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Chapter 1

text book notes on chapter 1

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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Week 2: Beginning (Notes on Ch.1, 2)
Intro to Disease Ecology:
Ch.1: The Nature of Plagues
-Legionnaires disease (found in 1976) contains symptoms of fever, chills, headache, muscle ache
and pain in the beginning; then dry cough, chest pains, shortness of breath, vomiting, and
diarrhea, and then lungs fill with fluids of pus and experienced confusion, hallucinations and loss
of memory.
-Air was thought to the probable pathway of how the disease spread, and the most popular theory
was that the infection resulted from aspiration of bacteria called Legionella in aerosolized water
from either cooling towers or evaporative condensers
-Unlike infections caused by inhalation, aspiration is produced by choking; secretions in the
mouth get past the choking reflex and instead of going into the esophagus and stomach,
mistakenly enter the lungs
-protective mechanism that would prevent aspirations is defective in older people, smokers, and
those with lung disease
-Outbreaks have been traced to water heaters, whirlpool baths, respiratory therapy equipment and
ultrasonic misters used in grocery stores
Toxic shock syndrome:
-a few years later another new disease came along first documented case was under patient;
Mary Benton
-Before falling sick was healthy and active, after her death, culture from her blood, urine and
stools were negative, but the vaginal sample contained the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus
-each case began with vomiting and high fever followed by light-headedness and fainting, the
through felt sore and the muscles ached. A day later a sunburn like rash appeared, and the eyes
became blood shot. Within 3 or 4 days they start suffering confusion, fatigue, weakness, thirst
and a rapid pulse; skin became cool and moist, and breathing became rapid, this followed by a
sudden drop in blood pressure, if it remained low enough for a long enough period, circulatory
collapse produced shock.
-TSS is a gender specific disease
-from1979-1996 it affected 5,296 women, median age 22 with a peak death rate of %
-TSS was thought to be an STD but it is not, it was ultimately linked to the use of certain types of
tampons; especially those containing cross linked carboxymethyl cellulose with polyester foam,
which provided a favourable environment for the toxin-producing S.aureus. An elevated vaginal
temp and neutral pH, both of which occur during menses, were enhanced by the use of these
superabsorbent tampons. And because tampons obstruct the flow of the menstrual blood and
may cause reflux of blood and bacteria into the vagina.
-By 1980 the removal of these tampon brands resulted in a dramatic decrease of death from TSS

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SARS: (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
-this outbreak occurred in 2003
-It all began in February of 2003 when a 64 yr old Chinese physician who was working in a
hospital in Guangdong Province in Southern China traveled to Hong Kong to attend a wedding
and became ill. He had a dry cough, fever, sore throat and a headache. He felt well enough to
sightsee and shop with his brother-in-law in Hong Kong, but his condition worsened and he had
difficulty breathing. He went to the hospital and was put into ICU and was given antibiotics,
anti-inflammatory drugs and oxygen. This did not do much and several hours later he died from
respiratory failure. His brother-in-law who only had 10 hours of contact suffered the same
symptoms 3 days later and was hospitalized then died 3 weeks later. Lab test for both were
negative for Legionnaires disease, tuberculosis, and influenza. The third SARS case came from
a female nurse whom had seen the first patient in ICU and the 4th case came from a 72 yr old
Chinese-Canadian man who had returned to Hong Kong for a family reunion, he stayed
overnight in the same hotel and same floor as patient 1, and he would ultimately carry SARS
from Hong Kong to Canada.
-In less than a month 10 people had SARS, six of whom survived and 4 of whom died
-over the next 4 months the SARS survivors sowed the seeds of infection that led to more than
8,000 cases and 800 deaths in 27 countries.
- We as people do not see diseases so fearful because we think they have minimal effects
because we are immunized as children, we treat illness with affective drugs and antibiotics and
we are well nourished, so we don’t think diseases can really affect human affairs. But the truth is
our world is much more vulnerable than it was in the past because of the increase and rapid
movements of people and goods, few inhabitants are truly isolated or untouched by hum and or
our domesticated animals.
Living off others:
-the germs that caused SARS, Legionnaires disease, and TSS are parasites. A parasite obtains
the resources needed for their growth and reproduction. Parasitism is the intimate association of
two different kinds of organisms (species) wherein one benefit (the parasite) at the expense of
the other (the host) l and as a consequence of this, parasites often harm their hosts. The harm
that is inflicted is called disease.
-Parasites come in different types of disguises:
Viruses: a fragment of genetic material wrapped in protein
Bacteria, fungi, protozoa: consist of a single cell
Round worms, ticks, mosquitoes, etc: are made up of many cells
-Tapeworms, hookworms, the malaria parasite, and HIV all live in the body
-ticks and chigger live on the surface
-parasites are very, very small in size compared to their hosts, but can completely destruct their
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