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Infectious-disease Report

May 25, 1989|Clipboard researched by Susan Davis Greene and 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 various infectious diseases in the county. The following table details a selection of these afflictions for April, the most recent month for which information is available:

NUMBER OF CASES April Current Previous Disease 1989 Year to Date Year to Date Acquired immune 40 126 98 deficiency syndrome (AIDS) Campylobacter 22 57 101 Lapse of consciousness 170 512 592 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis 22 136 111 Gonococcal infection 221 762 937 Hepatitis A 30 155 140 Hepatitis B 57 193 136 Lead poisoning 17 71 232 Salmonellosis 10 64 107 Streptococcal infection 141 1,316 799 Syphilis 61 246 432 Tuberculosis 29 94 54

Year to Date % Disease Change, '88-'89 Acquired immune +29 deficiency syndrome (AIDS) Campylobacter -44 Lapse of consciousness -14 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis +23 Gonococcal infection -19 Hepatitis A +11 Hepatitis B +42 Lead poisoning -69 Salmonellosis -40 Streptococcal infection +65 Syphilis -43 Tuberculosis +74

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 newborn.

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.

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.

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.

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 November, 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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