Incidence of Selected Communicable Diseases
Communicable diseases such as measles, pertussis and hepatitis B still pose a major threat to the health of European citizens. Measles, a highly infectious disease of the respiratory system, is caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a characteristic rash. It can lead to severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, diarrhoea and blindness. Pertussis (or whooping cough) is also highly infectious, and is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The disease derives its name from the sound made from the intake of air after a cough. Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. The virus is transmitted by contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person. A small proportion of infections become chronic, and these people are at high risk of death from cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. Protection against each of these diseases is available through vaccination (see Indicator 3.3).
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Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 01 December 2010