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Lecture 7

ECN510 Notes Lecture 7

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ECN 510

Lecture 7  Professor noticed that the number of students attending her lecture is dropping each week and she’s sad (good multiple choice, true/false question) Biological Diseases Non Transmissible Diseases  Hard to determine which one of these diseases is environmental related. Many are environmentally related and others are not  Cardiovascular diseases can be environmental related to everyday stress, or smoking or air pollution and can be due to food.  Cancer is also in the same boat and have many factors from the environment that causes health problems  Diabetes  Asthma are related to diseases in our environment Transmissible Diseases  Infectious agents, bacteria, viruses, protozoa  Bacterial disease are not difficult to cure and we have antibiotics (one of the biggest discoveries of the 20 century)  On the other hand, viruses are often immune to antibiotics. When one has the flu, the doctor often does not prescribe antibiotics.  Many bacteria do not react negatively to antibiotics and continue to thrive. Why? o Due to the overuse of the antibiotic making bacteria resistant (evolution, adaptation). o Some of us ingest antibiotics without knowing. How? Through food. For example, antibiotics are injected in livestock so they grow faster. This meat is consumed by humans and the antibiotics enter our body. o Bacteria have a very high reproductive rate and can change genetically rapidly.  Bacteria: o Tuberculosis, Anthrax, Brucellosis, Different forms of plagues  Viruses: o HIV, SARS, Bird Flu, Smallpox, West Nile Bacterial Diseases (all environmentally related due to the social life of the person attaining the diseases and etc)  Tuberculosis o Very common in the past (esp. 19 century) o Thought to be due to vampires o When the real cause of this disease was discovered, there was no cure o In 2004:  Almost 15 million chronic active TB cases  1.5 million deaths related to TB  Mostly occurs in developing portion of the world due to the very inefficient health care system and the quality of life o It is an illness related to poor housing (not enough sun and fresh air circulating) and related to malnutrition (e.g. poor quality food)  reduce the immune system and lead to TB. o Not enough sleep for a long period of time can lead to TB o It is transmitted from person to person from air droplets (no kissing, coughing, sneezing, licking!) o Lungs are commonly attacked by TB o Symptoms: chest pain, coughing out blood, productive & prolonged cough for many weeks, feverish, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite and weight, paleness, fatigue, may affect one’s sexual desires o S. Africa, Western Africa, Western S. America, and Asia are threatened by tuberculosis. Not so much of a threat in N. America  Anthrax o Very discussed in recent years, especially after Sept 11 as a subject of bioterrorism. o Anthrax is cause Bacillus Anthracis – a large gram-positive bacteria that forms spores o Spores are dormant forms of bacteria when it is not in favourable conditions to grow. o These bacteria produce toxins o Three major types anthrax:  Cutaneous: all symptoms are on the skin  Inhalation: spores are inhaled  Gastrointestinal: spores or bacteria are ingested. o Can lead to septicemia (bacteria multiply so much that the blood is overflowing with these bacteria) and can lead to death. o Cannot be detected by our senses o Cannot be transferred from person to person  Cutaneous Anthrax  Occurring on the skin  Most common (> 95% of all cases)  When person gets in contact with the skin layer of animal (usually imported)  When one gets in contact with the spores of anthrax, there is no immediate reaction. There is a period (incubation period: 1-12) required before the symptoms display themselves on the skin.  A tiny red dot forms and progresses into a bump which develops vesicles and becomes an ulcer. There is no pain involved with this but person may acquire fevers, swelling of lymph glands, headaches and sweating.  Compared to the other forms of anthrax, it is not as severe  80% of the cases are curable especially if the treatment is applied early  Inhalation Anthrax  It is the most deadly and lethal type of anthrax  Incubation period: 1-60 days  Starts as any respiratory disease with: sore throat, mild fever, muscle aches and then progresses to respiratory failure and possible shock if meningitis develops  75% of these cases result in death even with treatment  Gastrointestinal Anthrax  Result of consuming raw meat or undercooked meat that has been contaminated with anthrax  Incubational period: 1-7 days  Symptom: nausea, loss of appétit, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, bloody diarrhea, bloody vomiting  25-60 % of cases result in death. o Bio Terrorism Related Anthrax  To be transmitted, spores must be mixed with some type of powder (Diaries of A Taliban, 2001)  Often distributed through mail  How do we recognize suspicious mail: inappropriate or unusual labeling. Some signs are marks with restrictions such as personal, confidential, don’t X-Ray, incorrect titles, titles without names, powdery substance on the envelope, oily stains, any odor of powder, excessive packaging material (e.g. masking tape), excessive weight, ticking sounds, protruding wires of aluminum foiling. 
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