The earth is subdivided into different parts according to the prevailing climate. Each zone has its own particularity, advantages and disadvantages. Tropical areas, popular with tourists during the summer months, are no exception, especially in terms of health. Discover today 5 different diseases that are most prevalent in the tropics.
A tropical region is a region, as its name indicates, that is close to a tropic. This is the climate that dominates in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil, the Congo Basin, some Pacific islands, Indonesia … Considered a relatively calm climate, it remains rather comfortable for some climatic disasters and diseases that are mastered there .
1- Tropical diseases: Malaria
First among its kind, malaria is the atypical disease of the intertropical climate. This is a parasitic disease transmitted to humans by the bite of the female anopheles.
This dipteran insect is very prolific in hot regions. To this day, malaria remains one of the most deadly diseases in the world. The number of deaths caused by malaria is approximately 400,000 per year with a peak in children under five years old. In 2020, Africa alone accounted for 96% of malaria-related deaths, or 601,929 people.
Figures that are still high despite medical advances. Since 2019, the World Health Organization, WHO has approved the use of a vaccine, Mosquirix. Some countries like Kenya and Malawi have launched a campaign to prevent the disease through vaccination. Nevertheless, the best way to protect yourself against this dangerous disease is to lie down under an impregnated mosquito net.
2-Tropical diseases: Dengue
Also known as the tropical flu, Dengue is an infectious disease caused by the Dengue virus. This virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of the tiger mosquito which is also responsible for Chikungunya. This disease occurs in the intertropical zone with a peak in Latin America.
The symptoms are similar to those of malaria. Fever, vomiting, anorexia… And can be aggravated in some cases by hemorrhages and epixtasis. Compared to malaria, it is much less deadly. According to WHO estimates, it attacks between 50 and 100 million people worldwide each year.
The essential asset in the prevention is the use of repellent against the vectors, of mosquito net impregnated with insecticides. It is also necessary to cover oneself at sunset by wearing long clothes.
3-Tropical diseases: Dracunculiasis or Guinea worm disease.
Dracunculiasis is a parasitic disease caused by the Guinea worm or Medina threadworm. It occurs when the individual comes in contact with dirty water. It is most prevalent in rural areas without access to water and where the population drinks from surface sources: swamps, stagnant water, ponds, etc.
In 1986, the WHO launched a campaign to eradicate the disease. Thanks to the action of the WHO coupled with that of the authorities, the countries where the disease is endemic have been able to set up a system allowing the populations to have access to drinking water. Today, the number of recorded cases remains practically zero.
4-Tropical diseases :Chagas disease
Chagas disease is widespread in Latin America, particularly in Brazil where it was first described in 1909. It affects 6 to 7 million people. It is transmitted to humans through contact with the stool or urine of a triatomine parasite carrying Trypanosoma cruzi. There are other modes of transmission such as: oral transmission (by injection of contaminated food), by blood, transmission from mother to child, by organ transplantation. For the moment there is no vaccine against this disease.
However, there are treatments composed of deworming to eliminate the parasitic worm. The earlier the treatment, the more effective it is. To prevent this disease, it is necessary to cover the body at nightfall, especially in Latin American countries. It is also important to eat healthy and well-cooked food.
5- Tropical diseases: Trypanosomiasis
Trypanosomiasis is one of the characteristics of the sub-Saharan part of Africa. Better known as sleeping sickness, it is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected tsetse fly. Two parasites are responsible for the disease with various symptoms. These are Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Symptoms after infection with T. b. rhodesiense appear within 3 days after the bite. They are: intense fever, skin rash, muscle pain and intense headache…
The persistence of these symptoms can lead to death. For T. b. gambiense, the symptoms appear months after the infection. In addition to the previous ones, there is a swelling of the face, neurological disorders, weight loss… For the moment, there is no vaccine against this disease.
However, there are effective treatments, but prevention is still the most effective way to fight the disease.
Tropical regions contain many pathologies that cause a lot of deaths. Thanks to the work of the WHO and politicians, the evolution of medicine has made it possible to reduce the number of victims. The work remains to be done at the level of the populations who must observe the different preventive measures against these diseases.