Anthrax is an infectious disease due to a type of bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. Infection in humans most often involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs. Anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, and goats, but humans who come into contact with infected animals can get sick from anthrax, too.There are three main routes of anthrax infection:Cutaneous anthrax occurs when anthrax spores touch a cut or scrape on the skin.It is the most common type of anthrax infection. Inhalation anthrax develops when anthrax spores enter the lungs through the respiratory tract. It is most commonly contracted when workers breathe in airborne anthrax spores during processes such as tanning hides and processing wool. Begins with fever, malaise, headache, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons. Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called "Shiga toxin-producing" E. coli, or STEC for short. The symptoms of STEC infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. STEC live in the guts of ruminant animals, including cattle, goats, sheep, deer, and elk. The major source for human illnesses is cattle. Infections start when you swallow STEC—in other words, when you get tiny (usually invisible) amounts of human or animal feces in your mouth.Most people get better within 5-7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Non-specific supportive therapy, including hydration, is important. Antibiotics should not be used to treat this infection. Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976. The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. There are five identified subtypes of Ebola virus. Confirmed cases of Ebola HF have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo. No case of the disease in humans has ever been reported in the United States. People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. Thus, the virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons. Nosocomial transmission refers to the spread of a disease within a health-care setting, such as a clinic or hospital. It occurs frequently during Ebola HF outbreaks. The incubation period for Ebola HF ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients. There is no standard treatment for Ebola HF. Patients receive supportive therapy. This consists of balancing the patient's fluids and electrolytes, maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating them for any complicating infections. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus, and Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. The more a person smokes, the more likely that person will develop COPD. However, some people smoke for years and never get COPD. In rare cases, nonsmokers who lack a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin can develop emphysema. Symptoms: Cough, with or without mucus, Fatigue, Many respiratory infections, Shortness of breath (dyspnea) that gets worse with mild activity, Trouble catching one's breath, and Wheezing. People with this disease do not get enough oxygen and suffer a buildup of carbon dioxide in their blood Because the symptoms of COPD develop slowly, some people may not know that they are sick. The best test for COPD is a lung function test called spirometry. This involves blowing out as hard as possible into a small machine that tests lung capacity. The results can be checked right away, and the test does not involve exercising, drawing blood, or exposure to radiation.There is no cure for COPD. However, there are many things you can do to relieve symptoms and keep the disease from getting worse. Persons with COPD MUST stop smoking. This is the best way to slow down the lung damage. COPD is a long-term (chronic) illness. The disease will get worse more quickly if you do not stop smoking. Patients with severe COPD will be short of breath with most activities and will be admitted to the hospital more often. These patients should talk with their doctor about breathing machines and end-of-life care. Encephalitis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the brain, most often due to infections. Encephalitis is a rare condition. It occurs more often in the first year of life and decreases with age. The very young and the elderly are more likely to have a severe case. Encephalitis is most often caused by a viral infection. Many types of viruses may cause it. Exposure to viruses can occur through: Breathing in respiratory droplets from an infected person, Contaminated food or drink, Mosquito, tick, and other insect bites, and Skin contact. Encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus is the leading cause of more severe cases in all ages, including newborns. The virus causes inflammation of brain tissue. The brain tissue swells (cerebral edema), which may destroy nerve cells, cause bleeding in the brain (intracerebral hemorrhage), and brain damage. Viral encephalitis resembles the flu in terms of its symptoms: headache, fever, confusion, drowsiness, and fatigue. More advanced and serious symptoms include seizures or convulsions, tremors, hallucinations, and memory problems. It usually lasts for two to three weeks. It can vary from mild to life-threatening and even cause death. Most people with a mild infection can recover fully. Those with a more severe infection can recover although they may have damage to their nervous system. This damage can be permanent. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body's endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption. Exposure to endocrine disruptors can occur through direct contact with pesticides and other chemicals or through ingestion of contaminated water, food, or air. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products- including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides. Chemicals suspected of acting as endocrine disruptors are found in insecticides, herbicides, fumigants and fungicides that are used in agriculture as well as in the home. Most EDs act like naturally occurring estrogens in the body. However, some EDs block androgens (male sex hormones such as testosterone). Most common symptoms include Testicular cancer, low Sperm Counts, Breast cancer, and early puberty. "Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver and also refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver . The most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. The condition can be self-limiting (healing on its own) or can progress to fibrosis (scarring) and cirrhosis. