Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
Dogs will typically recover from kennel cough within a few weeks. However, secondary infections could lead to complications that could do more harm than the disease itself. Several opportunistic invaders have been recovered from the respiratory tracts of dogs with kennel cough, including Streptococcus, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, and various coliforms. These bacteria have the potential to cause pneumonia or sepsis, which drastically increase the severity of the disease. These complications are evident in thoracic radiographic examinations. Findings will be mild in animals affected only by kennel cough, while those with complications may have evidence of segmental atelectasis and other severe side effects.
Viral infections such as canine parainfluenza or canine coronavirus are only shed for roughly 1 week following recovery; however, respiratory infections involving "Bordetella bronchiseptica" can be transmissible for several weeks longer. While there was early evidence to suggest that "B. bronchiseptica" could be shed for many months post-infection, a more recent report places detectable nasal and pharyngeal levels of "B. bronchiseptica" in 45.6% of all clinically healthy dogs. This has potentially expanded the vector from currently or recently infected dogs to half the dog population as carriers. To put the relative levels of shedding bacteria into perspective, a study analyzing the shedding kinetics of "B. bronchiseptica" presents the highest levels of bacterial shedding one week post-exposure, with an order of magnitude decrease in shedding observed every week. This projection places negligible levels of shedding to be expected 6 weeks post-exposure (or ~5 weeks post-onset of symptoms). Dogs which had been administered intranasal vaccine 4 weeks prior to virulent "B. bronchiseptica" challenge displayed little to no bacterial shedding within 3 weeks of exposure to the virulent strain.
No specific treatment is available, but antibiotics can be used to prevent secondary infections.
Vaccines are available (ATCvet codes: for the inactivated vaccine, for the live vaccine; plus various combinations).
Biosecurity protocols including adequate isolation, disinfection are important in controlling the spread of the disease.
Avian infectious bronchitis (IB) is an acute and highly contagious respiratory disease of chickens. The disease is caused by avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a coronavirus, and characterized by respiratory signs including gasping, coughing, sneezing, tracheal rales, and nasal discharge. In young chickens, severe respiratory distress may occur. In layers, respiratory distress, nephritis, decrease in egg production, and loss of internal (watery egg white) and external (fragile, soft, irregular or rough shells, shell-less) egg quality are reported.
The mortality rate of the virus largely depends on the immune status of the infected dogs. Puppies experience the highest mortality rate, where complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis are more common. In older dogs that develop distemper encephalomyelitis, vestibular disease may present. Around 15% of canine inflammatory central nervous system diseases are a result of CDV.
The prevalence of canine distemper in the community has decreased dramatically due to the availability of vaccinations. However, the disease continues to spread among unvaccinated populations, such as those in animal shelters and pet stores. This provides a great threat to both the rural and urban communities throughout the United States, affecting both shelter and domestic canines. Despite the effectiveness of the vaccination, outbreaks of this disease continue to occur nationally. In April 2011, the Arizona Humane Society released a valley-wide pet health alert throughout Phoenix, Arizona.
Outbreaks of canine distemper continue to occur throughout the United States and elsewhere, and are caused by many factors. These factors include the overpopulation of dogs and the irresponsibility of pet owners. The overpopulation of dogs is a national problem that organizations such as the Humane Society and ASPCA face every day. This problem is even greater within areas such as Arizona, owing to the vast amount of rural land. An unaccountable number of strays that lack vaccinations reside in these areas and are therefore more susceptible to diseases such as canine distemper. These strays act as a host for the virus, spreading it throughout the surrounding area, including urban areas. Puppies and dogs that have not received their shots can then be infected if in a place where many dogs interact, such as a dog park.
Cat flu is the common name for a feline upper respiratory tract disease. While feline upper respiratory disease can be caused by several different pathogens, there are few symptoms that they have in common.
While Avian Flu can also infect cats, Cat flu is generally a misnomer, since it usually does not refer to an infection by an influenza virus. Instead, it is a syndrome, a term referring to the fact that patients display a number of symptoms that can be caused by one or more of the following infectious agents (pathogens):
1. Feline herpes virus causing feline viral rhinotracheitis (cat common cold, this is the disease that is closely similar to cat flu)
2. Feline calicivirus—(cat respiratory disease)
3. "Bordetella bronchiseptica"—(cat kennel cough)
4. "Chlamydophila felis"—(chlamydia)
In South Africa the term cat flu is also used to refer to Canine Parvo Virus. This is misleading, as transmission of the Canine Parvo Virus rarely involves cats.
