We take a look at re-emerging diseases: illnesses that
everyone thought had been practically wiped out.
Scurvy, TB, rickets... some of the health problems we
thought we'd seen the last of are making a comeback. Could you be at
During the summer incidents of food poisoning double.
E-coli might hit the headlines, but campylobacter causes the greatest number of cases of foodborne illness in the UK each year.
We talk to hygienists about how to avoid getting food poiso...
What is type hepatitis B?
Hepatitis is the Greek term for liver inflammation.
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus called hepatitis B virus (HBV). Other types of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A and hepatitis C.
How do you catch hepatitis...
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is an acute respiratory infection, or a skin
infection (less common), that's caused by the diphtheria bacterium,
Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and its toxin. This is a serious infection with a
high mortality ra...
What is cholera
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterial toxin that affects the absorption of water in the small intestine.
In severe cases, it produces violent diarrhoea within only a few
days. The dangerous aspect of choler...
What is a malarial parasite?
The malarial parasite lives as a parasite in mosquitos.
The malarial parasite, Plasmodium, is a very small, single-cell
blood organism, or 'protozoan'. It lives as a parasite in other
What is yellow fever?
Yellow fever is a potentially fatal
that's transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical regions. It has both an urban
cycle and a jungle cycle that relies on monkeys as carriers ('sylvatic
Where can snakes be found?
Snakes are found in most parts of the world, but only
around 15 per cent of the 3000 or so different types of poisonous snakes that
exist are regarded as posing a potential risk to humans.
Most of these are to
What is sleeping sickness?
Sleeping sickness is also known as trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness.
It's caused by a small parasite that leads to a serious infection in the brain and the meninges (the covering of the brain and...
The majority of scorpions are harmless to humans.
Exotic animal life is generally an attraction when travelling
abroad, but some animals in particular have to be shown respect.
Most people are afraid of
snakes, but other smaller creepy...
What is rabies?
In Europe rabies is mainly carried by the fox.
Rabies, or 'hydrophobia', is known as a disease that makes dogs sick and mad.
Consequently, all dogs in many northern European countries are vacc...
Treated mosquito nets placed around your bed significantly
reduce the risk of infection.
Malaria is a serious
disease, which in the worst case may be fatal. It's widespread in tropical and
From a global vie...
What is malaria?
Malaria is a potentially fatal tropical disease that's caused by
a parasite known as Plasmodium. It's spread through the bite of an infected
The infected person may have feverish attacks,
What is Lyme disease?
Borrelia (Lyme disease) is caused by an infection resulting
from a tick bite. The tick (shown above) often buries its head into the skin.
Lyme disease is an infection that derives from a
What is Japanese encephalitis?
Japanese encephalitis is a viral disease, transmitted by
It causes serious inflammation of the brain, which may lead to
permanent brain damage, and has a high mortality rate.
But the grea...
What is typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever is an infectious feverish disease, with severe symptoms in the digestive system in the second phase of the illness. The French used to call the disease a 'boil of the intestine'.
Classic typhoid fe...
Causes of travellers' diarrhoea
The most common cause of holiday or travellers' diarrhoea is
the different types of virus and bacteria at the destination.
The local drinking water in particular is an obvious source of
risk in many place...
What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis is the Greek term for liver inflammation.
Hepatitis A is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV).
Viral hepatitis can be caused by many other viruses – including hepatitis B, C, D and E.
How do you catch...
What is amoebic dysentery?
There are several different species of amoebae, but the most dangerous, such as Entamoeba histolytica, live predominantly in tropical areas.
These species are able to burrow through the intestinal wall and spread throu...
What is sun rash?
For some people, exposure to the sun will result in a
Most of us enjoy the sun, but some people's skin can be
very sensitive to the sun in spring and summer, especially those with pale skin
Nothing heralds the start of the summer holidays so distinctly as a bout of travel sickness. According to a recent scientific study entitled 'Motors in Motion', by esure car insurance and Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), a third of children have ...
We all enjoy the sun, but how we react to its rays varies from
one individual to another.
The number of cases of skin cancer has doubled in the last 20
The Australians launched a successful campaign:
'Slip,Slop,Slap', to reduce s...
Anyone who's flown across the Atlantic or further afield will know the feelings of exhaustion that can overwhelm you on arrival. But why does jet lag happen and is there any way to minimise its effects?
Don't nap: head for t...
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a condition in which the body becomes overheated
in a relatively short space of time.
This can be a life-threatening condition, requiring urgent
medical attention. Some soldiers on training have died fro...
Safe versus dangerous diving
Make sure you attend a recognised diving school.
Over the past 20 years diving has become extremely popular, both
at home and abroad.
But diving is not without its dangers. It's vital to
attend a r...
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness is the name given to the physiological and
symptomatic reactions of the human body to the low oxygen pressure ('thinner'
air) that occurs at high altitude. It's also known as acute mountain
As the temperature continues to rise, make sure you keep cool.
It's forecast to be a long and hot summer, which means heat related-illnesses are likely to be on the increase. We look at the warning signs and how to keep cool over the holiday per...
People are now travelling more than ever before – both for
pleasure and business.
Many women, therefore, need to know where and how they can
travel if they're
pregnant or planning
to become pregnant.
In most cases, pregnant women...
In alphabetical order, we take a look at what to include in
your holiday first aid kit.
But don't think you need to haul all these items along with you
every time - there's a difference between a trip to Bangkok and a stay in