But the memories persist. And one of those memories is of a lesser-known feature they used to run: Rare Tropical Disease of the Month. Mmmm. Tasty. Which got me thinking about rare tropical diseases.
Wikipedia defines them as:
Tropical diseases are infectious diseases that either occur uniquely in tropical and subtropical regions (which is rare) or, more commonly, are either more widespread in the tropics or more difficult to prevent or control.
Since the advent of air travel, people more frequently visit these regions and contract many of these diseases, most notably malaria and hepatitis. Any nontropical condition however should never be overlooked in those returning from the tropics.
The world's most knowledgeable website goes onto to list them! Joy!
The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) of the World Health Organization focuses on neglected infectious diseases that disproportionally affect poor and marginalized populations. The current disease portfolio includes the following ten:
Although leprosy and tuberculosis are not exclusively tropical diseases (they have occurred everywhere), their highest incidence in the tropics justify its inclusion. Cholera and yellow fever also fall into this category.
Some tropical diseases are very rare, but may occur in sudden epidemics, such as the Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever and the Marburg virus. There are hundreds of different tropical diseases which are less known or rarer, but that, nonetheless, have importance for public health, such as:
*West Nile disease
*Mapucho hemorrhagic fever
*Trachoma Guinea worm
Yikes. Sounds sore. I think we need to get SA Doc onto this. No more snotty noses. Rare Tropical Diseases. An Expose! Yes!