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Health Studies

Plagues and Peoples Textbook Chapter OneThe Nature of PlaguesSeptember 28 2010Legionnaires Disease OutbreakPhiladelphia 19761976 Peter Turner WWII veteran fell ill following a stay at a hotel in Pennsylvania for a legionnaires conventionEarly symptoms high fever chills headache and muscle ache and pains Later symptoms a few days later dry couch chest pains shortness of breath vomiting and diarrheaFinal symptoms a week later lungs filled with fluid and pus confusion disorientation hallucinations and loss of memory 221 others legionnaires also became ill and 33 of them including Turner died of pneumonia Pathway of spread of disease aspiration of bacteria called Legionella in aerosolized water from AC while in lobby of the BellevueStratford Hotel 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 mechanisms that normally prevent aspiration are defective in older people smokers and those with lung disease The Legionnaires were perfect candidates And NowSince this outbreak there have been 11000 documented cases of Legionnaires disease annual in the US and estimates of 100000 with a fatality rate of 15 Outbreaks have been traced to water heaters whirlpool baths respiratory therapy equipment and ultrasonic misters used in grocery storesA Few Years Later Toxic Shock Syndrome TSS Mary Benton graduate student and English TA at UCLA experienced great pain every time she went to the washroomHer early symptoms nausea chills diarrhea headache and a sore throat Her later symptoms high fever high HR red rash initially on thighs but later on face abdomen and arms low BP conjunctivitis in both eyes brown discharge in pelvic examination She died within 48 hours while under care from multiorgan failurelow BP hepatitis renal insufficiency and internal blood clots Bacterium staphylococcus aerus found in vaginal sampleTSS in General Symptoms vomiting high fever lightheadedness and fainting sore throat muscle acheA day later rash appeared and eyes become blotshot Within 3 to 4 days confusion fatigue weakness thirst rapid pulse skin became cool and moist rapid breathing Followed by sudden drop in BPGender specific disease From 19791996 in affected 5296 women average age22 with peak death rate of 4 TSS caused by superabsorbent tampons that provided elevated vaginal temperature and neutral pHbecause tampons obstruct flow of menstrual blood and may cause reflux of blood and bacteria into the vagina Such tampons were taken off market and number of death declined dramatically Severe Acute Respiratory SyndromeSARS Outbreak2003It began in 2003 when a 64 year old Chinese doctor travelled to HK and became ill His early symptoms fever dry couch sore throat and headache
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