VIRAL, BACTERIAL, VECTORBORNE EXPOSURES
Where there is human activity there will be viral and bacterial infections, vectorborne illnesses and inevitable transmissions from person-to-person, animal-to-person or mosquito-to-person to name a few.
Hep. A is a communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection.
These diseases are spread through sewage contamination of food or water and through person-to-person contact. People who are currently ill and people who have recovered but are still passing the bacteria in their stools can spread Salmonella Typhi. or Salmonella Paratyphi. Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever have similar symptoms̵. People usually have a sustained fever (one that doesn’t come and go) that can be as high as 103–104°F (39–40°C).
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented. The United States Military and Dept. of Defense created an initiative in 2004 using military-strength permethrin on all uniforms to prevent exposures.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
Cholera is a disease spread by drinking water or eating food contaminated with cholera bacteria. Severe cholera is characterized by large amounts of watery diarrhea, often described as “rice-water stool” because it can have a pale, milky appearance. It can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. If untreated, the loss of fluid can be deadly. But simple treatment, including replacing lost body fluids, can lower the risk of death to less than 1%.
Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness that is caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Meningococcal disease is a contagious infection spread by close contact, such as living with or kissing an infected person. Quick medical attention is extremely important if meningococcal disease is suspected. The symptoms of meningococcal disease can vary based on the type of illness that develops. Common symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include sudden fever, headache, and stiff neck. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and confusion. Children and infants may show different signs, such as inactivity, irritability, vomiting, or poor reflexes. Meningococcal bacteria can also infect the blood which can lead to tiredness, vomiting, cold hands and feet, chills, severe aches and pain, fast breathing, diarrhea, and a dark purple rash. Meningococcal disease is very serious and can be fatal. When fatal, death can occur in as little as a few hours.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN COMBAT
Iraq vs. Afghanistan
Infectious diseases in combat zones are silent killers, you never stop and think about what you cannot see, or what is the health and wellness status of the local population. The chart above from OurWorldinData alongside facts and data from the CIA allowed for the chart to demonstrate by country (Afghanistan, Iraq) the number of death rates per 100,000 by year(s) beginning at 2000 as they relate to infectious diseases.