Archive | August 2022


“International Overdose Awareness Day is recognized globally on August 31 to raise awareness about the risks of overdose, honor the individuals whose lives have been lost, and acknowledge the grief felt by families, friends and the community; and,in 2020, the rate of opioid overdose deaths was highest for people aged 35-44 (46.6 per 100,000), while people aged 15-24 experienced the largest percentage increase in opioid overdose death rates between 2019 and 2020.  African Americans have historically lower rates of opioid misuse and opioid involved overdose deaths, growth in opioid overdose deaths among this population now outpaces that of white Americans in the United States.”


“Millions of households in the United States have one or more pets.However, animals can sometimes carry harmful germs that can spread to people and cause illness – these are known as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses. Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacterial, parasites, and fungi. These germs can cause many different types of illnesses in people and animals, ranging from mild to serious illness and even death. Animals can sometimes appear healthy even when they are carrying germs that can make people sick, depending on the zoonotic disease.

Zoonotic diseases are very common, both in the United States and around the world. Scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals.”.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

To all animal lovers we do have to be concern with zoonotic diseases!

A further 33 diseases have featured in the World Health Organization’s Disease Outbreak News since its inception in 1996. Of the “big eight”now, six are known zoonotic diseases (diseases from animals) – and the remaining two hepatitis C and Chikungunya are assumed to be so, although the animal reservoir remains undiscovered. Whatever the explanation, hepatitis C (1989), West Nile virus (1999), SARS (2003), Chikungunya (2005), swine flu (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014) and Zika (2015) have all since had their time in the media spotlight.

Since then, emerging diseases have been appearing at an accelerating rate. Part of the explanation for this may simply be that we are much better at detecting them now. On the other hand, population pressure, climate change and ecological degradation may be contributing to a situation where zoonosis – the movement of a disease from a vertebrate animal to a human host – is more common.

A zoonosis (zoonotic disease or zoonoses -plural) is an infectious disease that is transmitted between species from animals to humans (or from humans to animals).

Illnesses Associated with Animal Contact:

1-Rabies Rabies is a disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. It is caused by a virus and is typically spread by an infected animal biting another animal or person. Rabies is a fatal disease; it cannot be treated once symptoms appear. Luckily, rabies can be effectively prevented by vaccination.

2-Blastomycosis (Blastomyces dermatitidisBlastomycosis is a rare fungal infection usually acquired by inhaling the spores of a fungus (Blastomyces dermatitidis) that can be found in wood and soil.  Blastomycosis occurs most often in people living in Ontario, Manitoba, and the south-central, south-eastern, and mid-western United States. In Minnesota, blastomycosis is most common in St. Louis, Itasca, Cass, Beltrami, Washington, and Chisago counties.   The time between exposure to the spores and when symptoms develop varies widely, ranging from 21 to 100 days. The signs and symptoms of blastomycosis vary among individuals. About 50% of infections are asymptomatic (person does not develop any symptoms or disease) or are mild and resolve without treatment.  Some patients develop a chronic lung infection or the disease can spread to other areas of the body (skin, bones, genitourinary system, or central nervous system).

3-Psittacosis (Chlamydophila psittaci, Chlamydia psittaci)
Infection with Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly known as Chlamydia psittaci) is cause of systemic illness in companion birds (birds kept by humans as pets) and poultry. This illness is often referred to as avian chlamydiosis (also known as psittacosis, ornithosis, and parrot fever) in birds.

C. psittaci infection can be transmitted from infected birds to humans. The disease resulting from C. psittaci infection in humans is called psittacosis (also known as parrot disease, parrot fever, and chlamydiosis). Most infections are typically acquired from exposure to pet psittacine (parrots, macaws, parakeets) birds.

Infection with C. psittaci usually occurs when a person inhales organisms that have been aerosolized from dried feces or respiratory tract secretions of infected birds. Other means of exposure include mouth-to-beak contact and handling infected birds’ plumage and tissues.

