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
Airborne diseases include any that are caused via transmission through the air. Many airborne diseases are of great medical importance. The pathogens transmitted may be any kind of microbe, and they may be spread in aerosols, dust or liquids. The aerosols might be generated from sources of infection such as the bodily secretions of an infected animal or person, or biological wastes such as accumulate in lofts, caves, garbage and the like. Such infected aerosols may stay suspended in air currents long enough to travel for considerable distances, though the rate of infection decreases sharply with the distance between the source and the organism infected.
Airborne pathogens or allergens often cause inflammation in the nose, throat, sinuses and the lungs. This is caused by the inhalation of these pathogens that affect a person's respiratory system or even the rest of the body. Sinus congestion, coughing and sore throats are examples of inflammation of the upper respiratory air way due to these airborne agents. Air pollution plays a significant role in airborne diseases which is linked to asthma. Pollutants are said to influence lung function by increasing air way inflammation.
Many common infections can spread by airborne transmission at least in some cases, including: Anthrax (inhalational), Chickenpox, Influenza, Measles, Smallpox, Cryptococcosis, and Tuberculosis.
Airborne diseases can also affect non-humans. For example, Newcastle disease is an avian disease that affects many types of domestic poultry worldwide which is transmitted via airborne contamination.
Often, airborne pathogens or allergens cause inflammation in the nose, throat, sinuses, and the upper airway lungs. Upper airway inflammation causes coughing congestion, and sore throat. This is caused by the inhalation of these pathogens that affect a person's respiratory system or even the rest of the body. Sinus congestion, coughing and sore throats are examples of inflammation of the upper respiratory air way due to these airborne agents.
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.
An airborne disease is any disease that is caused by pathogens that can be transmitted through the air. Such diseases include many of considerable importance both in human and veterinary medicine. The relevant pathogens may be viruses, bacteria, or fungi, and they may be spread through breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, raising of dust, spraying of liquids, toilet flushing or any activities which generates aerosol particles or droplets. Human airborne diseases do not include conditions caused by air pollution such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gasses and any airborne particles, though their study and prevention may help inform the science of airborne disease transmission.
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.
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.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a journal "Emerging Infectious Diseases" that identifies the following factors contributing to disease emergence:
- Microbial adaption; e.g. genetic drift and genetic shift in Influenza A
- Changing human susceptibility; e.g. mass immunocompromisation with HIV/AIDS
- Climate and weather; e.g. diseases with zoonotic vectors such as West Nile Disease (transmitted by mosquitoes) are moving further from the tropics as the climate warms
- Change in human demographics and trade; e.g. rapid travel enabled SARS to rapidly propagate around the globe
- Economic development; e.g. use of antibiotics to increase meat yield of farmed cows leads to antibiotic resistance
- Breakdown of public health; e.g. the current situation in Zimbabwe
- Poverty and social inequality; e.g. tuberculosis is primarily a problem in low-income areas
- War and famine
- Bioterrorism; e.g. 2001 Anthrax attacks
- Dam and irrigation system construction; e.g. malaria and other mosquito borne diseases
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).
Contact with farm animals can lead to disease in farmers or others that come into contact with infected animals. Glanders primarily affects those who work closely with horses and donkeys. Close contact with cattle can lead to cutaneous anthrax infection, whereas inhalation anthrax infection is more common for workers in slaughterhouses, tanneries and wool mills. Close contact with sheep who have recently given birth can lead to clamydiosis, or enzootic abortion, in pregnant women, as well as an increased risk of Q fever, toxoplasmosis, and listeriosis in pregnant or the otherwise immunocompromised. Echinococcosis is caused by a tapeworm which can be spread from infected sheep by food or water contaminated with feces or wool. Bird flu is common in chickens. While rare in humans, the main public health worry is that a strain of bird flu will recombine with a human flu virus and cause a pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu. In 2017, free range chickens in the UK were temporarily ordered to remain inside due to the threat of bird flu. Cattle are an important reservoir of cryptosporidiosis and mainly affects the immunocompromised.
