Malaria Essay

Malaria Essay.

Malaria is a disease caused by various protozoan species that belong to the genus Plasmodium, with Plasmodium falciparum predominating in Africa, New Guinea, and Haiti and Plasmodium vivax in Central America. The disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Malaria has been regarded as one of the most important among the parasitic diseases of humans; it is transmitted in about 107 countries globally with a total estimated population of 3 billion people.

It was also documented to have caused 1-3 million deaths each year (Fauci, et al.

, 2008). In the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia, malaria has already been eliminated. However, occasional local transmission after importation of malaria has still been documented in several southern and eastern areas of the United States and Europe. This indicates that although these countries are “malaria-free” there still exist continual danger to non-malarious countries to contact the disease (Fauci, et al. , 2008).

Moreover, despite considerable efforts, the cases of malaria have surged in many parts of the tropics for the past decades.

In addition to this resurgence, the problem of drug resistance of the parasite and insecticide resistance of the vectors is also increasing (Fauci, et al. , 2008; Hay, et al. , 2002). The hot climate in the tropics is implicated as one the reasons for the prevalence of malaria in these areas; the increased incidence of malaria also coincides with the increased mosquito breeding and transmission during the rainy season.

An epidemic could also ensue following changes in environmental, economic, or social condition. For example, heavy rains following drought or migration of workers or refugees from a non-malarious region to an area with high transmission rate could increase the incidence of malaria in a particular area. More importantly, the capability to shoulder the economic and health burden of malaria determines the success of combating the disease.

The breakdown in malaria control and prevention services can intensify epidemic conditions and would usually result to considerable mortality among all age groups (Fauci, et al. , 2008). Although there are promising new control and research initiatives globally, malaria remains to be what it has been for centuries past – a heavy burden on the tropical communities, a threat to non-endemic countries, and a danger to travelers (Fauci, et al. , 2008). This is the reason why community based public health intervention is still very important.

Prevention through the use of chemoprophylaxis should be encouraged and that these drugs should be made accessible and available especially to areas of epidemics. Chemoprophylaxis drugs prevent the successful infection of Plasmodium and are usually taken before going to an area with known malaria epidemic (Fauci, et al. , 2008). Moreover, the utilization of insecticide-treated nets and insecticides should be promoted to decrease frequency of mosquito bites particularly in malarious areas.

Indoor residual spraying should be employed to kill the Anopheles mosquitoes resting indoors and thereby controlling the vectors of malaria (Najera, Kouznetsov, & Delacollette, 1998; Greenwood & Mutabingwa, 2002). Community health workers should also be trained to enhance their ability to handle malaria cases. This would not only increase the chances of successful treatment but the survival of patients with malaria as well (Greenwood & Mutabingwa, 2002).

Finally, the value of personal protection and the serious implementation of ways to eradicate breeding grounds of vector mosquitoes should be instilled among the people. Personal protection includes avoidance of exposure to mosquitoes at their peak feeding time, which is usually during dusk and dawns; the use of insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin; and wearing of suitable clothing (Fauci, et al. , 2008). Public health education should be carried out to effectively communicate the gravity, urgency, and impact of malaria on the personal lives of the people.

Malaria Essay

Hepatitis A Essay

Hepatitis A Essay.

I. Overview

Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation to the liver. The liver is the largest glandular organ within of human body. It plays the most important function as filter to purify and cleanse our body from anything it ingests as part of the digestive system. Some of its functions include detoxifying alcohol, drugs, pathogens, environmental toxins, and hazardous microorganisms that enter our body whether orally or epidermally.

The liver cells remove  soluble substances from the necessary nutrients such as oxygen, acids, fats, and wastes from the blood all the time to produce the energy that our body needs to perform everyday.

The liver also eliminates the excess hormones from the blood and provides feedback for the release of certain hormones that perform certain functions in the body. It stores vitamins and folic acid as well as synthesizes blood clotting factors.

As Dr. Melissa Palmer would put it, the liver serves as the body’s “watchdog, grocer, housekeeper, bodybuilder, energy plant supervisor and sanitation engineer” all rolled into one (8-9).

If the liver does not function well, it can result in infertility and behavior changes including the sexual dysfunctions which would have psychological repercussions to an individual, though it varies from one individual to another based on heredity and other variations of characteristics.

