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Platelets are commonly recognized as the clear part of blood. They are small, clear fragments of cell with an irregular shape. They do not have a nucleus that contains DNA and have a life span of 5-9 days. Platelets have a number of important functions in the body and a disorder or disease of the platelets can cause either bleeding or clotting. The article will detail the functions of the platelets in the body.
Cholera is an infectious disease of the small intestine that causes watery diarrhea and vomiting. It is caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae and is typically spread by fecal contamination of water or food due to poor sanitation. A person must ingest a considerable number of bacteria (about 100 million) to be infected and the symptoms typically show after one to five days. The infection can be quite dangerous because an untreated person can lose as much as 20 liters (5 US gallons) of fluid per day. This leads to severe dehydration and death in approximately 60% of untreated cases. Let’s find out how this serious condition is treated.
Rabies is a disease caused by the virus of the same name. This virus can spread between species and is most commonly spread from dogs to humans (97% of human rabies cases) when the animal bites. Other animals such as bats, opossums, skunks, wolves, foxes and monkeys, can also carry the disease. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system and eventually travels to the brain via the peripheral nerves. Once the virus reaches the brain the disease is almost always fatal within days. Early symptoms of the disease begin between 2-12 weeks and may include: headache, fever and fatigue. Soon after the symptoms progress to include strong pain, uncontrolled movements, anxiety, partial paralysis, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, depression and fear of water. Death usually occurs when the patient is not able to maintain the necessary rate of breathing. Rabies causes 55,000 human deaths per year. Let’s find out how rabies is treated.
Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV). It is best known for causing an itchy skin rash, but other symptoms commonly seen include: nausea, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and low grade fever. These symptoms usually occur 10-21 days after infection and the condition usually passes without cause long term complications. The virus is an airborne disease and is spread via infected bodily fluids or direct contact with the rash. Children are most commonly affected by this disease and lifelong immunity is acquired after infection. Adults can also catch chickenpox if they did not have the infection during childhood, and are at greater risk of complications. Let’s find out how chickenpox are prevented and treated.
Hepatitis C is an infectious viral disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This disease often presents without symptoms, but a long lasting infection can cause liver damage, disease and cancer. The risk of developing liver disease is estimated between 5-15% of those infected and women are at less risk than men. Hepatitis C is commonly spread via blood-to-blood contact, such as during blood transfusions or injecting drugs, and via unprotected sexual contact. It is estimated that 350,000 people die each year from complications related to the disease. About 2% of the population in the United States have the disease and there are up to 185,000 new cases each year. Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for this disease. Let’s find out how it is treated.
The West Nile Virus is a mosquito borne disease that occurs in many of the temperate and tropical regions of Africa, the Middle East, North America, Europe, Oceania and parts of Asia. The disease has an incubation period of about 2-15 days and it is after this time that the first symptoms occur. Symptoms vary between people, but a headache, fever, nausea/vomiting, muscle pain/weakness and other flu-like symptoms are relatively common. In about 1% of cases the disease causes very serious symptoms such as inflammation of the brain (meningitis and encephalitis) and it can also affect a number of organs. Let’s find out what causes this potentially life threatening disease.
Mumps is a viral disease caused by a virus that shares the same name. It was once a common childhood disease, although outbreaks do occur from time to time, and is still quite common in developing countries. The most noticeable symptom of this disease is a painful swelling of the salivary glands. Other symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue and rash. It can also cause painful testicle swelling in boys and men. About 20% of sufferers will have no symptoms at all. In most cases the disease passes without any major complications, but mumps can cause infertility or reduced fertility in men, organ infection, encephalitis and mild meningitis, in rare cases. It is also dangerous to unborn babies and causes abortion in 27% of fetuses during the first trimester. Let’s find out how mumps is prevented and treated.
A callus is a thicken layer of skin that can appear anywhere on the body. They are most common on the hands and feet due to the repeated pressure these areas are put under. A callus is a protective action and its purpose is to protect the skin from damage. Calluses are not harmful, but can cause other skin problems such as ulceration or infection. So how are calluses formed? Read this article to find out.
An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the four major ligaments in the human knee. It is the ligament that is located between the femur and the tibia (two main leg bones) within the knee. It attaches to the back of the femur, runs through the knee and attaches to the front of the tibia. It consists of two bundles of fibers, called anteromedial and the posterolateral. The ACL prevents forward movements of the tibia form underneath the femur. It essentially keeps the leg in line. It is the ACL, along with the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) that keeps the knee joint stable.
BPA or Bisphenol A is an organic compound used to make polycarbonate plastics (clear, shatter proof plastics) and epoxy resins (glues and coatings). This compound has the same properties and mimics the effects of the female hormone estrogen. Ongoing research has raised concerns about the safety of this compound, particularly for infants and young children. This research has shown that BPA has a negative effect on fetal and infant brain development and behavior. Due to this concern many plastic products are now labeled as BPA Free. So what does BPA free mean? Read this article to learn more.