Infectious Diseases in Abkhazia region of Georgia and the Threat to Sochi Olympics

The history of the human species, it has been said, is the history of infectious disease. Over the centuries, humans have been exposed to a vast amount and array of contagious conditions, including the Black Death and other forms of plague, typhoid fever, cholera, malaria, influenza, and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Only in the past few hundred years have scientists begun to have any sort of accurate idea concerning the origin of such diseases, through the action of microorganisms and other parasites. Such understanding has led to the development of vaccines and methods of inoculation, yet even before they made these great strides in medicine, humans had an unseen protector: their own immune systems.
There are two basic types of disease: ones that are infectious, or extrinsic, meaning that they are contagious or communicable and can be spread by contact between people, and ones that are intrinsic, or not infectious. Diseases in general and noninfectious diseases in particular are discussed in essays devoted to those subjects. So, too, is infection itself, a subject separate from infectious diseases: a person can get an infection, such as tetanus or salmonella, without necessarily having a disease that can be passed on through contact with others in the same way that colds, malaria, or syphilis is spread.
Despite all medical advances, infectious disease outbreaks still pose a significant threat to the health and economics of our society.
Since future infectious disease outbreaks—caused either by naturally emerging or deliberately introduced pathogens—are virtually certain to occur, it is of utmost importance to investigate effective control strategies that can minimize the impact of such outbreaks. Arguably, the best control strategy is early containment.
The elimination of smallpox two decades ago led many to hope that infectious diseases would soon cease to be a problem. Vaccines against polio, measles, and diphtheria have all proven to be useful in greatly reducing disease rates. However since 1973, almost 30 new disease-causing microbes have been identified, including hepatitis C virus and HIV. Meanwhile, other pathogens, such as tuberculosis, have rebounded and shown drug-resistance. Tuberculosis is now the top infectious disease killer of adults worldwide. HIV promises to reduce the life expectancy in a number of areas, including Abkhazia. Researchers blame the rising levels of these diseases on a number of factors, including increased travel and climate changes that facilitate the spread of pathogens. Vaccines continue to play a key role in the ability to control infectious diseases, but researchers note that multi-disciplinary prevention approaches need to be instituted in order to increase success.
Effective control of infectious disease outbreaks is an important public health goal. In a number of recent studies, it has been shown how different intervention measures like travel restrictions, school closures, treatment and prophylaxis might allow us to control outbreaks of diseases, such as SARS, pandemic influenza and others. In these studies, control of a single outbreak is considered. It is, however, not clear how one should handle a situation where multiple outbreaks are likely to occur. Here, we identify the best control strategy for such a situation. We further discuss ways in which such a strategy can be implemented to achieve additional public health objectives.

However, containment might not always be possible. Multiple outbreaks, as well as a situation where an outbreak occurs in a region with poor public health infrastructure, might lead to containment failure.

If outbreak prevention is not possible, then reducing its severity is the next goal.
it is most often assumed that the outbreak occurs in a closed population, i.e. no new infected enter the population and no secondary outbreaks are considered. Under such a scenario, more severe intervention measures lead to less infections and accompanying mortality. Therefore, from a viewpoint of reducing the number of infected, the best control strategy is one that is as stringent as can possibly be implemented. However, this is not necessarily true anymore if one considers the case of multiple outbreaks.
As a result of dramatic political and economic changes in the end of 20 and beginning of the 21centuries epidemiologic situation also gradually changed and led to worst case scenario or Humanitarian Crisis.
Infectious diseases, by definition, are transmitted easily from one person to another. We have all been told, for instance, not to drink after someone who has a cold. On a much more serious level, persons who are sexually active or potentially sexually active, but not settled in a monogamous (one-partner) relationship, are advised to avoid unprotected sexual contact so as not to contract AIDS or some other sexually transmitted disease (STD). In these and many other cases, microorganisms travel from the carrier of the disease to the uninfected person. (Actually, in the case of AIDS, the pathogen is a virus, which is not, strictly speaking, an organism or even a living thing; however, viruses usually are lumped in with bacteria, amoeba, and some fungi as microorganisms.)

Pathogens can be spread by many methods other than direct contact, including through water, food, air, and bodily fluids—blood, semen, saliva, and so on. For instance, any time a person with an infection coughs or sneezes, they may be transmitting illness. This is how diseases such as measles and tuberculosis are passed from person to person. AIDS and various STDs, as well as many other conditions, such as hepatitis, are transferred when one person comes into contact with the bodily fluids of another. This is the case not only with sexual intercourse but also with blood transfusions and any number of other interactions, including possibly drinking after someone. (Contrary to rumors that circulated in the early 1980s, when AIDS first made itself known, that particular syndrome cannot be transferred by saliva, but the common cold and other viral infections can be.)

Cholera, caused by a bacterium found in dirty wells and rivers from India to England (in the 1800s, at least), is an example of a waterborne disease. Many foodborne pathogens tend to bring about what would be more commonly thought of as an illness than a disease, since in everyday language the latter term implies a long-term affliction, whereas food poisoning usually lasts for a week or so. (Still, some forms of food poisoning can be fatal.) Bacterial contamination may occur when food is not cooked thoroughly, is left unrefrigerated, is prepared by an infected food handler, or otherwise is handled in an unsanitary or improper fashion. (The case of Typhoid Mary, discussed near the conclusion of this essay, is an extreme example of this form of transmission.)