Hepatitis A is an infectious disease which is related to other viruses affecting the inflammation of liver. This virus is formerly known as infectious hepatitis to serve as a cause of Hepatitis A Virus (HAV), first characterized in 1973 when it was detected in human feces while studying another infectious disease. Those who are greatly affected by this disease are children and those who have not been vaccinated with the anti-hepatitis A. This is one of the three most common hepatitis viruses that affect the human body; hepatitis B and C are the other two.

Having HAV may not cause too much chronic disease because of its ongoing long-term healing; the liver’s “self-help” function would usually take care of the disease in a few months time (Balch 479). However, the liver does become inflamed and tumid. HAV also poses a greater threat to a certain number of people, especially those experiencing liver diseases and the elderly people over 60 years old, although the chances of getting it theoretically declines as one ages. These patients have a higher possibility of liver failure after contracting HAV. Statistically, there are about 100 people who die each year due to HAV, although the disease is not actually serious enough to be fatal to an individual (Palmer 82; Sherlock and Dooley 272).

HAV is habitually spread by close personal contact, sometimes from stools found in other persons with HAV, by eating unsafe or unwashed foods such as street foods, or by drinking contaminated water with HAV (Palmer 84). There are some risk factors that can easily affect some of the normal people dealing with this virus. For example, a person with HAV can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

A person who travels internationally all the time can also easily spread the virus, especially when he or she infected and not detected of having it. A person taking intravenous medication can also acquire the virus easily. If the person gets HAV and recovers, that person will never get it again or it will possibly evolve to the second level which is hepatitis B. However, that person cannot transmit the said virus again to others.

II. Cause

There are several common causes of the transmission of the virus.  Hepatitis A can be caused by many drugs and toxic agents as well as by numerous viruses. Poor personal hygiene, direct person-to-person contact, consuming raw food such as fruits, vegetables, and undercooked shellfish that came from polluted or contaminated water such as sewage can spread HAV as well. People changing baby diapers or forgetting to wash their hands after using the bathrooms can also get HAV.

Thus, hepatitis A infection is likely to happen wherever hygiene may be a problem or nonexistent. Fecal-oral contamination can occur when certain insects like houseflies carry bits of feces and possibly transplant them on anything they land on, especially food and human skin, and HAV can be transferred orally when touched or ingested. It can also be transmitted through blood transfusions and sexual contact, though studies have shown that this rarely occurs. Regarding the latter, this only happens when the intercourse is anal in nature and performed by members of the same sex, in this case homosexual men (Palmer 84; Balch 479).

Outbreaks have also happened at military installations and institutions like mental hospitals, and public prisons can also be the place where one can be vulnerable to the disease. The spread of HAV in these areas is attributed to the poor and appalling sanitary conditions of these places. Workers and children in daycare centers may acquire or spread the virus also through fecal-oral contamination due to diaper changing, especially if proper hygiene is not observed. On a larger scale, this is very common in Third World countries where health and proper hygiene are regarded as an important concern.  In rare cases, HAV can also lead to death if not treated or allowed to prosper, but as mentioned earlier, it is usually not fatal (Palmer 82-84).

III. Symptoms

To identify the symptoms of HAV, there are various signs one can see from the person affected by the virus after two to seven weeks of the infection. The symptoms are usually mild and do not look very serious. Having low energy or feeling weak and fatigued is the most common symptom. Others may include unusually high fever, loss of appetite during meal time, and feeling nauseous most of the time or queasy. A person with hepatitis A infection may also experience radical fatigue, frequent headaches, soreness of muscles, pain near the liver, and jaundice wherein a person’s skin and the whites of the eyes are discolored and appear to turn yellow.

The discoloration is said to be caused by an increased level of a yellow or greenish viscid alkaline fluid secreted by the liver and transmitted to the duodenum where it aids especially in the emulsification and absorption of fats pigments in the blood (Sherlock and Dooley 269 ; Balch 479). This is already a disease by itself, but it is often the first syndrome of a liver problem, and hepatitis A is often the first suspect when such a symptom appears.