Canine influenza (dog flu) is influenza occurring in canine animals. Canine influenza is caused by varieties of influenzavirus A, such as equine influenza virus H3N8, which in 2004 was discovered to cause disease in dogs. Because of the lack of previous exposure to this virus, dogs have no natural immunity to it. Therefore, the disease is rapidly transmitted between individual dogs. Canine influenza may be endemic in some regional dog populations of the United States. It is a disease with a high morbidity (incidence of symptoms) but a low incidence of death.
A newer form was identified in Asia during the 2000s and has since caused outbreaks in the US as well. It is a mutation of H3N2 that adapted from its avian influenza origins. Vaccines have been developed for both strains.
The presence of an upper respiratory tract infection in a dog that has been vaccinated for the other major causes of kennel cough increases suspicion of infection with canine influenza, especially in areas where the disease has been documented. A serum sample from a dog suspected of having canine influenza can be submitted to a laboratory that performs PCR tests for this virus.
Ehrlichiosis is a nationally notifiable disease in the United States. There have been cases reported in every month of the year, but most cases are reported during April–September. These months are also the peak months for tick activity in the United States.
From 2008-2012, the average yearly incidence of ehrlichiosis was 3.2 cases per million persons. This is more than twice the estimated incidence for the years 2000-2007. The incidence rate increases with age, with the ages of 60–69 years being the highest age-specific years. Children of less than 10 years and adults aged 70 years and older, have the highest case-fatality rates. There is a documented higher risk of death among persons who are immunosuppressed.
Doxycycline and minocycline are the medications of choice. For people allergic to antibiotics of the tetracycline class, rifampin is an alternative. Early clinical experience suggested that chloramphenicol may also be effective, however, in vitro susceptibility testing revealed resistance.
Occupations at risk include veterinarians, slaughterhouse workers, farmers, sailors on rivers, sewer maintenance workers, waste disposal facility workers, and people who work on derelict buildings. Slaughterhouse workers can contract the disease through contact with infected blood or body fluids. Rowers, kayakers and canoeists also sometimes contract the disease. It was once mostly work-related but is now often also related to adventure tourism and recreational activities.
It is estimated that seven to ten million people are infected by leptospirosis annually. One million cases of severe leptospirosis occur annually, with 58,900 deaths. Annual rates of infection vary from 0.02 per 100,000 in temperate climates to 10 to 100 per 100,000 in tropical climates. This leads to a lower number of registered cases than likely exists.
The number of new cases of leptospirosis is difficult to estimate since many cases of the disease go unreported. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest issue is separating the disease from other similar conditions. Laboratory testing is lacking in many areas.
In context of global epidemiology, the socioeconomic status of many of the world’s population is closely tied to malnutrition; subsequent lack of micronutrients may lead to increased risk of infection and death due to leptospirosis infection. Micronutrients such as iron, calcium, and magnesium represent important areas of future research.
Outbreaks that occurred after the 1940's have happened mostly in the late summer seasons, which happens to be the driest part of the year. The people at the highest risk for leptospirosis are young people whose age ranges from 5-16 years old, and can also range to young adults.
The amount of cases increase during the rainy season in the tropics and during the late summer or early fall in Western countries. This happens because leptospires survive best in fresh water, damp alkaline soil, vegetation, and mud with temperatures higher that 22° C. This also leads to increased risk of exposure to populations during flood conditions, and leptospire concentrations to peak in isolated pools during drought. There is no evidence of leptospirosis having any effect on sexual and age-related differences. However, a major risk factor for development of the disease is occupational exposure, a disproportionate number of working-aged males are affected. There have been reported outbreaks where more than 40% of people are younger than 15. “Active surveillance measures have detected leptospire antibodies in as many as 30% of children in some urban American populations.” Potential reasons for such cases include children playing with suspected vectors such as dogs or indiscriminate contact with water.
