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Infectious Disease Report

August 11, 1988|Clipboard researched by Susan Greene, Dallas Jamison / Los Angeles Times; Graphics 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 table details a selection of these afflictions.

NUMBER OF CASES

July Current Previous Disease 1988 Year to Date Year to Date Acquired Immune 6 158 130 Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Campylobacter 25 180 203 Lapse of consciousness 133 999 965 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis 48 224 202 Gonococcal infection 197 1,642 2,226 Gonococcal infection, PPNG 8 41 46 Hepatitis A 22 225 212 Hepatitis B 12 221 347 Hepatitis Non-A, Non-B 6 46 59 Meningitis 14 104 240 Salmonellosis 19 201 193 Shigellosis 12 123 119 Streptococcal infection 323 2,330 1,404 Syphilis 72 791 456 Tuberculosis 19 111 159

Year to Date % Disease Change, '87-'88 Acquired Immune +22 Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Campylobacter -11 Lapse of consciousness +4 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis +11 Gonococcal infection -26 Gonococcal infection, PPNG -11 Hepatitis A +6 Hepatitis B -36 Hepatitis Non-A, Non-B -22 Meningitis -57 Salmonellosis +4 Shigellosis +3 Streptococcal infection +66 Syphilis +73 Tuberculosis -30

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

Campylobacter: Characterized by sudden, 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. PPNG, or Penicillinase-Producing Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, are strains resistant to penicillin.

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

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

Hepatitis Non-A, Non-B: A form of serum hepatitis caused by a virus closely resembling the one responsible for Hepatitis B.

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. Contracted by eating contaminated food.

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

Streptococcal infection: Often manifested as strep throat or scarlet fever. A sphere-shaped bacteria that grows like chains of little balls.

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

Tuberculosis: A mycobacterial disease that usually affects the lungs. General symptoms include sweats, hectic fever and severe weight loss.

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

"Control of Communicable Diseases In Man," an official report of the American Public Health Assn., Abram S. Benenson, editor, 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 Co., 1973, 22nd edition.

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