In the age of rapid improvement of medical care, people all around the world still experience destructive effects of many diseases that transmitted in different ways. Each disease, either curable or incurable, has its symptoms and proposed care. However, the most glorious victory of the recent decade in the sphere of health care is that the majority of diseases can be treated effectively. Illnesses that used to kill millions of people a decade ago are now easily prevented or treated with a single injection. However, one of the greatest problems of the recent era is that many diseases come back with mutated constraint, and the society is not prepared for these newcomers. The current research paper will analyze the recent medical problems concerning the most common diseases of the past decade, which are gonorrhea, cholera, and tuberculosis. These diseases are still common in different parts of the world, especially in low-income rural areas where people do not even know that the illness is caused by external triggers rather than a curse. While three chosen diseases are different in their nature, it is essential to mention that each one of them has a common trait – they are becoming incurable for the humanity. Therefore, it is significant to analyze the recent research studies to draw an appropriate conclusion about the future of the problem and examine contemporary scholars’ activities to understand the extent of danger for the human race.
Scope of the Problem
The first disease that is curable today is gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that is less dangerous for men than for women. It is significant to mention that the aggressive invasion of the bloodstream and septic complication are rare events and occur only in 1% of patients. However, the major problem about gonorrhea lies in diagnosing the disease. Thus, the symptoms of gonorrhea are not intense, the most common of which is frequent urination, which might seem normal for a person. Other common symptoms such as problems with penis or testicles, swelling, redness, and pain might not be understood as symptoms of gonorrhea; so the diagnosis can be confirmed only after doctor’s examination. Unfortunately, even a drip might be ignored in some cases due to excessive urination; hence only complications might be detected in emergency cases, which makes the disease dangerous for transmission and might produce fatal outcomes, especially in combination with other sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Such tendency relates to more than 90% of symptomatic diseases for men, whereas only 50% of women have symptoms. As a fact, complications for men occur only in 1% or less of cases while these rates are less positive for women. The most serious and common outcome of the illness is women’s infertility. It is essential to mention that a person might face gonorrhea attacks several times before detection, considering asymptomatic process of illness progression for women. Unfortunately, the first attack is followed by 13% of infertility rate, which increases almost three-fold after the second encounter. Thus, women have 36% and 75% probability of becoming infertile after the second and third encounter respectively. As a matter of fact, women in developing countries face additional risks of getting gonorrhea because there is little knowledge about this disease. In the recent decade, the cases of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise because teenagers became more sexually active compared to previous decades. It is essential to mention that the majority of sexually active people are infected with STI at some point in their lives. However, in 2008, more than 50% of all infection cases (22.1 million), in the US solely, were among men and women between 15 and 24 years (Satterwhite et al., 2013). Although these numbers gradually improve due to increased awareness of STI and the extensive use of contraceptives to prevent certain illnesses, the problem remains – children face infection problems regularly, and their number is higher than the total number of patients older than 25 years (Satterwhite et al., 2013). While the problem might be easily resolved in case of gonorrhea, it is essential to mention that the disease might become incurable in the nearest future. Unfortunately, recent studies reported that gonorrhea became resistible to the current treatment. Decades of first-line treatment procedures changed our genes and thus the gonorrhea sequence (Ohnishi et al., 2011). The disease is resistant to the common treatments, which was proved by Ohnishi and his colleagues in 2011. They checked the response of patients to the currently existing treatment and spotted a limited response to the cure. Human organism became resilient to drugs, and the infection mutate, decreasing survival chances. Children and young adults are at a huge risk considering the fact that their knowledge about this disease is limited to the general understanding of sexually transmitted infections.
Cholera is the disease triggered by waterborne pathogens and considered the fatal diarrheal disease. Recent statistics state that 3,000,000 cholera cases can be found worldwide annually, with about 100,000 of them resulting in deaths. This disease is usually characterized by excretion of so-called rice water stool up to one liter per hour. Symptoms of cholera include profuse, watery diarrhea, which is caused by elevated levels of cyclic AMP. However, V. cholera might cause mild disease symptoms and sometimes perform without any symptoms at all. Hence, the danger of asymptomatic disease is that it can be easily transmitted to other people while ill patients might travel to other countries and spread the infection. Vibrio cells often transit through the stomach in contaminated food or water and reach the small intestine, where they replicate rapidly. The disease can lead to the loss of fluid, which might cause shock, tachycardia, and death. There are up to 94% accurate tests used to detect the disease, but it is hard to get ongoing tests for all patients in areas where the disease spreads rapidly, especially in developing countries. The biggest problem about this disease is that the new pandemic of this illness is different compared to previous six cases. Currently, two serogroups O139 and O1 cause cholera epidemics, whereas O1 was responsible for the past six pandemics and was targeted previously. However, the disease has mutated, and O139 became an aggressive trigger of the disease outbreak. Moreover, the disease might go even further and mutate into new pandemics, causing unexpected problems and decreasing survival rates. Therefore, new treatments have to be developed and further research has to be done to prepare for the upcoming problem.