For infecting organisms to survive and repeat the infection cycle in other hosts, they (or their progeny) must leave an existing reservoir and cause infection elsewhere. Infection transmission can take place via many potential routes:
- Droplet contact, also known as the "respiratory route", and the resultant infection can be termed airborne disease. If an infected person coughs or sneezes on another person the microorganisms, suspended in warm, moist droplets, may enter the body through the nose, mouth or eye surfaces.
- Fecal-oral transmission, wherein foodstuffs or water become contaminated (by people not washing their hands before preparing food, or untreated sewage being released into a drinking water supply) and the people who eat and drink them become infected. Common fecal-oral transmitted pathogens include "Vibrio cholerae", "Giardia" species, rotaviruses, "Entameba histolytica", "Escherichia coli", and tape worms. Most of these pathogens cause gastroenteritis.
- Sexual transmission, with the resulting disease being called sexually transmitted disease
- Oral transmission, Diseases that are transmitted primarily by oral means may be caught through direct oral contact such as kissing, or by indirect contact such as by sharing a drinking glass or a cigarette.
- Transmission by direct contact, Some diseases that are transmissible by direct contact include athlete's foot, impetigo and warts
- Vehicle Transmission, transmission by an inanimate reservoir (food, water, soil).
- Vertical transmission, directly from the mother to an embryo, fetus or baby during pregnancy or childbirth. It can occur when the mother gets an infection as an intercurrent disease in pregnancy.
- Iatrogenic transmission, due to medical procedures such as injection or transplantation of infected material.
- Vector-borne transmission, transmitted by a vector, which is an organism that does not cause disease itself but that transmits infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another.
The relationship between "virulence versus transmissibility" is complex; if a disease is rapidly fatal, the host may die before the microbe can be passed along to another host.
Studies show that cats between the ages of two and eight years have the greatest risk of developing a respiratory disease. As well as Siamese and Himalayan breeds and breed mixes seem to be most prone to asthma. Some studies also indicate that more female cats seem to be affected by asthma than male cats.
In Haiti, few cases of human rabies are reported to health authorities. In 2016, a report of a woman who had been exposed to rabies three months prior and was showing symptoms went to the hospital where no treatment was administered to her. Even after being reported to both the CDC and the national Department of Epidemiology and Laboratory Research (DELR), as required by Haiti's surveillance program, the woman ended up passing away. This goes to show the lack of communication and effectiveness in caring for human subjects in Haiti, and the continued focus is on eliminating dog-mediated rabies altogether.
Human diploid cell culture rabies vaccine (HDCV) and purified chick embryo cell culture rabies vaccine (PCEC) are used to treat post-exposure immunization against a human rabies infection. Recommendations for treatment are given by governmental health care organizations and in health literature. Health care providers are encouraged to administer a regimen of four 1-mL doses of HDCV or PCEC vaccines. According to the CDC, these injections should be administered intramuscularly to persons who have not yet been vaccinated for rabies.
For those who are unvaccinated, the first of four doses is administered immediately after exposure to the rabies virus. Additional doses are given three, seven, and fourteen days after the first vaccination. Exposure usually means a bite from a rabid animal.
At an individual patient level, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) consists of local treatment of the wound, vaccination, and administration of immunoglobulin, if necessary . At the program level, several components are critical, including: adequate and prompt recognition of the need for PEP by the public, if exposed, and by health officials, prompt and sufficient availability of high-quality PEP, and adequate follow-up of PEP use. Health officials' awareness of the need for PEP after a dog bite can only be achieved if the exposure is attended to immediately and communicated effectively.
Feline asthma and other respiratory diseases may be prevented by cat owners by eliminating as many allergens as possible. Allergens that can be found in a cat’s habitual environment include: pollen, molds, dust from cat litter, perfumes, room fresheners, carpet deodorizers, hairspray, aerosol cleaners, cigarette smoke, and some foods. Avoid using cat litters that create lots of dust, scented cat litters or litter additives. Of course eliminating all of these can be very difficult and unnecessary, especially since a cat is only affected by one or two. It can be very challenging to find the allergen that is creating asthmatic symptoms in a particular cat and requires a lot of work on both the owner’s and the veterinarian's part. But just like any disease, the severity of an asthma attack can be propelled by more than just the allergens, common factors include: obesity, stress, parasites and pre-existing heart conditions. Dry air encourages asthma attacks so keep a good humidifier going especially during winter months.
