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EESA10H3 Lecture Notes - Hemoptysis, Brucellosis, Night Sweats

Environmental Science
Course Code
Jovan Stefanovic

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Lecture 7: Biological Hazards and Human Health
Biological Hazards
_ Non-transmissible diseases (cardiovascular (heart attack), cancer, diabetes, asthma (closely
related with allergens))
_ Transmissible diseases (infectious agent, bacteria, viruses, protozoa)
_ Growing germ resistance to antibiotics
_ High reproductive rate allow them to become genetically resistant quickly <regeneration and
_ Overuse of antibiotics (when not recommended by the doctor)
_ Antibiotics in food additives to boost livestock (prevent diseases in animals would save
them money but the quality of the food goes bad)
Different forms of Plague
Bird flu (now in Europe but also in North America)
West Nile virus
BACTERIAL diseases
Tuberculosis: significant threat to the world. Old disease: some mummies from Egypt from the
pyramids are found to have some symptoms i.e. they die coz of the disease. Later in was a huge
problem in the 18-19th century: transfer among family members. People used to marry after
checking if there was a past history of TB in the family. Disease was related with vampires. This
disease it not transferred by genes. Sick people had pale faces, coughed blood and dark eyes.
_ In 2004, mortality statistics included
_ 14.6 million chronic active TB cases (chronic: not ill right away –latent disease)
_ 8.9 million new cases,
_ 1.6 million deaths, mostly in developing countries (wet walls, improper sanitation, improper
housing and they catch the disease faster as it is related to social and health system)
_ Differences in health care systems
_ Transmission - cough, sneeze, speak, kiss, or spit of ill person
_ Most commonly attacks the lungs
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_ Symptoms include chest pain, coughing up blood, and a productive, prolonged cough for more
than three weeks, fever, chills, night sweats, appetite loss, weight loss, paleness and often a
tendency to fatigue very easily
Tuberculosis- a growing threat but it is sensitive to UV rays and O2. The only way it can be
prevented is old clothes/old stuff related to the TB victim and exposed to the sun.
_ Bacillus anthracis (large gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria found mainly in the soil): can
be used as a biological weapon.
_ Produce toxin –really poisonous
_ Three major clinical forms:
Cutaneous – on the skin
Gastrointestinal (via food and drinks)
_ All three may lead to septicemia (bacteria’s in such a huge number that will lead to very
serious condition) and death
_ No smell or taste; Too small to be seen by naked eye
_ Cannot be transmitted from person to person
Cutaneous Anthrax
_ The most common naturally occurring type (> 95%)
_ After skin contact with contaminated meat, wool, or leather from infected animals
_ The incubation period (period when there is no symptoms) ranges from 1-12 Days
_ Begins as a small raised bump (like spider bite), progresses into vesicle and then a painless
_ Fever, headache, lymph glands swell
_ 20 % of untreated cases result in death
Successfully treated with Antibiotics.
Inhalation Anthrax
_ The most lethal form
_ Inhalation of spores of anthrax
_ Incubation period 1-60 days
_ Starts as viral respiratory illness: sore throat, mild fever, muscle aches
_ May progress to respiratory failure and shock with developing meningitis (encephalitis)
_ 75 % of cases result in death even with all possible supportive care
Gastrointestinal Anthrax
_ Consumption of raw or undercooked contaminated meat
_ Incubational period 1-7 days
_ Nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fever, followed by abdominal pain, vomiting blood and
bloody diarrhea.
_ 25- 60 % of cases result in death effect of early treatment is not defined
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