IV. Treatment

As of the moment, there is no known treatment available for HAV.  As stated earlier, the liver has a unique way of “healing” itself when it has this disease. According to Dr. Palmer, a patient does not have to do much by way of treating the disease except to rest or try to find ways to feel comfortable.  So far, the only treatments available are those that address the symptoms of the disease.

For instance, if one is dehydrated, the patient can either drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, or if there is medical intervention, the doctor can administer intravenous (IV) fluids.  If the symptoms are not severe, it is best for the patient to stay at home to recuperate, but should it become too serious, it is highly recommended to spend some time in the hospital for further observation (Palmer 88; Sherlock and Dooley 267).

V. Prevention

One good thing about getting infected with hepatitis A is that once one had the disease, it cannot return again as mentioned earlier.  Nevertheless, it is recommended that anyone with HAV should be kept isolated to avoid the spread of the infection (Balch 481).  Furthermore, there are other preventive measures that could keep HAV from infecting anyone:

Avoiding alcoholic beverages.  Alcoholic drinks, especially when taken excessively, can worsen HAV as the liver will not be able to detoxify the alcohol taken by the body.  This must be avoided, especially if one has HAV (Lipski 210).
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  It is preferable to take those that are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that will bolster the immune system.  Fresh organic fruits and vegetables are highly recommended rather than processed ones (Lipski 210).

Take multivitamins loaded with minerals.  It is highly recommended that one take multivitamins that contain vitamin C and E, zinc, selenium, and other antioxidants (Lipski 210).

Take Rooibos tea. Also known as red tea, Rooibos tea is caffeine-free and contains antioxidants (Lipski 210).
Observe proper physical hygiene. This consists of simple tasks such as: washing hands; cleaning and disinfecting sections of the house, especially the kitchen and bathroom areas; avoiding to eat any seafood or even fruits and vegetables that are not properly washed in the marketplace; and avoiding to drink water taken from the faucet if its purity is questionable (Lipski 210).

In conclusion, HAV may not look very serious, but as stated earlier, it can become severe if proper measures are not followed and if one does not follow the preventive measures given.  It is all the matter of changing one’s lifestyle to a healthy one such as minimizing, if not totally eliminating, alcohol intake and most importantly, observing cleanliness and proper hygiene at all times.

The last two are probably the best defense one can have against HAV;  best of all, they do not cost much. One other thing to keep in mind is that the liver has amazing capabilities that allow itself to self-heal, and when it does, it will affect the other parts of the body being its “environmental specialist.”  The key is to make sure the liver is functioning well and kept free from disease for it to be able to perform its job in maintaining one’s health.

Hepatitis A Essay

Viruses, Fungi, Protozoa, Bacteria Info Essay

Viruses, Fungi, Protozoa, Bacteria Info Essay.

A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea.


Like living organisms, viruses contain nucleic acids and proteins. Inside living cells, viruses can reproduce, but not by the process of mitosis like most living cells. Viruses lack some characteristics of living organisms. Outside of living cells, viruses are not alive.


A virus structure can be one of the following: icosahedral, enveloped, complex or helical.

These viruses appear spherical in shape, but a closer look actually reveals they are icosahedral.

Icosahedral-These viruses appear spherical in shape, but a closer look actually reveals they are icosahedral. The icosahedron is made up of equilateral triangles fused together in a spherical shape. This is the most optimal way of forming a closed shell using identical protein sub-units. The genetic material is fully enclosed inside of the capsid. Viruses with icosahedral structures are released into the environment when the cell dies, breaks down and lyses, thus releasing the virions.

Examples of viruses with an icosahedral structure are the poliovirus, rhinovirus, and adenovirus.

Envelope- This virus structure is a conventional icosahedral or helical structure that is surrounded by a lipid bilayer membrane, meaning the virus is encased or enveloped.

Complex- These virus structures have a combination of icosahedral and helical shape and may have a complex outer wall or head-tail morphology. The head-tail morphology structure is unique to viruses that only infect bacteria and are known as bacteriophages. The head of the virus has an icosahedral shape with a helical shaped tail.


This virus structure has a capsid with a central cavity or hollow tube that is made by proteins arranged in a circular fashion, creating a disc like shape. The disc shapes are attached helically (like a toy slinky) creating a tube with room for the nucleic acid in the middle. All filamentous viruses are helical in shape.