Globally, 59,000 people die from rabies each year. This is the equivalent of one person dying every nine minutes, with half of the people who die from rabies being under the age of 15. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Center of foot-and-mouth disease (PANAFTOSA) led a mission to eliminate dog-mediated rabies in the American region by 2015. These organizations are cognizant of the regional control of rabies. The PAHO and PANAFTOSA visited Haiti in early December, 2013, and the objectives of the mission were to assess the status of Haiti’s rabies program as delivered by the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) and the Ministry of Health (MSPP). The mission was to seek opportunities for collaboration between Haiti, Brazil, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Haiti.
Even in 2017, rabies in Haiti is still identified as a national problem, even with PEP proposed.
Disease can arise if the host's protective immune mechanisms are compromised and the organism inflicts damage on the host. Microorganisms can cause tissue damage by releasing a variety of toxins or destructive enzymes. For example, Clostridium tetani releases a toxin that paralyzes muscles, and staphylococcus releases toxins that produce shock and sepsis. Not all infectious agents cause disease in all hosts. For example, less than 5% of individuals infected with polio develop disease. On the other hand, some infectious agents are highly virulent. The prion causing mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease invariably kills all animals and people that are infected.
Persistent infections occur because the body is unable to clear the organism after the initial infection. Persistent infections are characterized by the continual presence of the infectious organism, often as latent infection with occasional recurrent relapses of active infection. There are some viruses that can maintain a persistent infection by infecting different cells of the body. Some viruses once acquired never leave the body. A typical example is the herpes virus, which tends to hide in nerves and become reactivated when specific circumstances arise.
Persistent infections cause millions of deaths globally each year. Chronic infections by parasites account for a high morbidity and mortality in many underdeveloped countries.
A list of the more common and well-known diseases associated with infectious pathogens is provided and is not intended to be a complete listing.
Infectious pathogen-associated diseases include many of the most common and costly chronic illnesses. The treatment of chronic diseases accounts for 75% of all US healthcare costs (amounting to $1.7 trillion in 2009).
The coronavirus which causes ECE has a counterpart strain that has more systemic effects with a higher mortality rate. This systemic syndrome has been compared to Feline infectious peritonitis in cats.
Epizootic catarrhal enteritis (ECE) is a viral disease that first appeared in the northeastern US in 1994, is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the intestine. The condition manifests itself as severe diarrhea (often of a bright green color), loss of appetite, and severe weight loss. The virus can be passed via fluids and indirectly between humans. Although it was often fatal when first discovered, ECE is less of a threat today.
A minority of cases of infectious mononucleosis is caused by human cytomegalovirus (CMV), another type of herpes virus. This virus is found in body fluids including saliva, urine, blood, and tears. A person becomes infected with this virus by direct contact with infected body fluids. Cytomegalovirus is most commonly transmitted through kissing and sexual intercourse. It can also be transferred from an infected mother to her unborn child. This virus is often "silent" because the signs and symptoms cannot be felt by the person infected. However, it can cause life-threatening illness in infants, HIV patients, transplant recipients, and those with weak immune systems. For those with weak immune systems, cytomegalovirus can cause more serious illnesses such as pneumonia and inflammations of the retina, esophagus, liver, large intestine, and brain. Approximately 90% of the human population has been infected with cytomegalovirus by the time they reach adulthood, but most are unaware of the infection. Once a person becomes infected with cytomegalovirus, the virus stays in his/her body fluids throughout his or her lifetime.
About 90% of cases of infectious mononucleosis are caused by the Epstein–Barr virus, a member of the Herpesviridae family of DNA viruses. It is one of the most commonly found viruses throughout the world. Contrary to common belief, the Epstein–Barr virus is not highly contagious. It can only be contracted through direct contact with an infected person’s saliva, such as through kissing or sharing toothbrushes, cups, etc. About 95% of the population has been exposed to this virus by the age of 40, but only 15–20% of teenagers and about 40% of exposed adults actually become infected.