- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
- Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
- The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
- The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever usually transmitted by ticks. It can also be contracted through contact with viraemic animal tissues (animal tissue where the virus has entered the bloodstream) during and immediately post-slaughter of animals. CCHF outbreaks constitute a threat to public health services as the virus can lead to epidemics, has a high case fatality ratio (10-40%), potentially results in hospital and health facility outbreaks, and is difficult to prevent and treat. CCHF is endemic in all of Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in Asia.
The disease was first described in the Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean haemorrhagic fever. In 1969 it was recognized that the pathogen causing Crimean haemorrhagic fever was the same as that responsible for an illness identified in 1956 in the Congo. The linkage of the two place names resulted in the current name for the disease and the virus.For Details Click Here
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals (such as fruit bats, porcupines and non-human primates) and then spreads in the human population through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests. The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976. There were more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It also spread between countries, starting in Guinea then moving across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts.For Details Click Here
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.
Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.
Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.
Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in health care settings in the absence of adequate infection prevention and control measures.
Diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Among patients who are hospitalized with severe clinical presentation of Lassa fever, case-fatality is estimated at around 15%. Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.
About 80% of people who become infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. 1 in 5 infections result in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.For Details Click Here
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a virus transferred to humans from infected dromedary camels. It is a zoonotic virus, meaning it is transmitted between animals and people, and it is contractable through direct or indirect contact with infected animals. MERS-CoV has been identified in dromedaries in several countries in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. In total, 27 countries have reported cases since 2012, leading to 858 known deaths due to the infection and related complications.
The origins of the virus are not fully understood but according to the analysis of different virus genomes it is believed that it may have originated in bats and later transmitted to camels at some point in the distant past.
Human-to-human transmission is possible, but only a few such transmissions have been found among family members living in the same household. In health care settings, however, human-to-human transmission appears to be more frequent.For Details Click Here
Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic illness that is transmitted to people from animals, and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person-to-person. In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis. The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs, resulting in significant economic losses for farmers.
Although Nipah virus has caused only a few known outbreaks in Asia, it infects a wide range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people.
During the first recognized outbreak in Malaysia, which also affected Singapore, most human infections resulted from direct contact with sick pigs or their contaminated tissues. Transmission is thought to have occurred via unprotected exposure to secretions from the pigs, or unprotected contact with the tissue of a sick animal.
In subsequent outbreaks in Bangladesh and India, consumption of fruits or fruit products (such as raw date palm juice) contaminated with urine or saliva from infected fruit bats was the most likely source of infection.
Human-to-human transmission of Nipah virus has also been reported among family and care givers of infected patients.For Details Click Here
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and blood feeding flies. In humans, the disease ranges from a mild flu-like illness to severe haemorrhagic fever that can be lethal. When livestock are infected the disease can cause significant economic losses due to high mortality rates in young animals and waves of abortions in pregnant females.
While some human infections have resulted from the bite of infected mosquitoes, most human infections result from contact with the blood or organs of infected animals. Occupational groups such as herders, farmers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians are at higher risk of infection. Humans may also become infected by ingesting the unpasteurized or uncooked milk of infected animals. No human-to-human transmission of RVF has been documented.
The virus is a member of the Phlebovirus genus and was first identified in 1931 in a sheep epidemic on a farm in the Rift Valley of Kenya. Since then, outbreaks have been reported in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa. In 2000, the first reported cases of the disease outside the African continent came from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.For Details Click Here
Zika virus is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti, in tropical and subtropical regions. Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
In October 2015, Brazil reported an association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly. Outbreaks and evidence of transmission soon appeared throughout the Americas, Africa, and other regions of the world. To date, a total of 86 countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-transmitted Zika infection.
No vaccine is yet available for the prevention or treatment of Zika virus infection. Development of a Zika vaccine remains an active area of research.For Details Click Here