Infectious diseases are sometimes called contagious disease when they are easily transmitted by contact with an ill person or their secretions (e.g., influenza). Thus, a contagious disease is a subset of infectious disease that is especially infective or easily transmitted. Other types of infectious/transmissible/communicable diseases with more specialized routes of infection, such as vector transmission or sexual transmission, are usually not regarded as "contagious", and often do not require medical isolation (sometimes loosely called quarantine) of victims. However, this specialized connotation of the word "contagious" and "contagious disease" (easy transmissibility) is not always respected in popular use.
Infectious diseases are commonly transmitted from person to person through direct contact. The types of contact are through person to person and droplet spread. Indirect contact such as airborne transmission, contaminated objects, food and drinking water, animal person contact, animal reservoirs, insect bites, and environmental reservoirs are another way infectious diseases are transmitted,
The most significant zoonotic pathogens causing foodborne diseases are , "Campylobacter", "Caliciviridae", and "Salmonella".
In 2006, a conference held in Berlin was focusing on the issue of zoonotic pathogen effects on food safety, urging governments to intervene, and the public to be vigilant towards the risks of catching food-borne diseases from farm-to-dining table.
Many food outbreaks can be linked to zoonotic pathogens. Many different types of food can be contaminated that have an animal origin. Some common foods linked to zoonotic contaminations include eggs, seafood, meat, dairy, and even some vegetables. Food outbreaks should be handled in preparedness plans to prevent widespread outbreaks and to efficiently and effectively contain outbreaks.
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.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) evolved from Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) otherwise known as common "S. aureus". Many people are natural carriers of "S. aureus", without being affected in any way. MSSA was treatable with the antibiotic methicillin until it acquired the gene for antibiotic resistance. Though genetic mapping of various strains of MRSA, scientists have found that MSSA acquired the mecA gene in the 1960s, which accounts for its pathogenicity, before this it had a predominantly commensal relationship with humans. It is theorized that when this "S. aureus" strain that had acquired the mecA gene was introduced into hospitals, it came into contact with other hospital bacteria that had already been exposed to high levels of antibiotics. When exposed to such high levels of antibiotics, the hospital bacteria suddenly found themselves in an environment that had a high level of selection for antibiotic resistance, and thus resistance to multiple antibiotics formed within these hospital populations. When "S. aureus" came into contact with these populations, the multiple genes that code for antibiotic resistance to different drugs were then acquired by MRSA, making it nearly impossible to control. It is thought that MSSA acquired the resistance gene through the horizontal gene transfer, a method in which genetic information can be passed within a generation, and spread rapidly through its own population as was illustrated in multiple studies. Horizontal gene transfer speeds the process of genetic transfer since there is no need to wait an entire generation time for gene to be passed on. Since most antibiotics do not work on MRSA, physicians have to turn to alternative methods based in Darwinian medicine. However prevention is the most preferred method of avoiding antibiotic resistance. By reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in human and animal populations, antibiotics resistance can be slowed.
Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome ("PMWS") is the classic PCVD entity, caused by PCV-2. PCV-2 has a near universal distribution – present in most pig herds. In contrast, PMWS is more sporadic in its distribution. Experimental induction of PMWS has not been achieved by PCV-2 infection alone, using infectious DNA clones of the virus or a pure form of PCV-2 derived from infectious DNA clones. Therefore, it is assumed that PMWS is a multifactorial disease. PCV-2 is necessary but not sufficient for the development of PMWS. However, viral infection by itself tends to cause only mild disease, and co-factors such as other infections or immunostimulation seem necessary for development of severe disease. For example, concurrent infection with porcine parvovirus or PRRS virus, or immunostimulation lead to increased replication of PCV-2 and more severe disease in PCV-2-infected pigs. There is no significant correlation of the disease with virus sequence variation with affected and control pigs.
Porcine circoviral disease (PCVD) and Porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD), is a disease seen in domestic pigs. This disease causes illness in piglets, with clinical signs including progressive loss of body condition, visibly enlarged lymph nodes, difficulty in breathing, and sometimes diarrhea, pale skin, and jaundice. PCVD is very damaging to the pig-producing industry and has been reported worldwide. PCVD is caused by porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2).