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice (yellow color of the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes), anorexia (poor appetite) and malaise (feeling of general discomfort). Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months and chronic when it persists longer. A group of viruses known as the hepatitis viruses cause most cases of hepatitis worldwide, but hepatitis can also be caused by toxins (notably alcohol, certain medications, some industrial organic solvents and plants), other infections and autoimmune diseases. HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. HIV damages a person's body by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases. During the initial infection a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. HIV is spread primarily by unprotected sexual intercourse. Other causes include sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare illicit drugs for injection, and being born to an infected mother. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. Many people who are HIV-positive do not have symptoms of HIV infection. Often people only begin to feel sick when they progress toward AIDS. People at this stage of HIV disease have badly damaged immune systems. Scientists believe HIV came from a particular kind of chimpanzee in Western Africa. Humans probably came in contact with HIV when they hunted and ate infected animals. People with HIV can live long and healthy lives with access to treatment. There are now more than 20 approved antiretroviral drugs. Despite this, people with HIV face many barriers to accessing affordable, effective care. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Symptoms include Fever or feeling feverish/chills, Cough, Sore throat, Runny or stuffy nose, Muscle or body aches, Headaches, and Fatigue. Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. To avoid this, people should wash their hands often with soap and water. Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, home renovations or in auto repair shops also may be exposed to lead. While treatment is available for lead poisoning, simple precautions can help prevent it. Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated. The signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include: Irritability, Loss of appetite, Weight loss, Sluggishness and fatigue, Abdominal pain, Vomiting. The first step in treating all degrees of lead poisoning is to remove the source of the contamination. For children and adults with relatively low lead levels, simply avoiding exposure to lead may be enough to reduce blood lead levels. For more-severe cases, your doctor may recommend chemical treatments. Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia — lung inflammation usually caused by infection. Legionnaires' disease is caused by a bacterium known as legionella. You can't catch Legionnaires' disease from person-to-person contact. Instead, most people get Legionnaires' disease from inhaling the bacteria. Outdoors, Legionella bacteria survive in soil and water, but rarely cause infections. Indoors, though, Legionella bacteria can multiply in all kinds of water systems — hot tubs, air conditioners and mist sprayers in grocery store produce departments. Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to Legionnaires' disease. Legionnaires' disease usually develops two to 14 days after exposure to legionella bacteria. It frequently begins with the following signs and symptoms: Headache, Muscle pain, Chills, Fever. By the second or third day, you'll develop other respiratory symptoms. Although Legionnaires' disease primarily affects the lungs, it occasionally can cause infections in wounds and in other parts of the body, including the heart. A mild form of Legionnaires' disease — known as Pontiac fever — may produce symptoms including fever, chills, headache and muscle aches. Pontiac fever doesn't infect your lungs, and symptoms usually clear within two to five days. Legionnaires' disease is treated with antibiotics. The sooner therapy is started, the less likely the chance of serious complications or death. Pontiac fever goes away on its own without treatment and causes no lingering problems.Outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease are preventable, but it requires meticulous cleaning and disinfection of water systems, pools and spas. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans, can harbor the bacteria and spread it when feeding. You're more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying the disease thrive. It's important to take common-sense precautions in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent. The ticks are brown and when young, they're often no bigger than the head of a pin, which can make them nearly impossible to spot. To contract Lyme disease, an infected deer tick must bite you. The bacteria enter your skin through the bite and eventually make their way into your bloodstream. In most cases, to transmit Lyme disease, a deer tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours. If you find an attached tick that looks swollen, it may have fed long enough to transmit bacteria. Removing the tick as soon as possible may prevent infection. If you're treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, you're likely to recover completely. In later stages, response to treatment may be slower, but the majority of people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate treatment. The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and usually affect more than one system. The skin, joints and nervous system are affected most often. Within a month after infection: rash, flu-like symptoms. Later signs: joint pain, neurological problems. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease (encephalopathy) in cattle that causes a spongy degeneration in the brain and spinal cord. In humans, it is known as new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Symptoms of CJD sometimes resemble those of other dementia-like brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's, but Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease usually progresses much more rapidly. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease captured public attention in the 1990s when some people in the United Kingdom developed a form of the disease after eating meat from diseased cattle. However, "classic" Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has not been linked to contaminated beef. Although serious, CJD is rare. The disease can't be transmitted through coughing or sneezing, touching, or sexual contact. Most people with classic CJD develop the disease for no apparent reason. It can be developed through family inheritance or exposure to infected human tissue during a medical procedure. Worldwide, there is an estimated one case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease diagnosed per million people each year, most commonly in older adults. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is marked by rapid mental deterioration, usually within a few months. Initial signs and symptoms of CJD typically include: Personality changes, Anxiety, Depression, Memory loss, Impaired thinking, Blurred vision, insomnia. As the disease progresses, mental symptoms worsen. Most people eventually lapse into a coma. Heart failure, respiratory failure, pneumonia or other infections are generally the cause of death. The disease usually runs its course in about seven months, although a few people may live up to one or two years after diagnosis. No effective treatment exists for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or any of its variants. A number of drugs have been tested — including steroids, antibiotics and antiviral agents — and have not shown benefits. There is no known way to prevent sporadic CJD. If you have a family history of neurological disease, you may benefit from talking with a genetics counselor, who can help you sort through the risks associated with your particular situation. Malaria produces recurrent attacks of chills and fever. Caused by a parasite that's transmitted by mosquitoes, malaria kills about 1 million people each year worldwide. While the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria is still prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries. Malaria is caused by a type of microscopic parasite that's transmitted most commonly by the mosquito bites. World health officials are trying to reduce the incidence of malaria by distributing bed nets to help protect people from mosquito bites as they sleep. It can also be transmitted through mother to unborn child, blood transfusions, and sharing needles used to inject drugs. A vaccine to prevent malaria is currently under development. If you're traveling to locations where malaria is common, take preventive medicine before, during and after your trip. Many malaria parasites are now immune to the most common drugs used to treat the disease. Symptoms: Moderate to severe shaking chills, High fever, Profuse sweating as body temperature falls, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea. Malaria signs and symptoms typically begin within a few weeks after a bite from an infected mosquito. However, some types of malaria parasites can lie dormant in your body for months, or even years. Antimalarial drugs are used to treat malaria. The history of antimalarial medicine has been marked by a constant struggle between evolving drug-resistant parasites and the search for new drug formulations. In many parts of the world, for instance, resistance to chloroquine has rendered the drug ineffective. In general, the drugs taken to prevent malaria are the same drugs used to treat the disease. Your doctor needs to know where you'll be traveling so that he or she can prescribe the drug that will work best on the type of malaria parasite most commonly found in that region. Reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae—simple ocean plants that live in the sea—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal. While many people call these blooms 'red tides,' scientists prefer the term harmful algal bloom. One of the best known HABs in the nation occurs nearly every summer along Florida's Gulf Coast. This bloom, like many HABs, is caused by microscopic algae that produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat. The toxins may also make the surrounding air difficult to breathe. As the name suggests, the bloom of algae often turns the water red. Technological advancements such as satellite imagery have allowed scientists to better track and monitor harmful algal blooms. Tracking and monitoring red tide algae helps reduce harmful effects of the algae by providing warnings against eating infected shellfish and against swimming in infected waters. Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through feces. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food sources. Typically, people with salmonella infection develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within eight to 72 hours. Most healthy people recover within a few days without specific treatment. In some cases, the diarrhea associated with salmonella infection can be so dehydrating as to require prompt medical attention. Life-threatening complications also may develop if the infection spreads beyond your intestines. Your risk of salmonella infection is higher if you travel to countries with poor sanitation. Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products. The incubation period ranges from several hours to two days. Symptoms include Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea, Fever, Chills. Because salmonella infection can be dehydrating, replacement of fluids and electrolytes is the focus of treatment. If your doctor suspects that salmonella bacteria have entered your bloodstream, or if you have a severe case or a compromised immune system, he or she may prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Salmonella infection is contagious, so take precautions to avoid spreading bacteria to others. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness. SARS first appeared in China in November 2002. Within a few months, SARS spread worldwide, carried by unsuspecting travelers. SARS showed how quickly infection can spread in a highly mobile and interconnected world. The SARS epidemic also demonstrated that international cooperation among health experts can effectively contain the spread of the disease. Since 2004, known instances of SARS transmission have fallen to zero worldwide. SARS typically begins with flu-like signs and symptoms — fever, chills, muscle aches and occasionally diarrhea. After about a week, signs and symptoms include: Fever, Dry cough, Shortness of breath. SARS is caused by a strain of coronavirus, the same family of viruses that causes the common cold. Until now, these viruses have never been particularly dangerous in humans, although they can cause severe disease in animals. For that reason, scientists originally thought that the SARS virus might have crossed from animals to humans. It now seems likely that it evolved from one or more animal viruses into a completely new strain. Most respiratory illnesses, including SARS, spread through droplets that enter the air when someone with the disease coughs, sneezes or talks. In spite of a concerted global effort, scientists have yet to find an effective treatment for SARS. Antibiotic drugs don't work against viruses and antiviral drugs haven't shown much benefit. The only prevention methods are to use common sense disease prevention like washing hands. Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that primarily affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. Although tuberculosis is contagious, it's not especially easy to catch. You're much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone you live with or work with than from a stranger. Tuberculosis was once rare in developed countries, but the number of TB cases began increasing in 1985. Part of the increase was caused by the emergence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens a person's immune system so it can't fight the TB germs. Many strains of tuberculosis can resist the effects of the drugs most commonly used to treat the disease. Signs and symptoms of active TB include: Cough, Unexplained weight loss, Fatigue, Fever, Night sweats, Chills, Loss of appetite. Medications are the cornerstone of tuberculosis treatment. But treating TB takes much longer than treating other types of bacterial infections. With tuberculosis, you must take antibiotics for at least six to nine months. Another reason tuberculosis remains a major killer is the increase in drug-resistant strains of the bacterium. Ever since the first antibiotics were used to fight tuberculosis 60 years ago, the germ has developed the ability to survive attack, and that ability gets passed on to its descendants. If you test positive for latent TB infection, your doctor may advise you to take medications to reduce your risk of developing active tuberculosis. Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. Typhoid fever is rare in industrialized countries. However, it remains a serious health threat in the developing world, especially for children. Typhoid fever spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who's infected. Signs and symptoms usually include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea. When treated with antibiotics, most people with typhoid fever feel better within a few days, although a small percentage of them may die of complications. Vaccines against typhoid fever are available, but they're only partially effective. Vaccines usually are reserved for those who may be exposed to the disease or are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is common. Although children with typhoid fever sometimes become sick suddenly, signs and symptoms are more likely to develop gradually — often appearing one to three weeks after exposure to the disease. Once signs and symptoms do appear, you're likely to experience: Fever, Headache, Weakness and fatigue, Dry cough, Loss of appetite, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea or constipation, Rash. Symptoms get worse if left untreated. Antibiotic therapy is the only effective treatment for typhoid fever. In many developing nations, the public health goals that can help prevent and control typhoid — safe drinking water, improved sanitation and adequate medical care — may be difficult to achieve. For that reason, some experts believe that vaccinating high-risk populations is the best way to control typhoid fever. Radiation sickness is damage to your body caused by a large dose of radiation often received over a short period of time (acute). The amount of radiation absorbed by the body — the absorbed dose — determines how sick you'll be. Radiation sickness is also called acute radiation sickness, acute radiation syndrome or radiation poisoning. Common exposures to low-dose radiation, such as X-ray or CT examinations, don't cause radiation sickness. Although radiation sickness is serious and often fatal, it's rare. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II, most cases of radiation sickness have occurred after nuclear industrial accidents such as the 1986 fire that damaged the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl or the 2011 earthquake that damaged the nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan. The initial signs and symptoms of treatable radiation sickness are usually nausea and vomiting. After the first round of signs and symptoms, a person with radiation sickness may have a brief period with no apparent illness, followed by the onset of new, more serious symptoms. In general, the greater your radiation exposure, the more rapid and more severe your symptoms will be. The treatment goals for radiation sickness are to prevent further radioactive contamination; treat life-threatening injuries, such as from burns and trauma; reduce symptoms; and manage pain. In the event of a radiation emergency, stay tuned to your radio or television to hear what protective actions local, state and federal authorities recommend. Yushō disease was a mass poisoning by PCBs which occurred in northern Kyūshū, Japan in 1968. In January 1968, rice bran oil produced by Kanemi Company in Kyushu started to become contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). The contaminated rice bran oil was then sold to poultry farmers for use as a feed supplement and to consumers for use in cooking. In February to March 1968, farmers started reporting that their poultry were dying due to apparent difficulty in breathing; altogether 400,000 birds died. About 14,000 people who had consumed the contaminated rice oil were affected in Japan. Common symptoms included dermal and ocular lesions, irregular menstrual cycles and a lowered immune response.Other symptoms included fatigue, headache, cough, and unusual skin sores. Additionally, in children, there were reports of poor cognitive development.