The following article was written by Yash, Qeis, Taj and Tangmo.
About us: Our names are Yash, Qeis, Taj and Tangmo and we are trying to raise awareness is to educate people about protecting themselves from diseases in megacities like Bangkok.
Where do viruses come from?
Viruses make copies of themselves so tracing their origins is not easy. Viruses don’t just infect people but can infect any organism. There are new viruses made and many of them come from insects. They have the ability to infect other species. There are epidemic and pandemic viruses. An epidemic is a general outbreak of disease and pandemic is a global outbreak of a disease.
Diseases in megacities and how to prevent it:
- Vector-borne diseases
Vector-borne diseases are diseases that people could get infected by getting bitten by an infected insect, such as mosquitoes and triatomine bugs. According to WHO (World Health Organization), some of the common vector-borne diseases in urban areas are dengue fever, malaria, Zika virus and chikungunya. Different diseases have different symptoms but most include fever and headache (Thailand Major). Some cases of a vector-borne disease can be life-threatening.
People who live in urban areas have a very high risk of getting vector-borne diseases. The climate and the environment are perfect in Bangkok for mosquitoes. To prevent vector-borne diseases, people should clean pools and places with water to prevent new mosquitoes being born. According to CDC, they are medicines that can be taken to prevent Malaria. The safest way to prevent vector-borne diseases is to be careful to not get bitten by insects.
- Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is one of the main diseases in Bangkok. It infected 50,033 people and took 59 lives in 2017 (Lakarnchua). The symptoms of dengue fever are fever and headache. The best way to prevent dengue fever is to avoid mosquito bites because there are no vaccines yet (Sun Kratay, Wilde, Berger).
- Influenza or flu
Influenza is a communicable disease which can be transmitted when the person who is infected talks, coughs or sneezes. The symptom of the flu usually starts abruptly. Some of the symptoms include fever (not everyone), sore throat, runny nose, muscle ache, headache, tiredness and coughing. Some might vomit or have diarrhoea.
How many people suffer from influenza?
According to Itiporn Lakarnchua, influenza has affected 189,870 people (in Thailand) and 54 people died from this disease last year. It is also to be predicted that about 220,000 will be affected by the disease this year.
How to prevent influenza?
According to CDC, the best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinations every year. Other ways to prevent getting sick is to avoid getting close to or touching a sick person, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze and washing your hands with water and soap.
What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is a disease that affects your lungs and this disease is not easy to cure. Globally tuberculosis is one of the most dangerous diseases. Latent tuberculosis is the bacteria that remain in the body in a dormant state. Though not contagious, they can become active and can later become tuberculosis. There is also active tuberculosis which has bacterias causing symptoms and can be transmitted to others.
What causes tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria that travels from one person to another through coughing or sneezing. It spreads through the air when a person (whose lungs are affected) coughs, sneezes, expectorates, laughs, or verbalizes.
How to prevent tuberculosis?
There are many ways but the most important is to wear a mask to decrease the limit of bacteria going around. Also, getting a vaccination will help you overcome tuberculosis. If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking.
Ways to prevent diseases
In conclusion, the ways to prevent diseases are;
- Clean pools or water container to prevent mosquitoes getting born
- Be careful not to get bitten by insects
- Get vaccination every year
- Avoid getting close to or touching a sick person
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze
- Wash your hands