Additionally, diseases may be transferred by vectors—animals (usually insects) that carry microorganisms from one person to another. Vectors may spread a disease either by mechanical or by biological means. Mechanical transmission occurs, for example, when flies transfer the germs for typhoid fever from the feces (stool) of infected people to food eaten by healthy people. Biological transmission takes place when an insect bites a person and takes infected blood into its own system. Once inside the insect's gut, the disease-causing organisms may reproduce, increasing the number of parasites that can be transmitted to the next victim. This is how the Anopheles mosquito vector, for instance, transfers malaria.
The number of goats almost triple contact between goat owners (and their families) and goats, as well as goats and other animals, increased; consumption of raw goat milk and its products increase and goats replaced cattle and sheep as the main source of human Coxiella burne infections. Hundreds of overt, serologically confirmed human cases of acute Q- fever have occurred. Chronic forms of Q fever manifesting as endocarditis were also observed.
The range of infectious diseases, from conditions that merely cause discomfort to those that bring about death, is truly staggering. Some have brought about vast epidemics that have wiped out huge populations, and many have changed the course of history, while others are hardly known to anyone outside the ranks of epidemiologists and the victims of the disease. Some, such as smallpox, have been eradicated or largely eradicated through inoculation campaigns, while others, most notably AIDS, continue to elude efforts to defeat them.

Diseases can be classified according to the systems or body parts affected. Some of those systems and parts, with examples of diseases relating to each, include the following.

    * Upper respiratory tract: common cold, sinusitis, croup
    * Lower respiratory tract: pneumonia, bronchitis
    * Cardiovascular system: rheumatic fever
    * Central nervous system: meningitis, encephalitis
    * Genitourinary tract: sexually transmitted diseases (i.e., venereal diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and the herpes simplex viral infection)
    * Gastrointestinal tract: cholera, salmonella, hepatitis
    * Bones and joints: septic arthritis
    * Skin: warts, candida
    * Eyes: conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Another way to classify diseases is according to the types of organism that cause them: bacteria, viruses, or other forms of parasite, particularly worms, amoeba, and insects. The first two groups are discussed in further detail within Infection and the other varieties of parasite in Parasites and Parasitology.

Bacterial infections include anthrax, botulism, tetanus (lockjaw), leprosy, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, plague, and a variety of pneumococcal, staphylococcal, and streptococcal illnesses. Among viral illnesses and diseases are the common cold, influenza, infectious mononucleosis, smallpox, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella (or German measles), yellow fever, poliomyelitis (i.e., polio), rabies, herpes simplex, and AIDS. Diseases related to other varieties of parasite include malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, trichinosis, scabies, and river blindness. Nonmicroscopic parasites, particularly such worms as hookworm and pin-worm, bring about disease-like forms of parasitic infestation within the body.

The spread of infectious disease has emerged as a significant challenge to global stability and is an issue garnering increased attention and concern. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control were optimistic that diseases such as smallpox, malaria, and tuberculosis might be completely eradicated. Today, the global AIDS pandemic, viral and bacterial plagues throughout Abkhazia,  and the worldwide debate on smallpox vaccination policy have reemphasized the pervasive threat posed by dangerous pathogens.

The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases in Abkhazia : Reconciling Abkhazia Institute’s  reviews the changing nature of security, focusing on the threat of infectious diseases. Institute examines  this "nonmilitary" threat to security in terms of both national and international prevention, detection, and response measures and resources.

Transnational challenges such as disease stem from myriad issues that transcend traditional borders and are exacerbated by increased globalization, especially through Russian boarders.
We should  review how HIV/AIDS has undermined Abkhazia's social and economic stability, contributed to increases in crime and the difficulty in responding to crime, and affected regional stability.
There are many indications that, if left unchecked, pathogens could pose a serious threat to the global economic and social stability. Factors such as globalization, medical practices, urbanization, climate change, and social and behavioral patterns have increased the threat from new or reemerging infectious diseases. Meanwhile, in Abkhazia ability to respond to infectious disease has diminished. Institute has present several recommendations that could be implemented to address the shortcomings identified in this study, including increased coordination between public health authorities at all levels of government; integration of the private sector into overall public health efforts; a large-scale education and information campaign; increasing the supply of healthcare workers in the country; the development of emergency plans in hospitals and emergency care facilities that may be faced with new diseases and large patient influxes; and increased cooperation and funding for international health efforts.

The Global Threat of New and Reemerging Infectious Diseases provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the security implications posed by infectious disease. It should be of interest to policymakers, officials at all levels who are developing strategies to cope with the threat posed by pathogens, and all those concerned with the evolving global security environment.
If you wish to visit Abkhazia with humanitarian mission, you should Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider at least 8 weeks before your trip to determine which vaccines or medications that you will need. The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel: 
hepatitis A (exit)
hepatitis B 
yellow fever
measles (as needed, booster doses)



Reviewed By Dr. Ramaz Mitaishvili


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