According to a report published by World Health Organization (WHO) everyday nearly over fifty thousand people, including men, women and children, are dying because of various infectious diseases. As a matter of fact, majority of people who are being infected by these infectious diseases can be cured for a cost less than US Dollar 1 per head, and though many of these infectious diseases can be prevented, however, still the number of casualties are very alarming. The report further suggests that in the past decade 30 new infectious diseases have emerged on the horizon which are threatening lives and health of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
The humanity is living within the confines and barriers created by these infectious diseases as a result of which no country and no part of the world is safe. We cannot and should not underestimate the danger these infectious diseases can cause therefore every country and nation cannot ignore the reality that diseases and humanity will have to live together. Ironically, infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, which are otherwise preventable, are once again undermining the world’s population by making a comeback which is even more severe than ever before.
The existence of infectious diseases is not something new. With the birth of mankind, the existence of infectious diseases also came into being. The only thing is that the world has become advanced and with the help of science, technology and research, and due to this we are able to learn a great deal about existing as well as new infectious diseases.
No matter how well-informed we are, how well-equipped we are in terms of science and technology, yet many highly infectious diseases have made their way into the world which include also Ebola fever and HIV/AIDS which, till to date, remain incurable and are posing a grave threat to the existence of mankind.
If we look in the past, we will see that there were many infectious diseases which had severely damaged the world’s population. For example we are all aware of the Plague of Justinian which took place in between 541-542 A.D., which is known to be the first pandemic ever being faced by the mankind wherein the most affected were the Mediterranean Basin, Europe and the Empires of Sasanian and Romans. The Romans named the plague Justinian which is estimated to take lives of more than 25 to 100 million people and is known to be the greatest pandemic.
Similarly, in the fourteenth century as well, the world’s population was once again faced with yet another deadly pandemic called “Black Death” which was given the title of “deadliest pandemic” ever recorded in the history of mankind. It took the lives of roughly over 75 to 200 million people and the highly affected areas of the disease were Eurasia, North Africa and later in Europe.
The history repeated itself when, in the year 1918-19, the mankind was struck with yet another pandemic notoriously known as “Great Influenza” (also known as Spanish Flu). It is said that the World War 1 did not take as many lives as this pandemic has taken wherein almost 50 million people of the entire world’s population lost their lives. It is said that an average of upto 3 to 6% of the world’s population was vanished due to this pandemic. It was the time when the World War 1 was about to end. People were waiting for their loved ones to come back to their homes. They didn’t even rejoiced the end of brutal World War 1 when they were again challenged by the law of nature. No doubt that the war played a role in the spread of the disease. In the mid of 1918, when there were no anti-biotics available, the disease was spreading like a wildfire in all parts of the world infecting almost everyone.
And as we speak about the Spanish Flu, yet the humanity has been once again tested when today we are fighting against the deadliest pandemic caused by Covid-19. The Covid-19 is regarded as the First Modern Pandemic which paved its way in our world in the later part of year 2019. Undoubtedly, from day one the virus has been damaging our health as well as wealth and well-being. This is exactly like a world ward 3 where the only difference is that the whole world is on one side and on the other side there is an enemy who cannot be seen yet has the strength to take lives of millions of people.
Dr. Israel is of the view that we are living in very hard times with which we were never used to before the pandemic. We were forced to live within the confines of our own houses. Kids were not allowed to go to school because schools are closed. Businesses have been closed for uncertain times and lockdowns have been imposed to stop the spread of the virus. We have now completely stopped shaking hands with each other and are wearing masks and spending most of our time at our houses.
The pandemic somehow started to spread from China and thereafter the whole world was within its grasp. We saw that the US President first underestimated the strength of the virus and was blaming China for causing it to be spread. The cost of denial of the US Government about the veracity of the Covid-19 was such that today the total number of people infected by this virus in US are approximately 6.5 million wherein the total number of deaths are around 200,000, total recovered are over 3.5 million and active cases are 2.5 million. As can be seen from the history that whenever pandemics have hit the mankind, majority of people are in denial and due to this denial, the spread of virus was rampant.
In the case of Covid-19 also, in the initial days of spread of virus, people were in denial. May be because our present is a lot better than our past. We have technology. We have people who are able to pierce through nature and find cures for various diseases. However, it was not too late when we realized that mankind is nothing against the nature. When the nature hits back, we become completely helpless and cannot do anything except to watch our loved ones being taken away from us. We started to blame people as if they were the ones who started this virus or that it was them who made it to spread like a wildfire. But in all this we forget that nature is very much alive and when it starts to fight back, it hits really hard.
