Infectious Diseases Essay

468 WordsMar 7, 20122 Pages
Infectious Diseases HIV- The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that weakens the body’s natural ability to fight diseases and infections. The virus is found in body fluids which include blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. The most common way of this virus being spread is unprotected sex. Other ways include using a contaminated syringe/needle and breastfeeding a baby. During the preliminary days after being infected by the virus, the patient usually shows no symptoms and therefore the only way to determine whether the person has symptoms is by a blood test. Someone with HIV is said to have AIDS when tests show their immune system has stopped working and they develop life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. There are more than 33 million people around the wold living with HIV. The virus is particularly widespread in African countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe. The virus works very simply by killing off the cells that maintain immunity and fight off diseases in our body. These cells are called CD4 cells and the HIV virus enters these, replicates itself, exits the cell and kills it off during the process. This continues until the level of CD4 cells in our body drops dangerously low. Tuberculosis- This is a bacterial disease that spreads through inhaling droplets of saliva or catching an infected persons sneeze. TB mainly affects the lungs but can spread to other parts of the body like the limbs or the brain. Symptoms of TB include persistent cough, weight loss etc. The bacteria that causes TB works very slowly and therefore the infected person might take years after being infected before developing any symptoms. The body’s immune system might either kill off the bacteria, crate a defensive layer around the infection or be unable to kill the bacteria. These three situations leads to the bacteria being dead, the bacteria being in the

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