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Tuberculosis, scurvy, cholera, scarlet fever, and measles were diseases long forgotten for England’s citizens, with last epidemics dating back to the Victorian era. But now, these previously wiped out diseases are starting to resurface in England, and at an alarming rate as well.
TB has been a target for medical faculties worldwide because of its increased mortality rate. In 2015, more people have died at the hands of TB when compared to HIV and AIDS. A current movement is underway in the US targeting multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, a plan which will take 5 years.
In England’s case, TB diagnostic numbers have even passed those in developing countries like Rwanda and Iraq. Scarlet fever, or scarlatina, with symptoms consisting of rashes appearing on the body and high fever, has also increased in a massive manner, with over 14.000 reported cases in England, the highest since 1960.
But at least in the case of scarlet fever, even if no vaccine has been developed, antibiotics have been proven to be completely effective. Cholera, on the other hand, has no long-term efficient vaccine or antibiotic, even if cases have increased by 300% over the last 5 years. Its symptoms start about three days after exposure and generally consist of severe episodes of watery diarrhea that may eventually lead to extreme dehydration and the death of the subject.
The ancient disease known as scurvy, or its Latin denomination scorbutus, is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the subject’s system. It’s symptoms range from the swelling of gums that leads to the loss of teeth to severe anemia and exhaustion. Fortunately, in our present time, it can be treated through the administration of heavy doses of vitamin C from oranges or dietary supplements. It is not as deadly as it once had been during the age of pirates, from where the general public knows about the disease.
Rubeola, or measles, is a disease caused by the measles virus. Currently, vaccination has almost wiped the disease out in most developed countries, with almost 85% children across the globe being vaccinated. But regions like Africa and Asia still suffer greatly from this illness, with over 20 million diagnostics per year. Its symptoms range from high fever, usually over 40 degrees Celsius, to rashes appearing over the patient’s body, after about 10 days since first exposure.
The factors that lead to this resurfacing are still being discussed. One of the main reasons why this is currently occurring may be a poor access to health care and an increase in poverty, malnutrition and immigration. Numerous UK residents aren’t capable of affording their basic necessities like food. This leads to an increase in the lack of hygiene, as well as malnutrition, both helping these diseases’ spread.
The fact that previously wiped out diseases are starting to resurface in England is unfortunate to say the least. Steps need to be taken in order to quell the spread of these illnesses once again and fast so that they won’t spread to other regions as well. Fortunately, our medical science and knowledge have advanced a hefty amount since the initial surfacing of these diseases.