How to prevent infectious diseases for which there is no vaccine


The list of infectious diseases is enormous.

And although there is a vaccine for many of these diseases – those caused by microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, protozoa or fungi – there are also others for those who do not, such as AIDS, leprosy, hepatitis C, malaria or syphilis.

The good news is they have good treatment and predictions. And there is also things that can be done to avoid the contagion.

Then we explain these pathologies, their symptoms, treatments and ways of avoiding them.


Which is: It is a sexually transmitted infection (STD) caused by HIV, a retrovirus that attacks the immune system.

It is transmitted through vaginal, anal and oral sex, and also through the use of infected syringes and puncture instruments, as well as through the transfusion of contaminated blood. An infected mother can also pass it on to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

It is important to emphasize that HIV is not the same as having AIDS: there are many HIV positive people (the virus is present in your body) who spend years without presenting any symptoms and without developing the disease. The acronym "AIDS" derives from the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and refers to the disease created by the virus.

sisymptoms: In the early stage, called acute infection, the disease can easily be confused with a simple flu as it causes fever and malaise.

Other common signs are blemishes on the body, swollen glands in the neck and sore throat. The next phase, which is asymptomatic and can last for several years, "is marked by the strong interaction between defense cells and the constant and rapid mutations of the virus."

Then comes the stage where the symptoms appear: diarrhea, fever, asthenia (loss or decrease in physical strength), night sweats and weight loss of more than 10%. Over time, the immune system becomes increasingly weak, favoring the emergence of diseases such as viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, toxoplasmosis and even some cancers.

Diagnosis and deal withIthen: AIDS is diagnosed with a blood test and the treatment consists of a combination of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), whose functions are to prevent the multiplication of HIV in the body and prevent the weakening of the immune system to improve the quality of life and prolong Survival The patient will need to take the medication for life.

Prevention: use of condoms (female or male) in all sexual relations and use of disposable syringes and needles and gloves to deal with body fluids and wounds.


Which is: It is an infectious, contagious and curable disease that mainly affects the skin and peripheral nerves. It is caused by bacillus Mycobacterium leprae and its transmission occurs through contact with coughs and sneezing, and through close and prolonged contact with infected persons.

sisymptoms: They vary according to the type of disease, but the most common are whitish, reddish or brown spots on any part of the body, accompanied by the loss or alteration of the thermal sensitivity (heat and cold), touch and pain, especially at the extremities of the body . hands and feet, on the face, ears, trunk, buttocks and legs.

It can also cause hair loss, lack of perspiration, swelling and decreased strength of the muscles of the hands and feet, fever, edema, joint pain, muscle atrophy and nose bleeding. The worsening of the disease can still cause serious physical and oral deformities and eye problems.

Diagnosis and treatment: To diagnose leprosy it is necessary to perform clinical, dermatoneurological and sensitivity tests.

The treatment is outpatient (no need for hospitalization) and is done with the use of the polychemotherapeutic antibiotic. The duration is determined by the doctor: it can be between six months and two years. With correct, uninterrupted and performed treatment in the early stages of the disease, leprosy has a cure. In addition, during treatment, patients cease to be contagious and therefore need not remain in isolation.

Prevention: To avoid contracting leprosy, it is essential to avoid contact with infected persons. In addition, when the disease is already present, the best way to prevent it is the physical incapacitation that causes the early diagnosis.

Hepatitis C

Which is: caused by a virus (HCV), hepatitis C is an infection that affects the liver.

Its transmission occurs through contact with infected blood, which can occur by sharing syringes, needles, razors, nail pliers and other contaminated objects. It can also be transmitted in surgical, dental, hemodialysis, transfusion and endoscopy procedures when biosafety standards are not applied and less commonly in labor and during unprotected sex.

sisymptoms: the disease does not always present symptoms, and are often non-specific, which makes diagnosis difficult. Either way, some of them are weakness, yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, light stools, malaise, dizziness, vomiting and low fever.

When the virus persists for more than six months, which is common in up to 80% of cases, it can progress to chronic form. When this happens, one in five patients is at risk of developing cirrhosis and, 1% to 5%, liver cancer.

Diagnosis and treatment: Hepatitis C, diagnosed through a blood test, is treated with a high probability of success (90% to 95%) when followed correctly. It usually lasts about three months with the use of direct-acting antivirals.

Prevention: avoiding illness is easy, just do not share personal items such as toothbrush, razor, pliers, syringe and needle; Make sure that the objects used in salons and tattooing, for example, have been properly sterilized and use a condom. In addition, every pregnant woman needs to do prenatal tests to detect the condition.


Which is: It is an acute, non-contagious, febrile infectious disease caused by protozoa Plasmodium – there are more than 100 types – transmitted by mosquito-infected female Anopheles.

sisymptoms: the main one being a high fever, 38 ° C or 39 ° C, with chills, tremors and sweating. This can happen cyclically, going back and forth every three days, more or less. Before that, it is common for the patient to feel nausea, tiredness and lack of appetite. In severe form there may be prostration, altered consciousness, shortness of breath or hyperventilation, seizure, hypotension or shock and bleeding.

Diagnosis and deal withIthen: The treatment is performed with drugs chosen according to some factors, such as infecting protozoan species, severity, age of the patient and associated conditions (pregnancy and other health problems, for example).

Prevention: There is no vaccine against malaria, but a group of researchers from the Cell and Molecular Therapy Center of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of São Paulo (FCF-USP) are developing a vaccine against malaria. to combat the form of malaria with greater geographical distribution and prevalence in the American continent, the vivax.

Until then, the important thing is to avoid being bitten by the transmitting mosquito at all costs.

It is recommended not to go out in the afternoon without protection, to wear light colored clothes that cover the longest possible length of body, not to wear perfume, to apply long-lasting mosquito repellent and to install mosquito nets in bed and screens on windows and doors.

It is also essential to avoid places with stagnant water, because that is where mosquitoes reproduce.


Whatis is: is an ETS exclusive to humans, caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has different stages (primary, secondary, latent and tertiary) and two types: acquired, when transmitted by sex without condom with an infected person, and congenital, when the baby is passed during pregnancy or childbirth.

sisymptoms: As with hepatitis C, this disease has practically no symptoms in the primary phase. What can happen is that a wound appears on the penis, vulva or vagina, cervix or anus. In most cases, if you do not scratch, hurt, or burn and heal, many do not go to the doctor.

In the secondary phase, the appearance of body patches, fever, malaise, headache and buboes (inflammation of the lymph nodes) are common. The latent, divided between recent (up to 1 year after infection) and late (more than 1 year after), is asymptomatic.

In the tertiary, signs appear between 2 and 40 years after infection and include lesions in various organs and tissues, which can lead to dementia, aortic aneurysm and arthritis, among other diseases. In the case of congenital syphilis, the risks are abortion, malformation of the fetus, deafness, blindness, mental deficiency and even the death of the baby at birth.

Diagnosis and deal withIthen: The test for the diagnosis of syphilis is simple and rapid. This is done through a blood test or laboratory analysis of skin lesions. Once the disease is confirmed, treatment is performed only with penicillin, which dose will depend on the stage.

Prevention: It is prevented by regular use of condoms.


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