World Health warns of the outbreak of a dangerous disease in 5 countries World Health warns of the outbreak of a dangerous disease in 5 countries

World Health warns of the outbreak of a dangerous disease in 5 countries

World Health warns of the outbreak of a dangerous disease in 5 countries

On Monday, December 11, the World Health Organization warned that five countries in eastern and southern Africa are experiencing an anthrax outbreak.
According to the organization, 20 deaths were recorded this year in these countries. A total of 1,166 suspected cases have been reported in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The World Health Organization said laboratory tests confirmed 37 cases.

The organization noted that the five countries witness a seasonal outbreak of the disease every year, but Zambia is witnessing its worst cases since 2011, Malawi reported its first human infection this year, and Uganda reported 13 deaths.

Anthrax is a rare and dangerous disease caused by spore-forming bacteria called Bacillus anthracis (Bacillus anthracis). It mostly threatens livestock and wild game.

Humans become infected through direct or indirect contact with infected animals.

The World Health Organization explains that anthrax is not generally considered contagious between humans, although there are rare cases of person-to-person transmission.

There is no evidence that anthrax can be transmitted from one person to another, but it is possible that anthrax skin lesions are contagious through contact with an infected body.

Anthrax is caused by spore-forming bacteria, and is sometimes linked to the weaponized version used in the 2001 attacks in the United States, when five people died and 17 others became ill after being exposed to anthrax spores in letters sent through the mail. Anthrax bacteria also occur naturally in soil.

In a separate assessment of the outbreak in Zambia that was most worrying, the World Health Organization said 684 suspected cases had been reported in the southern African country as of November 20, with four deaths.

Human cases of anthrax have been reported in 9 of Zambia's 10 districts. In one case, 26 people were suspected of contracting the disease as a result of eating contaminated hippopotamus meat.

The World Health Organization has warned that there is a high risk of the disease spreading in Zambia to neighboring countries.

She added that the outbreak in the five countries "is likely driven by multiple factors, including climate shocks, food insecurity, low risk perception, and exposure to disease through handling of meat from infected animals."

What is the optimal diet when you are sick?!

Everyone offers helpful suggestions for what you should eat when you're sick, to move toward a full recovery.
Do certain foods really help us feel better?

“When a patient loses their appetite, it's usually a sign that their immune system is overworking,” says Colleen Tewksbury, a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She adds that this represents a challenge, because our bodies need fluids, in addition to proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

“Balanced nutrition can speed your recovery, increase energy levels, and help build your immune system,” says Shea Mills, a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic. “In general, it's important to eat a healthy, balanced diet when you're sick.”

The immune system requires a lot of energy to fight infections, which is why it is a good idea to eat healthy food while sick.

The body makes physiological trade-offs for energy during illness, and scientists are still exploring how this works. Normally, the body is fueled primarily by glucose from food. When fasting, including during illness, it benefits from fatty acids as a stored source of high energy. This shift in energy sources may provide protection for the body's tissues and organs against infections caused by some pathogens, but for others the opposite may be true.

Tewksbury adds that different people may respond differently to the same diseases. “From a physiological standpoint, it's basically a stress response, and everyone responds to stress differently,” she explains.

What should you eat and drink when you are sick?

Your body craves a specific set of nutrients, levels of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and more.

Mills suggests that eating larger portions of snacks may be more palatable than the larger meals we're used to when we're healthy. By adding protein, carbohydrates, fruits or vegetables, you can maintain a good balance of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients.

“Chicken soup contains all of these ingredients, along with vitamins and minerals,” Tewksbury says. Hot and steamy soup can also help loosen mucus in upper respiratory infections.”

Mills says some vitamins and minerals may also be targeted as part of a healthy diet for patients.

She explained that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune cells, because it prevents and fights infection, while vitamin D may also improve the immune response and reduce the duration of the disease. Oily fish, mushrooms and red meat are among the few foods naturally rich in vitamin D.

Mills also points out that it is important to focus on drinking water. “Sip on decaffeinated beverages such as herbal teas, water, 100% fruit juices, and drinks that are low in sugar, such as coconut or aloe vera water, to enhance hydration,” she says.

Drinking a protein shake or juice can also add essential nutrients when your appetite isn't ready for solid foods.

Nutritional supplements may also play a role, when used correctly. “Zinc supplementation at the onset of certain types of upper respiratory infections has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of infection with some viruses,” Tewksbury says.

But it should be done early – within 24 hours of symptoms appearing – and it is not intended to be a long-term supplement because it can cause harm in high doses.

In fact, it is best to consult experts before taking any nutritional supplements to combat colds or other diseases.

There are other foods that can help or harm, depending on the individual. Capsaicin, found in hot peppers, can help break up mucus and open the airways, but it may also cause nausea, or even lead to the production of more mucus.

Tewksbury explains that iced cold drinks may also help treat a sore throat, but "if you have a lot of mucus production, that can make it worse."
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