Diseases Caused By Viruses:

List of diseases caused by viruses:


A fungus is any member of a large group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. SCIENTIFIC NAME (Fungi)


Most fungi grow as tubular filaments called hyphae. An interwoven mass of hyphae is called a mycelium. The walls of hyphae are often strengthened with chitin, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine. … Fungi disperse themselves by releasing spores, usually windblown. … Fungi are heterotrophic.


Specific Diseases Caused by Fungi:

1. Candida Infection-Candidiasis is a common yeast infection that affects many people. There are hundreds of thousands of candida microorganisms that normally live in our bodies. They can be found in the mouth, gut, and female organ. Symptoms vary according to different areas infected. Most candida infections are mild but resistance to drug therapy is becoming more common, thereby making some infections tougher to treat. 2. Fungal Meningitis-This fungal infection is caused by Cryptococcus, which leads to inflammation of the thin membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. A common life-threatening condition that affects many HIV patients, infection is usually acquired through inhalation of fungal cells in the air. These organisms usually thrive in the body of people whose immune systems are weakened.

3. Aspergillus Infection-Aspergillus molds spread in the air and cause serious infections in the lungs and blood of people with weak immune systems, such as those with cancer, HIV, or bone marrow recipients. They are found in air conditioning systems, in beddings, plants, basements, dust, and almost everywhere. These molds act as a potent allergen, which can trigger asthma. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing and fever. Infection may be treated with antifungal medications such as Voriconazole. 4. Athlete’s Foot-This common fungal infection is also known as tinea pedis, which causes redness, itching, peeling, blisters, burning, and sores on the foot. The fungus favors warm and moist environments such as socks, shoes, locker rooms, swimming pools, and public showers. Infection is common in summer or in warm and humid climates. The fungus lives on dead tissues of the toenails, skin, and hair.

5. Jock Itch-This common skin infection, also known as tinea cruris, is caused by fungi called tinea. This fungus lives in warm and moist areas like the genitals, buttocks, and the inner thighs. Infections frequently occur in summer as well as in warm and wet climates. It causes red, itchy rashes that are ring-shaped. Direct contact with infected individuals can cause the spread of infection. Symptoms include itching, burning, redness, peeling, flaking or cracked skin. Treatment includes the use of over-the counter creams for mild infection and prescription-strength antifungals for severe infection. Keep affected areas clean and dry. It is also important to change your underwear daily.

6. Ringworm-Although the name sounds like the infection is caused by a worm, tinea corporis or ringworm is caused by a fungus. Flat, red sores, some with the outer parts raised, appear anywhere on the skin. Patches of raised skin sores may overlap and skin may appear scaly. The fungal infection may spread through direct contact with skin of an infected person and indirectly through contaminated objects such as clothes or furniture. Warm, humid climates favor the growth of these fungi.


Bacteria constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals.


There are 3 types of bacteria based on their shapes such as: Bacteria grow in number not in size, but they make copies of themselves by dividing into half. There are three basic shapes of bacteria: Rod shaped bacteria called as bacilli.

Spherical shaped bacteria called as cocci.
Curved shaped bacteria called as spirilla.

Some of the bacteria exist as single cells, others exist as cluster together.

Respiration in bacteria:

Anaerobic bacteria: does not require oxygen for respiration. Aerobic bacteria: require oxygen for respiration.

Gram staining bacteria are a method of differentiating bacterial species into two large groups, which are based on their chemical and physical properties of their cell wall. Gram positive bacteria: Those bacteria when they are stained in gram stain results in purple colour. Gram negative bacteria: Those bacteria when they are stained in gram stain results in pink colour.

Locomotion of bacteria:

They move around by using their locomotion organs such as cilia and flagella.

Nutrition of bacteria:
They exhibits different modes of nutrition level such as-

Autotrophic bacteria: These bacteria are able to synthesize their own food. For e.g.: Phototropic bacteria and chemosynthetic bacteria Heterotrophic bacteria: These bacteria are unable to synthesize their own food, hence they depends on other organic materials. For e.g.: saprophytic bacteria-these bacteria feeds on dead and decaying matter. Symbiotic bacteria: These bacteria have a mutual benefit from other organisms. For e.g.: nitrogen fixing bacteria (or) rhizobium. Parasitic bacteria: These bacteria are present in plants, animals and human beings. These bacteria feeds on host cells and causes harm to the host.

