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Infectious Disease Report

June 30, 1988|Clipboard researched by Susan Greene / Los Angeles Times. Page designed by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Each week the Orange County Public Health Department reports to the state the incidence of 57 infectious diseases in the county. The following chart recounts those of which there were at least five cases during the month of May.


May Current Previous Disease 1988 Year to Date Year to Date Acquired Immune 26 124 96 Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Campylobacter 22 123 143 Lapse of consciousness 105 697 691 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis 21 132 133 Gonococcal infection 262 1,199 1,580 Gonococcal infection, PPNG 6 22 34 Hepatitis A 6 146 134 Hepatitis B 18 155 158 Measles 58 58 6 Meningitis 7 73 95 Salmonellosis 29 136 112 Scarlet Fever 20 58 51 Shigellosis 19 89 81 Streptococcal infection 680 1,479 975 Syphilis 189 691 293 Tuberculosis 11 65 110

Year to Date Disease Change, '87-'88 Acquired Immune 28 Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Campylobacter -20 Lapse of consciousness 6 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis -1 Gonococcal infection -381 Gonococcal infection, PPNG -12 Hepatitis A 12 Hepatitis B -3 Measles 52 Meningitis -22 Salmonellosis 24 Scarlet Fever 7 Shigellosis 8 Streptococcal infection 504 Syphilis 398 Tuberculosis -45

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): fatal disease that attacks the body's immune system. Is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Transmitted by sexual contact, exposure to contaminated blood and from an infected mother to her new born.

Campylobacter: characterized by sudden, severe acute diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting. Associated with foods poorly refrigerated or improperly cooked, unpasteurized milk and unchlorinated water.

Giardiasis: a protozoan infection principally of the upper small intestine. May be associated with a variety of intestinal symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal cramps and bloating, fatigue and weight loss. Contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water.

Gonococcal infections: sexually-transmitted bacterial diseases that differ in males and females in terms of course, severity and recognition. The most common are: Urethritis, inflammation of the urethra; Epididymitis, inflammation of that part of the semen-conducting duct which lies upon and behind the testicle; Proctitis, inflammation of membranes of the rectum; Cervicitis, inflammation of the neck of the uterus; Salpingitis, inflammation of one or both Fallopian tubes; PPNG (Penicillinase-Producing Neisseria Gonorrhoeae), strains resistant to penicillin.

Hepatitis A: an acute viral illness of worldwide distribution affecting the liver. Occurs mostly in children and young adults. Usually transmitted by oral ingestion of infected material or by poor sanitation conditions.

Hepatitis B: an acute illness of the liver caused by Hepatitis B virus transmitted by exposure to contaminated needles and administration of blood or blood products and/or oral ingestion of contaminated material.

Measles: a highly-infectious viral disease tending to appear in epidemics. Mainly affects children.

Meningitis: inflammation of the three membranes enveloping the brain and spinal chord.

Salmonellosis: a bacterial disease characterized by the sudden onset of a headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and fever. Common cause of food poisoning.

Scarlet fever: basically a childhood infection, caused by streptococcal bacteria. Symptoms include fever, sore throat and widespread scarlet rash.

Shigellosis: acute diarrhea acquired by person-to-person contact, through eating contaminated food or handling infected objects.

Streptococcal infection: a sphere-shaped bacteria that grows like chains of little balls. Common cause of strep throat and scarlet fever.

Syphilis: a chronic venereal disease transmitted by sexual intercourse. The first symptom, a chancre, appears after an incubation period of 12 to 30 days, followed by a slight fever.

Tuberculosis: a mycobacterial disease that commonly affects the lungs. General symptoms include sweats, hectic fever and emaciation.

Sources: Orange County Public Health Department, "Reported Cases of Specified Notifiable Diseases," for May, 1988.

"Control of Communicable Diseases In Man," Abram S. Benenson, editor, an official report of the American Public Health Assn., 1985, 4th edition.

"Better Homes and Gardens Family Medical Guide," Donald G. Cooley, editor, 1973, 2nd edition.

"The Bantam Medical Dictionary," prepared by Laurence Urdang Associates, Ltd., 1982.

"Stedman's Medical Dictionary," Williams and Wilkins Company, 1973, 22nd edition.

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