The North American industry endorses "PCVAD" and European use "PCVD" to describe this disease.
Any age may be affected although it is most common in children aged five to fifteen years. By the time adulthood is reached about half the population will have become immune following infection at some time in their past. Outbreaks can arise especially in nursery schools, preschools, and elementary schools. Infection is an occupational risk for school and day-care personnel. There is no vaccine available for human parvovirus B19, though attempts have been made to develop one.
A vaccine is available, called "Chinese Live Attenuated EIA vaccine", developed in China and widely used there since 1983. Another attenuated live virus vaccine is in development in the United States.
Reuse of syringes and needles is a risk factor for transfer of the disease. Currently in the United States, all horses that test positive must be reported to federal authorities by the testing laboratory. EIA-positive horses are infected for life. Options for the horse include sending the horse to a recognized research facility, branding the horse and quarantining it at least 200 yards from other horses for the rest of its life, and euthanizing the horse. Very few quarantine facilities exist, which usually leads to the option of euthanizing the horse. The Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing, Development and Safety (a.k.a. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) is one of the largest such quarantine facilities and is located in south Florida.
The horse industry and the veterinary industry strongly suggest that the risks posed by infected horses, even if they are not showing any clinical signs, are enough of a reason to impose such stringent rules. The precise impacts of the disease on the horse industry are unknown.
The Coggins test (agar immunodiffusion) is a sensitive diagnostic test for equine infectious anemia developed by Dr. Leroy Coggins in the 1970s.
Currently, the US does not have an eradication program due to the low rate of incidence. However, many states require a negative Coggins test for interstate travel. In addition, most horse shows and events require a negative Coggins test. Most countries require a negative test result before allowing an imported horse into the country.
Horse owners should verify that all the horses at a breeding farm and or boarding facility have a negative Coggins test before using the services of the facility. A Coggins test should be done on an annual basis. Tests every 6 months are recommended if there is increased traveling.
Feline infectious anemia (FIA) is an infectious disease found in felines, causing anemia and other symptoms. The disease is caused by a variety of infectious agents, most commonly "Mycoplasma haemofelis" (which used to be called "Haemobartonella"). "Haemobartonella" and "Eperythrozoon" species were reclassified as mycoplasmas. Coinfection often occurs with other infectious agents, including: feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), "Ehrlichia" species, "Anaplasma phagocytophilum", and Candidatus "Mycoplasma haemominutum".
Infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) is a severe viral disease of salmonid fish. It is caused by infectious pancreatic necrosis virus, which is a member of the Birnaviridae family. This disease mainly affects young salmonids, such as trout or salmon, of less than six months, although adult fish may carry the virus without showing symptoms. Resistance to infection develops more rapidly in warmer water. It is highly contagious and found worldwide, but some regions have managed to eradicate or greatly reduce the incidence of disease. The disease is normally spread horizontally via infected water, but spread also occurs vertically. It is not a zoonosis.
Fifth disease is transmitted primarily by respiratory secretions (saliva, mucus, etc.) but can also be spread by contact with infected blood. The incubation period (the time between the initial infection and the onset of symptoms) is usually between 4 and 21 days. Individuals with fifth disease are most infectious before the onset of symptoms. Typically, school children, day-care workers, teachers and parents are most likely to be exposed to the virus. When symptoms are evident, there is little risk of transmission; therefore, symptomatic individuals don't need to be isolated.
Brazilian hemorrhagic fever (BzHF) is an infectious disease caused by the Sabiá virus, an Arenavirus. The Sabiá virus is one of the arenoviruses from South America to cause hemorrhagic fever. It shares a common progenitor with the Junin virus, Machupo virus, Tacaribe virus, and Guanarito virus. It is an enveloped RNA virus and is highly infectious and lethal. Very little is known about this disease, but it is thought to be transmitted by the excreta of rodents.