Reproduction in Bacteria:
The reproduction in bacteria is mainly by cell division and binary fission. In some cases few bacteria also reproduce by budding. Shape:


Harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and disease are called pathogenic bacteria. Bacterial diseases occur when pathogenic bacteria get into the body and begin to reproduce and crowd out healthy bacteria, or to grow in tissues that are normally sterile. Harmful bacteria may also emit toxins that damage the body. Common pathogenic bacteria and the types of bacterial diseases they cause include: Escherichia coli and Salmonella cause food poisoning.

Helicobacter pylori cause gastritis and ulcers.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. Neisseria meningitidis causes meningitis. Staphylococcus aureus causes a variety of infections in the body, including boils, cellulitis, abscesses, wound infections, toxic shock syndrome, pneumonia, and food poisoning. Streptococcal bacteria cause a variety of infections in the body, including pneumonia, meningitis, ear infections, and strep throat.


Protozoa are eukaryotic microorganisms. Although they are often studied in zoology courses, they are considered part of the microbial world because they are unicellular and microscopic.


Protozoa are notable for their ability to move independently, a characteristic found in the majority of species. They usually lack the capability for photosynthesis, although the genus Euglena is renowned for motility as well as photosynthesis (and is therefore considered both an alga and a protozoan). Although most protozoa reproduce by asexual methods, sexual reproduction has been observed in several species. Most protozoal species are aerobic, but some anaerobic species have been found in the human intestine and animal rumen. Protozoa are located in most moist habitats. Free-living species inhabit freshwater and marine environments, and terrestrial species inhabit decaying organic matter. Some species are parasites of plants and animals. Protozoa play an important role as zooplankton, the free-floating aquatic organisms of the oceans. Here, they are found at the bases of many food chains, and they participate in many food webs. Size and shape.

Protozoa vary substantially in size and shape. Smaller species may be the size of fungal cells; larger species may be visible to the unaided eye. Protozoal cells have no cell walls and therefore can assume an infinite variety of shapes. Some genera have cells surrounded by hard shells, while the cells of other genera are enclosed only in a cell membrane. Many protozoa alternate between a free-living vegetative form known as atrophozoite and a resting form called a cyst. The protozoal cyst is somewhat analogous to the bacterial spore, since it resists harsh conditions in the environment. Many protozoal parasites are taken into the body in the cyst form. Most protozoa have a single nucleus, but some have both a macronucleus and one or more micronuclei. Contractile vacuoles may be present in protozoa to remove excess water, and food vacuoles are often observed.

Nutrition and locomotion. Protozoa are heterotrophic microorganisms, and most species obtain large food particles by phagocytosis. The food particle is ingested into a food vacuole. Lysosomal enzymes then digest the nutrients in the particle, and the products of digestion are distributed throughout the cell. Some species have specialized structures called cytostomes, through which particles pass in phagocytosis. Many protozoal species move independently by one of three types of locomotor organelles: flagella, cilia, and pseudopodia. Flagella and cilia are structurally similar, having a “9-plus-2” system of microtubules, the same type of structure found in the tail of animal sperm cells and certain cells of unicellular algae. How a protozoan moves is an important consideration in assigning it to a group.


Protozoan Diseases

1. Amoebiasis

This disease is caused by the sarcodina group of protozoa. They secrete enzymes that are then absorbed by the tissue of the host. Amoebiasis is transmitted through contact with infected feces. Food and water contaminated by feces is the most common route of transmission, however, oral contact with fecal matter can also cause infection. Sometimes there are no visible symptoms but some common ones include loose stools with varying amounts of blood and an inflamed colon.

2. Giardiasis

This disease is also transmitted through oral contact of feces as the parasite is found in fecal matter. If hands are not properly washed after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, it is easy to come into contact with this parasite. Drinking water which has been contaminated by this parasite or even ingesting contaminated swimming water can cause giardiasis. Symptoms include mucusy stools, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and upset stomach.