Psittacosis can result in serious health problems including fatal pneumonia. Diagnosis of psittacosis can be difficult. Antibiotic treatment is recommended.

4-Trichinosis (Trichinella spiralisPeople can become infected with Trichinosis from eating raw or undercooked meat that contains the roundworm larvae. It is most commonly found in wild game meat (such as bear, wild feline, fox, dog, wolf, horse, seal, and walrus) and less commonly, pork. After the meat with the parasite larvae is eaten, the larvae grow into worms in the intestines, which reproduce and make larvae that go into the bloodstream and travel to the skeletal muscle and embed.A few days after eating the roundworm larvae they mature and begin reproducing; during this time symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, and abdominal pain. As the larvae go into the bloodstream and embed in the muscle; symptoms can include headaches, fevers, chills, weakness, cough, muscle pain, achy joints, pain/swelling around the face and eyes, light sensitivity, pink eye, itchy skin, extreme thirst, and sometimes incoordination and heart/lung problems. Symptoms can last a few months, to many months in severe cases. The severity depends on how many larvae were ingested.

What is the treatment for Trichinosis?

A mild case may not be noticed. Trichinosis is treated with anti-parasitic drugs, and can be fatal if severe cases are not treated. There is no treatment once the larvae embed in the muscles, pain relievers can help.

5-Cat Scratch Disease-CSD (Bartonella henselae)

Generally people who get CSD are bitten, scratched, or licked by a cat before they get sick.  Fleas are responsible for transmitting B. henselae between cats.  Because kittens are more likely to be infected than adult cats, they are more likely to transmit cat scratch disease to humans.  Cats are the natural reservoir for the bacteria that causes CSD, and generally do not show any signs of illness. Therefore it is impossible to know which cats can spread CSD to you.  It is believed that transmission to humans occurs through contamination of bites or scratches with flea excrement.             There is no human-to-human transmission of CSD.

The duration of illness caused by B. henselae is usually 2 to 4 months with spontaneous recovery. TREATMENT-Supportive treatment & Antibiotics may be used for severely ill patients to speed recovery

6-Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum)-it is an infection caused by a fungus called Histoplasma. The fungus lives in the environment, particularly in soil that contains large amounts of bird or bat droppings. In the United States, Histoplasma mainly lives in the central and eastern states, especially areas around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The fungus also lives in parts of Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

People can get histoplasmosis after breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air. Although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick, those who do may have a fever, cough, and fatigue. Many people who get histoplasmosis will get better on their own without medication, but in some people, such as those who have weakened immune systems, the infection can become severe.

6-Coccidiomycosis (Valley Fever)-Valley fever, also called coccidioidomycosis, is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides. The fungus is known to live in the soil in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico and Central and South America. The fungus was also recently found in south-central Washington. People can get Valley fever by breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air, although most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick. Usually, people who get sick with Valley fever will get better on their own within weeks to months, but some people will need antifungal medication.

7-Intestinal Illness Acquired From Animals
Including E. coli , Cryptosporidium parvum, Campylobacter, and Salmonella.

People usually get intestinal illnesses (foodborne illnesses like E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium) from food and water. But, you can also get any of these from contact with animals or their environments.

In recent years, intestinal diseases associated with places where the public has contact with farm animals (e.g., petting zoos, state or county fairs, educational farms) have been identified with increasing frequency. Minnesota is no exception to this trend.

Keeping Backyard Poultry-An increasing number of people around the country are choosing to keep poultry, such as chickens or ducks, as part of a greener, healthier lifestyle. While you enjoy the benefits of backyard chickens and other poultry, it is important to consider the risk of illnesses, especially in children, that can result from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they are kept.

Staying safe at pet zoos or animal fairs-From mid-June to Labor Day is fair season in Minnesota. Each year, fairs across the state provide opportunities to eat deep fried delicacies and interact with livestock and poultry. But these interactions aren’t without risk — animals can carry germs that can make people sick. The risk can be minimized with careful handwashing and taking a few simple precautions.

