Emerging Infectious Diseases

Indu S Nair


The emerging infectious diseases namely hyaluronidase-1 neuraminidase-1 (H1N1) flu, dengue, and chikungunya are threats to the community, causing morbidity and mortality.

H1N1 flu, which caused the 2009 pandemic, is considered to be the predominant human seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus strain spreading from person to person just like the seasonal flu through airborne droplet transmission. Oseltamivir is used in the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza. There are 2 types of influenza vaccines—the live attenuated intranasal quadrivalent vaccine and the inactivated influenza vaccine.

Dengue and chikungunya are viral illnesses transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue is caused by 4 serotypes of dengue viruses. The clinical spectrum of the disease ranges from mild, nonspecific acute febrile illness to classic dengue fever and severe, life-threatening diseases including dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Management of dengue fever depends on timely diagnosis, assessment of disease phase, and management depending on the severity of the illness. Chikungunya is an arboviral illness presenting with fever, with arthralgia being a characteristic feature. Unlike dengue, hemorrhagic manifestations are rare and treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Vector control measures can prevent transmission of these 2 diseases.

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