3. African Sleeping Sickness

African sleeping sickness is a disease caused by the protozoa, which are carried by the tsetse fly and are transmitted to humans through tsetse fly bites. This disease is fairly damaging to the human body and can cause serious illness. Symptoms of this disease include confusion, seizures, insomnia, personality changes, weight loss, slurred speech and trouble talking or walking.

4. Leishmaniasis

This disease is caused by the Leishmania parasite. These parasites are found mainly in southern Europe, the tropics and subtropics. The most common form of this disease being spread is through the bite of a sand fly, which carries the parasite. External leishmaniasis will affect the skin and internal leshmaniasis affects the inner organs such as the spleen and liver. Those parasites that affect the skin cause sores, which will enlarge and become deeper as the disease progresses without treatment. Internal infection will cause weight loss, organ enlargement, fever and extremely high or low blood levels.

5. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is caused by one of the most common parasites in the world, according to the Mayo Clinic. Many of the people infected by this disease do not have any symptoms. However, for those who have weak immune systems such as infants and people suffering from chronic illnesses, this parasite can cause serious illness. Infants who are born to mothers who carry the infection can experience complications at birth. Other symptoms include body aches, fatigue, fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms are very similar to flu like symptoms and this disease can sometimes be mistaken for the flu.

6. Malaria

Malaria is a very common disease in some countries and is spread through mosquito bites of mosquitoes that have been infected by one of the many different malaria-causing parasites. In the United States, there are more than 1300 cases of malaria reported. This is mainly reported by individuals travelling to or coming from the South Asian subcontinent or the sub-Saharan Africa who may be carrying the parasite. Malaria symptoms include headache, chills, tremors, aches and shaking.

7. Babesiosis

This disease is caused by the Babesia parasite that is transmitted through ticks. It can also be transmitted through blood transfusions of donors who carry the Babesia parasite. This parasite is common throughout the United States, in cities such as New England, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Those individuals infected with the Babesia parasite may not experience any symptoms. However, common signs and symptoms include nausea, body aches, fatigue, fever, chills, weight loss and a decreased appetite. For those who are already suffering from health problems and those who have a compromised immune system, this disease can be life threatening and cause serious health problems.

8. Trichomoniasis

This disease is caused by the protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. This disease is most commonly transmitted sexually. It is a dangerous parasite as it can also help along HIV transmission. Symptoms of this disease differ per gender. In woman, vaginitis may occur which will cause white discharge. Men may experience a burning while urinating. This disease is treatable with an antibiotic such as metronidazole.


A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host and gets its food from or at the expense of its host. Parasites can cause disease in humans. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. The burden of these diseases often rests on communities in the tropics and subtropics, but parasitic infections also affect people in developed countries. Parasitic insect are those which live in close association with other living organism called the ‘host’, from whom it derives the material essential for the existence without conferring any benefit to it (host).

Ideal Characteristics of Parasites:

1. The parasite should have high searching capacity of host and utilize the host. 2. It should be fairly host specific in feeding rather than polyphagous i.e. restriction in feeding habit to a relatively few species. This implies high degree of adaptation. 3. It should be primarily to its high potential reproductive capacity, ultimately high fecundity i.e. potential for rate of increase. 4. Ability to occupy all the host inhabited niches and to survive well. 5. Adaptation to broad range of climatic conditions.

6. The parasite species should be amenable to culture in the insectory. 7. It must be efficient to bring about the death of the host. 8. It should not become a plant feeder under any conditions. 9. It should not be hyperparasites or harmful to the beneficial species. 10. Good parasite must complete with other species of natural enemies successfully for occupying food, space and shelter and must destroy the pest population within short time even at high host density. 11. There should be synchronization of life cycles of the parasite and the host.



The undisputed king of parasite-caused diseases, Malaria is a serious human disease that weakens an infected individual and may easily lead to death. It is caused by the Sporozoan species known as Plasmodium. (Sporozoans are members of the parasitic Phylum Sporozoa (spohr-oh-ZOH-uh), one of several sub-groups of eukaryotic organisms in the (biological) kingdom Protista). Plasmodium is carried by the Anopheles (uh-NAHF-uh-leez) mosquito.