Spotlight on particular home animal pets:

8-Salmonella- Some Reptiles and Amphibians-They can make cool pets, but they can also be a source of illness. Reptiles (e.g., Iguanas, turtles, snakes) and amphibians (e.g., frogs and toads) carry Salmonella.

Always wash hands after handling reptiles and/or amphibians.   Reptiles and amphibians should not be kept as pets in households with young children (i.e. less than 5 years old) or other high risk individuals, including pregnant women, older persons and the immune-compromised.  Reptiles and amphibians should not be kept in child care centers, schools, or other facilities with children younger than 5 years old.

Salmonella-Chicks and Ducklings:
Those cute little chicks and ducklings can be a great attraction for children this time of year, but they can also be a source of illness, so it’s important for those who handle them to take steps to prevent infection.



Fields’ disease: an extremely rare neuromuscular disease that causes muscular degeneration. The condition affects the nerves causing involuntary muscle movements. There are only two diagnosed cases, in twins Kirstie and Catherine Fields. It is believed to be congenital and appears to be progressive. There are no apparent effects on cognitive or intellectual abilities. The condition is still being studied.”

RxList (


In the top 5 rare diseases is “Fields Condition”.


Llanelli (St Elli‘s Parish“; Welsh pronunciation: [ɬaˈnɛɬi]) is the largest town in the county of Carmarthenshire and the preserved county of Dyfed, Wales. Located on the Loughor estuary, some 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Swansea and 12 miles (19 km) south-east of the county town, Carmarthen, Llanelli is famous for its rugby tradition and as a centre of tinplate production.  Several communities nearby the town are often included colloquially in Llanelli.

Fields’ disease is considered to be one of the rarest known diseases in the world, with only two diagnosed cases. The frequency of this disease is therefore 1 in approximately 3.75 billion (although since the disease manifested in identical twins, the actual frequency is 1 in approximately 7.5 billion).   It is named after Welsh twins Catherine and Kirstie Fields, of Llanelli. Fields’ disease is a neuromuscular disease, causing muscular degeneration.

The disease was first noticed when the twins were four. Doctors have been unable to identify it and have not been able to match it to any known diseases. As a result, the Fields sisters have undergone numerous tests, but no treatment has yet been found. No definitive cause has been determined, and doctors have generally concluded that they were born with it.

We’re definitely getting into the nitty-gritty of the world’s rarest diseases when we’re talking about Fields Condition, a progressive muscle disorder that affects two sisters (Kirstie & Catherine Fields) and can cause painful muscle spasms up to 100 times each day. The disease is still predominantly a mystery to doctors, but in its wake it’s paralyzed both sisters and cut off their ability to speak, with the two now relying on electronic speech machines to communicate.

The extent of this disease is still not very well known. This very disease has had not shown any effect on their brains or personalities up to now. There is still the uncertainty of not knowing that whether the disease is fatal or not or what is the life expectancy with this kind of disease. If the cause of this disease is considered to be somewhat genetic, then there are possibilities of the twins passing this disease to their offspring’s.

However, it is made clear that this disease is definitely not communicable. However, due to the rarity of this disease, there is still uncertainty and lack of any form or equipment for the cure of this disease.

Regarding the twins alive, the twins require the use of wheelchairs for mobility and are unable to speak without the assistance of electronic speaking aids. They experience persistent and painful muscle spasms which are worsened by emotional distress. They are currently living with their parents, with the assistance of hospice workers. Doctors continue to administer tests to the twins in search of a treatment.

At this point this is all we know about the fields’ disease as the doctors are still researching on it and have not been able to find much on it.


Building healthy bones is extremely important.

Minerals are incorporated into your bones during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass.

If not enough bone mass is created during this time or bone loss occurs later in life, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones that break easily.

Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong bones and maintain them as you age.


