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Notifiable Diseases Report

February 22, 1990|Clipboard researched by Elena Brunet / 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 notifiable diseases in the county. The following table details a selection of these afflictions for December, 1989, the most recent month for which information is available, and shows the comparison between calendar years 1988 and 1989:

NUMBER OF CASES

Percentage December 1989 1988 Change, Disease 1989 Totals Totals 1988-'89 Acquired immune 24 345 276 +25 deficiency syndrome (AIDS) Alzheimer's disease 12 117 N/A -- Amebiasis 10 101 85 +19 Campylobacter 18 260 293 -11 Chlamydial infections 132 1,031 N/A -- Lapse of consciousness 214 1,806 1,706 +6 (non-alcohol related) Giardiasis 43 560 448 +25 Gonococcal infection 147 2,109 2,787 -24 Hepatitis A 41 510 495 +3 Hepatitis B 68 625 522 +20 Hepatitis Non-A, Non-B 12 54 92 -41 Lead poisoning 66 248 433 -43 Measles 9 388 109 +256 Meningitis 28 241 227 +6 Pelvic inflammatory disease 12 62 N/A -- Salmonellosis 25 293 377 -22 Shigellosis 31 349 471 -26 Syphilis 34 567 1,246 -54 Tuberculosis 25 268 234 +15

N/A: Information not available

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.

Alzheimer's disease: A progressive form of middle-age dementia sometimes marked by memory disorders, impaired reasoning, personality changes and other symptoms.

Amebiasis: A form of dysentery caused by a protozoan parasite. Symptoms include ulcerated intestines and, sometimes, liver abscesses. It is spread by food or water contaminated by infected feces.

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

Chlamydial infections: A predominantly sexually transmitted viral disease that can be identified either by culture or other lab test.

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.

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.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): An often painful condition in women resulting from infection of the reproductive tract, caused by a variety of organisms.

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.

DISEASE TREND April: 1,188 November: 1,940 December: 1,357

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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