Tuberculosis is a respiratory disease that develops in lungs infected with a non-motile, slender, obligately aerobic bacillus. It forms colonies at 37 degrees Celsius in the presence of up to 10% CO2 (minimum 5%) on enriched solid media. It is a very resistant disease that can be conserved in the human organism for ages. The bacillus is also resistant to drying, alcohols, acids, and common disinfectants due to its waxy cell surface. Several bacteria can also infect animals, which then transmit them to the ultimate target (people). On the other side, in most cases transmission occurs by inhalation of M. tuberculosis, which makes this disease even more dangerous due to the rise of resistance to treatment. Hence, multiple factors influence the transmission process as well as its surveillance in the human body, which include environmental conditions, the load of tubercle bacilli in the index patient, and the immune status of contacts. The symptoms of tuberculosis are usually mild or even asymptomatic for patients who face the problem for the first time. The illness’s action is usually linked to aggressive killing of macrophages and cells, some of which, loaded with tubercle bacilli, migrate to the hilar lymph nodes, where the immune response develops. The critical consequence might be a weaker immune system, so the patients might experience other diseases rapidly after the tuberculosis infection, including deadly ones. Hence, macrophages might kill bacilli or slow their growth, but some of them might survive and calcify. However, additional triggers might release the disease, which might cause serious harm to the human body. This disease is deadly in combination with HIV. The only way to prevent the potential threat is to track the disease by using radiopaque nodules on the chest X-ray. Considering the fact that the resilience of this illness increases so that it can be unnoticed for many years in the human body and a half of young adults get STI, which might trigger tuberculosis, it is essential to consider new ways of treating this disease.
Nowadays, scholars started to look for new ways of treatment of the diseases mentioned above to protect the new generation that has to face advanced infections. For gonorrhea, new Fluoroketolide Solithromycin (CEM-101) was invented to substitute the treatment with cephalosporins and antimicrobials (Golparian, Fernandes, Ohnishi, Jensen, & Unemo, 2012). The treatment appeared to be effective in vitro, so further studies in vivo have to be conducted to verify the usefulness of the new treatment. It should be mentioned that the current disease prevention is in a poor state because scholars do not have an adequate substitute for the cure that was found a decade ago and caused the mutation of the infection strain. However, nanotechnologies were used to treat tuberculosis and waterborne diseases, in this case cholera. The unique trait of silver nanoparticles that are currently used in healthcare as an alternative cure from harmful pathogens was used to carry drugs that might enhance their efficiency (Krishnaraj et al., 2010). Silver might produce a positive effect itself, and the direct attack of the medicine might also increase survival rates of the patients with cholera. The same approach was used to fight against tuberculosis. Thus, nanoparticles enriched with natural polymers with a lower dose of medicine might become a useful tool for the disease treatment (Shegokar, Al Shaal, & Mitri, 2011).
To summarize, as proved by the literature review, the current stance of the issue is dangerous for the humanity. Nowadays, there is no cure for mutated diseases that were once considered as curable while too much attention is paid to the discovery of treatment for incurable diseases. It is essential to remember that curable disease can become a real threat shortly, and additional investigations have to be conducted to overcome the potential problem. The review of recent publications confirmed the lack of alternatives that might help to survive the next epidemic waves around the world related to the analyzed diseases. Today, it is dangerous to think that curable illnesses will remain treatable forever. Therefore, it was important to analyze recent research studies to track the future problem and raise awareness about the current situation. The positive sign is that scientists try to develop ways to implement nanotechnologies in the cure of these diseases. Thus, if an effective way to treat one disease is found, the same plan might be utilized to target other problems too. While alternatives are not yet discovered, it is essential that scholars to investigate new treatments, and, hopefully, this trend will get the needed resonance in the scientific circles.