www.articles.washingtonpost.com)
Cholera is easily treated. Death results from severe dehydration that can be prevented with a simple and inexpensive rehydration solution.
Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases. – Hippocrates
PCI workers have laid the global groundwork for eliminating infectious disease in children, for curing people of all ages from all types of illness. More – much more – needs to done. Join us. Please help to make a difference in the health and lives of others.