In 2014 an estimated 56 million people died worldwide. Studies revealed that directly transmitted diseases (communicable or infectious diseases) were responsible for 40% of all deaths globally, up from 32% in 2012.
The growing number of war conflicts and diseases across the world brings more fatalities and, at a global scale, the situation is expected to get worse. So far, increasing mortality has been generally reported in low-income countries, but a worst case survival scenario may involve all humanity, and thus, medically certified information could make the difference between life and death. Especially nowadays, reliable information on causes of death is essential for the prevention and control of disease.
Lurking Viruses Await Us All!
Our immune system is designed to protect us from infectious agents. However, some germs are formidable adversaries as they are constantly mutating to breach the immune system’s defenses. Knowing how germs work can increase your chances of avoiding infection and disease. Infectious agents come in a variety of shapes. Categories include:
Many disease-causing bacteria produce toxins — powerful chemicals that damage cells and make you ill. Bacteria cause diseases such as strep throat or tuberculosis.
To reproduce, viruses invade cells in your body, hijacking the machinery that makes cells work. Viruses are responsible for causing numerous diseases, including: AIDS, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Influenza etc.
Causing illness in infants and in people who have an impaired immune system. Fungi are also responsible for skin conditions such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.
Single-celled organism hunting and gathering other microbes for food (malaria)
Larger parasites (tapeworms or roundworms)
Wildlife Killers of Public Concern in Survival Conditions
Is a directly transmitted disease still likely to claim the life of millions and it still remains a constant threat in case of disaster. Rabies in the wildlife can increase dramatically as much as it can spread very quickly. When the virus enters the tissue, it multiplies at the bite or inoculation site and travels slowly up nerve fibers to the part of the brain that controls the bitten area.
Apart from saliva infection, other methods of contamination are possible (caves containing very large populations of infected bats of skinning an animal for food in survival situations). Individuals at high risk of exposure to rabies, should be vaccinated before potential exposure.
If you can’t get any such help, Scrub the exposed site, including bite wounds, with soap and water or water alone and flush thoroughly. Then apply a strong first aid solution (iodine) or cream.
Is a disease caused by mosquito-borne viruses that affect the central nervous system. Infected mosquitoes will feed on human or equine hosts that are “dead ends” for the viruses, with little or no chance of subsequent transmission to other mosquitoes.
These viral infections may, however, result in severe illness or death in humans. No treatment or commercial vaccine is available for humans, so the best preventive measures are personal protection against mosquito bites, especially avoiding exposure to mosquitoes during early evening hours, and the use of repellents.
Mosquito populations can be reduced in an area by eliminating breeding sites for vector species. Killing adult mosquitoes with area wide applications of insecticides has been most effective in preventing epidemics.
Flash – eating virus
Media reports have popularized the term flesh-eating bacteria to refer to a type of very rare but serious bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis. Infections caused by the bacterium known as Streptococcus pyogenes. The term flesh-eating has been used because the bacterial infection produces toxins that destroy tissues such as muscles, skin, and fat.
This terrible disease may also be the result of untreated infections and wounds. Apart from surgery and antibiotics, no other medical procedure or method is available in the wilderness. The best protection is prevention and is related to treating any form of infection as correctly as possible in the wild. However, good hygiene and wound care can reduce the chance of developing the disease.
Tick – borne diseases
It is known that ticks are extremely resistant to harsh life conditions, so the danger of tick related diseases in the wild is extremely high in a survival situation. The main diseases caused by ticks are: Colorado Tick Fever, Tick – borne Typhus, and Lyme disease, all potential killers for humans, if treatment lacks. The following personal measures can protect against tick-transmitted diseases. When possible, avoid tick-infested areas. The best you can do is check yourself frequently for ticks and remove them.
Is probably one of the most devastating diseases in the history of mankind. The Black Death is estimated to have killed between one-third and two-thirds of Europe’s population. Today plague is rare in the United States but it has been known to occur in parts of California and Colorado. It is a flee-borne disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis.
Humans usually become infected by the bites of infected fleas, but also directly from exposure to tissues or body fluids from diseased animals, especially when skinning animals. It spreads like fire and is responsible for the death of millions. No alternative medicine solutions are known to treat plague, so the role of antibiotics is vital. In a disaster situation, plague is to be taken very seriously as a killer disease.
About 6 million to 7 million people are estimated to be infected worldwide. In the past decades it has been increasingly detected in the United States of America, Canada, and many European and some Western Pacific countries. Parasites are mainly transmitted by contact with faeces/urine of infected blood sucking bugs.
These bugs, vectors that carry the parasites, typically live in the cracks of poorly-constructed homes in rural or suburban areas. Normally they hide during the day and become active at night when they feed on human blood. They usually bite an exposed area of skin such as the face, and the bug defecates close to the bite. To kill the parasite, Chagas disease can be treated with benznidazole and also nifurtimox.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for Chagas disease. Vector control is the most effective method of prevention in Latin America. Under normal circumstances, blood screening is necessary to prevent infection through transfusion and organ transplantation.
Leishmania parasites are transmitted through the bites of infected female phlebotomine sand flies. The disease is associated with malnutrition, population displacement, poor housing, a weak immune system and lack of resources. The epidemiology of leishmaniasis depends on the characteristics of the parasite species.
The parasites live mainly on humans or rodents. Large outbreaks in densely populated cities also occur, especially during war and large-scale population migration. The parasites causing the disease live mainly on humans or rodents. Poverty increases the risk for leishmaniasis.
Poor housing and domestic sanitary conditions (e.g. lack of waste management, open sewerage) may increase sandfly breeding and resting sites, as well as their access to humans. Early diagnosis and effective case management reduces the prevalence of the disease and prevents disabilities and death.
You can prevent infection and reduce the seriousness of an illness by:
1. Obtain any pre-exposure vaccinations that are available.
2. Take personal precautions to reduce exposure to disease agents and vectors such as ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas.
3. Practice good sanitation procedures when handling or processing animals or their products.
4. Wear protective clothing, particularly disposable rubber or plastic gloves, when dissecting or skinning wild animals.
5. Scrub the work area, knives, other tools, and reusable gloves with soap or detergent followed by disinfection with diluted household bleach.
6. Avoid eating and drinking while handling or skinning animals and wash hands thoroughly when finished.
7. Safely dispose of carcasses and tissues as well as any contaminated disposable items like plastic gloves.
8. Cook meat from wild game thoroughly before eating.
Did you or someone you know had to deal with any of these diseases? Share your experience in the comments section below.