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Top100 Diseases

 infectious diseases

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) disease/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is caused by infection with the HIV retrovirus. It currently affects over 30 million people worldwide and is granted additional prominence because of its high media profile.

What to learn
  • The structure and characteristics of the HIV retrovirus.
  • Etiology, epidemiology, and clinical course of HIV infection; monitoring the disease (CD4 count, etc.).
  • Signs and symptoms of AIDS and AIDS-related complex: the presentations of the common opportunistic infections and tumors.
  • Management of HIV disease: antiretroviral therapy, treatment, and prophylaxis against opportunistic infections.
  • Social and psychological aspects of HIV disease.

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This protozoal infection affects 270 million people worldwide each year and has a mortality rate of 1%. Endemic and epidemic malaria are found in all countries between the latitudes 30° south and 40° north. The disease is caused by four species of protozoa: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae.

What to learn
  • The life-cycle of the Plasmodium parasites in the Anopheles mosquito (the definitive host) and humans (the intermediate host).
  • Symptoms, signs and diagnostic tests for malaria.
  • The clinical course of the disease and complications.
  • Acute management of malarial infection.
  • Antimalarial prophylaxis.

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Cholera is a common disease worldwide that is caused by the gram-negative bacillus Vibrio cholerae, for which humans are the only host. It is transmitted by the fecooral route, and contaminated water supply is the major factor in the spread of the disease. The classic feature is painless, profuse, watery diarrhea, which can cause death by dehydration and electrolyte imbalance if untreated.

What to learn
  • Etiology and epidemiology of cholera.
  • Characteristics of V. cholerae and the toxins it produces.
  • Clinical course of the disease and its diagnostic features.
  • Medical and public health management of the disease.

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Immunization is another important topic for exams and primary care. Monitoring and prescribing immunization can be a significant part of your workload in practice.

What to learn
  • Refresh your knowledge of the principles of immunization.
  • Types of vaccine: live attenuated, inactivated, and recombinant, and the merits and disadvantages of each type.
  • Current childhood immunization policy.

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