According to the Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC), here are the most common diseases in Nigeria; (Note the list is in alphabetical order):
- AVIAN INFLUENZA (BIRD FLU)
Bird flu is spread via contact with an infected bird’s feces or nasal, oral, or eye secretions. Markets where eggs and fowls are sold in crowded, unclean settings, are breeding grounds for disease. Infected poultry meat or eggs can also spread bird flu. Contact with sick birds or surfaces contaminated by their feathers, saliva, or droppings are to be the main risk factor for bird flu. Rarely has human-to-human bird flu been reported.
Cholera is a serious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, dehydration, and possibly death. It’s caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria found in contaminated food and water. Symptoms of cholera can appear within hours or five days of infection. Symptoms are often modest but they can be really serious. One in every twenty infected people has severe watery diarrhea with vomiting, leading to dehydration. Even if they show no symptoms, infected people can help transmit the infection.
Ebola is a rare yet dangerous virus that causes fever, pains, diarrhea, and internal and external bleeding. The virus destroys the immune system and organs as it spreads. It reduces the number of blood clotting cells and this causes significant bleeding. Previously called Ebola hemorrhagic fever, it is now known as Ebola virus. It kills up to 90% of those afflicted.
- GUINEA WORM DISEASE
Dracunculiasis, or Guinea worm disease is a very rare tropical disease that is mostly common in Africa. The parasitic worm is contracted by drinking contaminated water or eating fish or other sea creatures not well cooked. The worm breaks through the skin after a year, leaving painful, burning blisters on the feet or legs. The pain is terrible, and many have lasting disabilities. Guinea worm is currently on the verge of extinction due to global attempts to eradicate it.
- LASSA FEVER
Lassa fever is an acute viral disease spread by a West African rat species and it can be fatal. As a hemorrhagic virus, it can cause bleeding. However, it causes no symptoms in 80% of cases. Lassa fever was found in Nigeria in 1969 when two foreign nurses fell ill. Its name comes from the village Lassa, where it was first recorded.
Leprosy is one of the oldest known diseases as it was first mentioned in writing from 600 B.C. it primarily affects the extremity nerves, skin, nasal lining, and upper respiratory system. Skin sores, damaged nerves, and muscle weakness are all symptoms of leprosy. A lack of treatment can lead to severe disfigurement and long-term impairment.
The most common disease in Nigeria, malaria is a deadly disease. It is spread via the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. The parasite enters your system when this insect bites you. Once within your body, parasites mature in the liver. Days later, adult parasites enter the bloodstream and infect RBCs. The parasites inside red blood cells grow in 48-72 hours, forcing the cells to explode.
Measles is a highly contagious and airborne viral disease. If a person with measles coughs or sneezes, other persons breathing in the virus can get infected. The measles virus can linger in the air for up to an hour after a patient coughs or sneezes. Infected people can spread the disease to others for 4 days before and after the rash appears.
Meningitis is a dangerous infection of the brain and spinal cord caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Meningitis can be caused by a variety of bacteria. There are three most common pathogens: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis. N. meningitidis, the organism that causes meningococcal meningitis, is the most likely to cause widespread outbreaks.
Monkeypox is a zoonotic illness, meaning it is spread from animals to people. It was initially discovered in 1958 in monkeys in the DRC then in humans in 1970. The disease has since spread to numerous nations in West and Central Africa. Infected persons develop a rash that resembles chicken pox. Malaria, scabies, syphilis, and medication-associated allergies can all be mistaken for monkeypox and this complicates diagnosis.
- PERTUSSIS (WHOOPING COUGH)
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. It causes uncontrollable, forceful coughing that makes breathing difficult. To get rid of a pertussis cough, a person must take deep breaths, which sound like “whooping”. This disease affects people of all ages, although it is most harmful to infants under a year old.
Rabies is a zoonotic virus that causes increasing brain and spinal cord inflammation. It’s of two types; Furious rabies causes agitation and hallucinations and paralytic rabies that causes paralysis and coma. Vaccines, medications, and technology have long been available to prevent mortality from rabies. Despite this, rabies still kills tens of thousands annually. Almost all of these cases are from infected dog bites.
- SOIL-TRANSMITTED HELMINTHS
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis is a helminth infection caused by various roundworm species. It is caused by worms that are transferred through faecal matter contaminated soil. Ascariasis, hookworm infection, and whipworm infection are the three kinds of soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
- VIRAL HAEMORRHAGIC FEVERS
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) are a type of viral infections that produce fever and bleeding in animals and humans. VHFs are caused by five RNA virus families: Filoviridae, Flaviviridae, Rhabdoviridae, and various Bunyavirales families such as Arenaviridae and Hantaviridae.
- YELLOW FEVER
Yellow fever is a vaccine-preventable disease spread to people by infected mosquitoes. Antibodies to the arboviruses that cause yellow fever can be found in the blood of sick people. Yellow fever is a high-impact, high-danger disease that poses a threat to global health security.