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Other Infectious Diseases


There are a number of infections that do not quite fit into the conventional categories of respiratory infections, fungal infections or parasitic infections.  I have therefore combined them in this chapter as “other infectious diseases” to indicate that they are important, partially because of the recent media attention (anthrax, BSE), but partially because they seem to be playing an increasing role for various and sometimes unknown reasons (for instance Hanta virus, rabies or hepatitis C). The list below shows some common infections in this category. More detailed information about them can be found through the links from this page.

Common other infections difficult to classify 


Anthrax : caused by Bacillus anthracis, common in cattle, sheep, goats and horses; rare in humans, but can be deadly

Creutzfeld-Jakob disease : caused by BSE-prion; mad-cow disease is believed to be caused by the same prion (see text)

Hanta virus pulmonary syndrome : caused byhantavirus, high mortality of 50% to 75%

Lassa fever : caused by Lassa fever virusnatural reservoir is a house rat common in Africa (Mastomys natalensis)

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) :caused by JC virus, common in immune deficient patients (AIDS etc.)

Rabies : caused by rabies virus; in the U.S. rabid dogs and rabid bats are mostly the cause

SARS : caused by Urbani SARS-associated coronavirus; new strain of flu-like atypical pneumonia from China

Viral hepatitis : caused by hepatitis virus; there are different strains: A, B, C , D, E and G




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Last modified: September 1, 2014

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.