When an infected mosquito bites a human, some of its saliva, which contains spores of the parasite, is injected into the bloodstream. Once inside the body, Plasmodium infects liver cells and then red blood cells. Plasmodium grows rapidly within the infected cells and eventually causes these cells to burst at intervals of 48 or 72 hours. When millions of parasite-filled red blood cells burst, they dump large amounts of toxins into the bloodstream. The toxins produce chills and fever- the symptoms of malaria.

River Blindness (Onchocerciasis)

Found in Africa and the Middle East, River blindness is a human disease caused by a parasitic roundworm that enters the body when a black fly, which has picked up the roundworm by biting an infected human, bites another victim.

The roundworm larvae deposited by the black fly quickly grow into threadlike adult worms, which can live under the skin for as long as twelve years. It is not the adult worms that cause this dreadful disease but their offspring- millions of microworms that swarm through the skin and eyes.

Blindness is not the only effect of this disease. As the microworms migrate under the skin, intolerable itching results. Over time, the skin begins to decay and often loses its pigment.

Sleeping Sickness

Sleeping sickness or human African trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease of people and animals, caused by protozoa of species Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by the tsetse fly. The disease is endemic in certain regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, covering about 36 countries and 60 million people.

It is estimated that 50,000 to 70,000 people are currently infected, the number having declined somewhat in recent years. Three major epidemics have occurred in recent history, one lasting from 1896–1906 and the other two in 1920 and 1970. In 2008 there was an epidemic in Uganda.

You may also be interested in the following: differences between bacteria viruses fungi and parasites

Viruses, Fungi, Protozoa, Bacteria Info Essay

Hand Hygiene Essay

Hand Hygiene Essay.

Hand hygiene is a major health issue within hospitals, school systems and within the general public across the United States. Hand washing is one of the most important healthy actions a person can do. Proper hand hygiene aids in the prevention and spread of infections such as respiratory infections or gastrointestinal diseases caused by enteric pathogens. These along with other infectious diseases are commonly caused by poor hand hygiene practices along with the decreased frequency of hand washing. These infections can typically be found in preschool children between the ages of three to five where proper hygiene techniques such as sneezing into the inside of your arm have not been taught properly1.

Preschoolers generally spend the day in a day care center or preschool where they are under the supervision of a teacher.

The teacher is their role model and is the person whom their behaviors will mimic. There are over 2 million children under the age of five who die each year from diarrheal diseases or respiratory issues such as pneumonia2.

One study showed that hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%3. Researchers have also found that about 60 to 70% of absences from day care centers that take care of preschool aged children are due to respiratory infections4. These issues can be properly addressed by teaching good hand hygiene techniques to children age’s three to five so that they can prevent the spread of infections and promote healthy lives.

Theory Briefly describe the theory you will use and the rationale for using this theory (cite other research or similar programs that have used the theory)

The social cognitive theory (SCT) is the basis of the Hand washing Ugly Germs (H.U.G.) program and why it was created. . The social cognitive theory states that a behavior is part of an uninterrupted cycle, which includes the individual, their peers and their social environment. This theory’s main fundamental is that an individual learns by observing others. The SCT also includes an individual’s interaction with an environment as well as having self-efficacy or the confidence that an individual has that about a task5.

The purpose of using this theory is because each portion of the theory can support what the outcomes of the program should be. It also incorporates learning through observation of others and their behaviors. People tend to learn and adapt their behaviors from other people they may see as role models6. Another purpose for using the SCT is because it includes the role of the environment and how it affects an individual’s behaviors or decisions7. The SCT is an essential part behind the H.U.G. program.

Program Proposed program approach and description of specific program components. How will you incorporate the theory into the actual program or services? The majority of your paper should focus on the Program and the application of theory to developing the program.

The H.U.G. program is intended for preschool children and their teachers with the overall goal of being to reduce the spread of infections within each site. The program is designed to be implemented within the schools or day care centers in the State of Connecticut. H.U.G. intends to teach proper hand hygiene techniques to preschool children under the direction of a teacher or supervisor as means to reduce the spread of infections within these educational sites. The hygiene intervention focuses on hand hygiene, the environment in which it takes place and the individuals peers and role models. The preschool educators or day care center conductors will provide education materials to the children in a fun yet educational way such as by posters, videos and interactive lessons.