There have only been three documented infections of the Sabiá virus, only one of which occurred naturally and the other two cases occurred in the clinical setting. The only naturally occurring case was in 1990, when a female agricultural engineer who was staying in the neighborhood of Jardim Sabiá near São Paulo, Brazil contracted the disease. She presented with hemorrhagic fever and died. Her autopsy showed liver necrosis. A virologist who was studying the woman's disease contracted the virus but survived. Ribavirin was not given in these first two cases. Four years later, in 1994, a researcher was exposed to the virus in a level 3 biohazard facility at Yale University when a centrifuge bottle cracked, leaked, and released aerosolized virus particle. He was successfully treated with ribavirin.
Ribavirin is thought to be effective in treating the illness, similar to other arenaviruses. Compared to the patients who did not receive ribavirin, the patient who was treated with it had a shorter and less severe clinical course. Symptomatic control such as fluids to address dehydration and bleeding may also be required.
The Sabiá virus is a Biosafety Level 4 pathogen.
This virus has also been implicated as a means for bioterrorism, as it can be spread through aerosols.
Caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium "Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis" found mostly in goats and sheep that at present has no cure. It manifests itself predominantly in the form of large, pus-filled cysts on the neck, sides and udders of goats and sheep. The disease is spread mostly from an animal coming in contact with pus from a burst cyst on an infected animal, but the disease is highly contagious and is thought to also be spread by coughing or even by flies. Studies have found CL incidence in commercial goat herds as high as 30%.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is implicated in cattle with no pigmentation around the eyelids and cattle with prominently placed eyes. Exudate from the sun-burnt skin around the eyes can contain bacteria and attracts flies. UV light also directly damages the corneal epithelium, leading to a breakdown in host innate immunity.
Dust, dried-up plants, tall vegetation, and oversized or incorrectly placed ear tags may cause mechanical damage to the eye and facilitate bacterial colonization.
The disease may be complicated by concurrent infection with viruses such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (bovine herpesvirus 1) or adenovirus, bacteria such as "Mycoplasma boviculi" or "Listeria monocytogenes", or infestation by "Thelazia", a nematode.
Vitamin A deficiency is also implicated.
IBK is most prevalent in summer and early autumn.
A recent Meat and Livestock Australia report "estimates that the disease costs Australian beef producers AU$23.5 million annually in lost production and treatment costs".
Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. Sometimes, a swollen spleen or liver involvement may develop. Heart problems or involvement of the central nervous system occurs only rarely, and infectious mononucleosis is almost never fatal. There are no known associations between active EBV infection and problems during pregnancy, such as miscarriages or birth defects. Although the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually resolve in 1 or 2 months, EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person's life. Periodically, the virus can reactivate and is commonly found in the saliva of infected persons. Reactivated and post-latent virus may pass the placental barrier in (also seropositive) pregnant women via macrophages and therefore can infect the fetus. Also re-infection of prior seropositive individuals may occur. In contrast, reactivation in adults usually occurs without symptoms of illness.
EBV also establishes a lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body's immune system. A late event in a very few carriers of this virus is the emergence of Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, two rare cancers. EBV appears to play an important role in these malignancies, but is probably not the sole cause of disease.
Most individuals exposed to people with infectious mononucleosis have previously been infected with EBV and are not at risk for infectious mononucleosis. In addition, transmission of EBV requires intimate contact with the saliva (found in the mouth) of an infected person. Transmission of this virus through the air or blood does not normally occur. The incubation period, or the time from infection to appearance of symptoms, ranges from 4 to 6 weeks. Persons with infectious mononucleosis may be able to spread the infection to others for a period of weeks. However, no special precautions or isolation procedures are recommended, since the virus is also found frequently in the saliva of healthy people. In fact, many healthy people can carry and spread the virus intermittently for life. These people are usually the primary reservoir for person-to-person transmission. For this reason, transmission of the virus is almost impossible to prevent.
The clinical diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis is suggested on the basis of the symptoms of fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and the age of the patient. Usually, laboratory tests are needed for confirmation. Serologic results for persons with infectious mononucleosis include an elevated white blood cell count, an increased percentage of certain atypical white blood cells, and a positive reaction to a "mono spot" test.