According to Dr. Israel Figa, he estimates that the continuous change in the global ecology will continue to introduce up to 3 to 4 novel and infectious diseases every year. He further goes on to suggest that most of the antibiotic drugs as well as other lifesaving medicines used against infectious diseases are losing their effectiveness against the diseases because bacteria and microbes are growing stronger day after day and there have self-developed protection against the drugs.
Well this memo shares personal viewpoint of Dr. Israel Figa, who also explains what steps can be taken to prevent some of the very common household infectious diseases such as Chicken Pox, Dengue, Malaria, Common Flu, Hepatitis B etc., which if not prevented in their initial stages, could be quite dangerous and damaging to health and life.
Dr. Israel Figa examines these five infectious diseases one by one and explains as underneath.
Also known as “Varicella”, Chicken Pox is a highly infectious and contagious disease which is usually caused by a virus called varicella-zoster, whose primary victims are mainly kids but adults of every age could be infected as well. This disease can last upto 14 to 16 days in which blisters start to appear on the body and then they start to leak. The disease is very annoying because it causes acute itchiness, blisters can appear even on nose, eyes, mouth and genitals and even before the appearance of blisters, an affected person can also feel high or mild fever.
Till to date there is no cure available against this infectious disease however the severity of the disease can be reduced with multiple medication which is easily available in the market. Even if no medication is taken, it usually ends after a certain time. The best and easiest way to prevent the disease to effect your children is to get your children vaccinated, which is usually given in the entire world to newly born babies.
The alarming thing to note is that once a person is infected with this infectious disease, the virus can stay in the never cells for many many years and can wake up at any time and this can cause shingles which is a condition that can lead to painful blisters. However, there is yet another vaccine to prevent shingles. A person who is being infected needs to be taken care by those who have immunity against this virus. Standard precautions as well as airborne and contact precautions are also advised and it is recommended that the person infected may be taken care by trained staff with immunity.
For the past 10 years, there has been tremendous increase in the number of patients infected by Dengue fever which is also infamously known as backbone fever caused by a mosquito bite and has the capability of leaving a person to have severe flu type illness. The symptoms include dengue shock syndrome and mild and severe dengue hemorrhagic fever. If a person is infected then he is required to be hospitalized.
The easiest way to stop the Dengue virus is to avoid mosquito bites which can be done through various lotions available in the market and also spraying the house and nurseries (where due to water and plants, mostly the mosquitos breed). Pain killers like Tylenol and paracetamol have been found to be very effective against easing up pain and reducing the fever. Also drinking clean water and taking of a lot of liquids, fresh juices etc. can be very helpful in preventing the disease because it directly affects the immune system where the platelets have been found to be considerably reduced in an infected person.
Another infamous infectious disease is Malaria which is yet again caused due to a bite of Anopheles mosquitoes. The disease is mainly asymptomatic but in case of severe malaria condition, several complications such as anaemia and end organ damage can be caused. In the worst case scenario the disease can also cause coma or severe injuries to the kidneys. Every year more than 500 million are being infected by this infectious disease and at least 1 to 3 million people lose their lives. Mostly effected by this infectious disease are majority of children.
One of the most effective anti-malarial medicine easily available in the market is Lariam. However, one can also ensure to prevent being infected by Malaria is through following some standard procedures such as avoiding sleeping outside or in the vicinity where there are mosquitos. One can also use anti-mosquito lubricants, lotions and repellent and using a bed-net would be highly effective.
According to statistics, Hepatitis B is the top most common infectious disease in the entire world which is affecting over 2 billion people every year. This infectious disease can be caused due to inflammatory liver which can also lead to jaundice, fatigue and nausea. The disease is also infamously known to remain in the human body for a long term period and may lead to severe diseases such as liver cancer and cirrhosis of liver.
Thankfully there is a vaccine available in the market even though the person has been infected with the disease. Another very effective way of preventing the disease is by getting HBIG i.e. Hepatitis B immune globulin. Getting yourself tested for Hepatitis B from time to time can also help prevent the person from being infected with the disease or in case of being infected, timely medication can help get rid of the disease. Make sure to get your children vaccinated at the time of their birth.
It is said that you need a thief to catch a thief. Similarly, fighting against nature necessitates that one should turn towards the nature. Eating a healthy and nourishing diet consisting of eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, routinely exercises and getting a good nap are also a great source of reducing the chances of getting infected by all these contagious diseases.