The education materials will explain how germs are passed through touching, hugging, sneezing, coughing and when an individual does not wash their hands properly it can make others ill. The educators will be provided with either traditional liquid or anti-bacterial soap to use for hand washing. Educators and staff are encouraged to wash their hands in order to set examples for the preschool children. These role models will do demonstrations of proper hand hygiene with each individual child to ensure good techniques. It is recommended to teach the child that they should first turn on the water and wet their hands. They will then pump one or two “squirts” or “globs” of soap into their hands and rub the front and back of their hands.

The child should count for about 15 seconds and it is suggested that they say the alphabet or sing happy birthday aloud to make it easier. After completing the 15 seconds the child should rinse their hands and take a paper towel to dry them off as well as shut the water off. It is important that the children know to wash their hands when arriving at the site, before eating, after toileting, after they have wiped their nose and before leaving the site for the day. It is also important for the children to be aware of how to cover their cough or sneeze by blowing into their arm and not onto their hands or into the air. All of these education materials can be provided to each child and can be implemented in their everyday lives not only in the classroom but at home as well.

Program and Theory

The H.U.G. program was created based on the SCT. Self-efficacy is one of the main principles of the SCT. The program helps to encourage children to wash their hands but also feel confident that they can do it on their own and by doing so they are building self-efficacy. The H.U.G. program also mirrors the idea of observing others which is why it was implemented into preschools and day care centers. These educational places are led by teachers and staff, which the children see as role models. Therefore, because the preschool children typically mimic the staff’s actions, it is important for staff to set an example of proper hand hygiene.

The intention of this is so that the children will learn when and how to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs. The environment also plays a key part in why this program uses the SCT. The program will be implemented in preschools and day care centers because of the environment, which consists of the children’s role models and peers. Also due to the fact that this environment allows the children to be closely confined to an area with their peers, it allows them to make a positive difference in each other’s hygiene habits. By doing this, it should reduce the spread of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections as well as keep each individual healthy so they are able to stay in school.

Evaluation General outline of how you will evaluate your program, including any limitations that you might encounter

The H.U.G. program will be evaluated over a nine-month period while the preschool is in session. The program will be over seen by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Each place will be observed and evaluated at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. They will be evaluated on how many children contracted a respiratory or gastrointestinal illness during that nine-month period, how many children were absent during this time period and the overall hand hygiene process led by the educator and followed by each child. Every site will be given positive thoughts over the time period as well as ways to improve if necessary.

There are a few limitations to the H.U.G. program. One limitation is that it is very time consuming for the state Department of Public Health to make it out to all sites within a nine-month period. Another limitation is that each child is not evaluated outside of school. The child would be practicing proper hygiene at school but unfortunately there is no way to check outside of the school environment. However, they will be instructed to wash their hands when they arrive at the site and before they leave for the day. These limitations could possibly change the results slightly but should not affect them drastically.

Summary Provide a brief summary of why your proposed program and its theoretical base will be effective at addressing the health issue

The H.U.G. program was created in order to address the spread of infection and hand hygiene issue within preschools and day care centers. These are places where preschoolers will learn good behaviors from their role models. The staff teaches each individual why hand washing is important and how to properly wash away the germs. The overall goal is for each student to be able to demonstrate how to properly wash his or her hands and to prevent the spread of infection at each site.


1. Obeng C. Personal Cleanliness Activities in Preschool Classrooms. Early Childhood Education Journal [serial online]. August 2008;36(1):93-99. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 30, 2014.

2. “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.

3. Rabie, T., and V. Curtis. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Mar. 2006. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.

4. Hedin K, Petersson C, Cars H, Beckman A, Håkansson A. Infection prevention at day-care centres: Feasibility and possible effects of intervention. Scandinavian Journal Of Primary Health Care [serial online]. March 2006;24(1):44-49. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 29, 2014.

5. Behavioral Theory in Public Health. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2015. Print.

6. Spencer, Maureen. “Creative Hand Hygiene Programs to Motivate Staff.” New England Baptist Hospital. Lecture.

7. Gudnason T, Hrafnkelsson B, Laxdal B, Kristinsson K. Does hygiene intervention at day care centres reduce infectious illnesses in children? An intervention cohort study. Scandinavian Journal Of Infectious Diseases [serial online]. May 2013;45(5):397-403. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 29, 2014.

Hand Hygiene Essay