“After receiving the test results, a specialist will help you decide on a treatment plan. The goal of treatment is remission, meaning that the condition is no longer causing any complications. Many patients require no treatment at all but should be followed by a specialist regardless.

If you do need treatment, specialists often use medications that turn down your immune system’s activity. Several different medications can be prescribed to treat sarcoidosis. If your sarcoidosis of the lungs progresses to pulmonary fibrosis, your doctor may recommend additional treatments such as respiratory medications, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation and in severe enough cases may consider you a candidate for a lung transplant.

American Lung Association


“In Caucasians, the disease often appears suddenly, which usually indicates a more mild form of the disease that is of short duration. African-Americans and Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, tend to develop the more long-term and severe form of the disease.

In the United States, the lungs are often the most common site of initial symptoms for those who experience a gradual onset of their long-term disease. Lung symptoms are common in African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Scandinavians. Persistent dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath are the most common initial lung-related complaints.”.

Cleveland Clinic

Part II Sarcoidosis

• Age and sex. Sarcoidosis often occurs between the ages of 20 and 40. Women are slightly more likely to develop the disease. • Race. African-Americans have a higher incidence of sarcoidosis than do white Americans. Also, sarcoidosis may be more severe and may be more likely to recur and cause lung problems in African-Americans. • Family history. If someone in your family has had sarcoidosis, you are more likely to develop the disease yourself.

Inflammatory Disease- Sarcoidosis or Sarcoid is a inflammatory disease that consists of granuloma.

Wide Spread Disease- Disease is wide spread in multiple organs.


  • The Sarcoidosis disease tends to come and go all of a sudden.
  • Disease may progressively develop as a serious illness.
  • Patient may experience several relapse throughout the life.


  • Sarcoidosis or Sarcoid is a gradual progressive disease.
  • Microscopic lumps called granulomas start to appear in the affected organs.1
  • In most of the cases, these granulomas tend to clear with or without treatments.
  • There are few instances where granuloma grows in size and continues to be a part of the organ.
  • Granuloma eventually ends up as fibrotic lump but may cause several complications.


Doctors don’t know the exact cause of sarcoidosis. Some people appear to have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease, which may be triggered by bacteria, viruses, dust or chemicals.

This triggers an overreaction of your immune system and immune cells begin to collect in a pattern of inflammation called granulomas. As granulomas build up in an organ, the function of that organ can be affected.

Risk factors

While anyone can develop sarcoidosis, factors that may increase your risk include:

  • Age and sex. Sarcoidosis often occurs between the ages of 20 and 40. Women are slightly more likely to develop the disease.
  • Race. African-Americans have a higher incidence of sarcoidosis than do white Americans. Also, sarcoidosis may be more severe and may be more likely to recur and cause lung problems in African-Americans.
  • Family history. If someone in your family has had sarcoidosis, you’re more likely to develop the disease.


For most people, sarcoidosis resolves on its own with no lasting consequences. But sometimes it causes long-term problems.

  • Lungs. Untreated pulmonary sarcoidosis can lead to permanent scarring in your lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
  • Eyes. Inflammation can affect almost any part of your eye and can eventually cause blindness. Rarely, sarcoidosis also can cause cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Kidneys. Sarcoidosis can affect how your body handles calcium, which can lead to kidney failure.
  • Heart. Granulomas in your heart can cause abnormal heart rhythms and other heart problems. In rare instances, this may lead to death.
  • Nervous system. A small number of people with sarcoidosis develop problems related to the central nervous system when granulomas form in the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation in the facial nerves, for example, can cause facial paralysis.


“Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that can produce small clusters of cells called “granulomas” anywhere in or on the body, including internal organs and the skin. A multi-organ disease, sarcoidosis may affect a range of systems, including the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, lymph glands, lungs, skin, liver, spleen, eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys. In some cases inflamed granulomas may interfere with the functioning of an organ. The disease is not contagious.”.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai