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English to Chinese: INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN THE UK General field: Science Detailed field: Medical (general)
Source text - English INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN THE UK
Throughout history, infectious diseases have posed a major threat to human health,
wellbeing and survival. In the late ninetieth and early twentieth centuries considerable progress was made in tackling infectious disease epidemics through major sanitary reforms. Clean water, improved sanitation, a reduction in overcrowding and nutritional improvement served to dramatically reduce the death rates. In the twentieth century the introduction of vaccination programmes, antibiotics and new drugs further reduced the number of deaths and by the late 1960s there was optimism that infectious diseases were under control and would no longer pose a threat to human health.
This optimism was unfortunately misplaced. New threats from previously unidentified
pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have emerged; diseases previously thought to be under control such as tuberculosis have shown a resurgence in incidence; and antimicrobial resistance has arisen as a global health problem.
The burden of infectious disease
Infectious diseases are estimated to account for about a quarter of all deaths worldwide, approximately 13 million each year6, with the five main causes of death being lower respiratory tract infections, HIV, diarrhoeal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria. Furthermore, infectious diseases are responsible for over a quarter of the world’s morbidity, as measured by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
In the UK, infectious diseases represent a significant burden, constituting the top four reasons for primary care consultations and being implicated as a causal factor in about 10% of all deaths. The annual cost of treating infectious diseases in England has been estimated to be around £6 billion per year, with primary care bearing the greatest burden of the cost at £3.5 billion per annum.
The nature of the disease threat
Five broad of categories of disease have emerged as posing significant threats to human health:
• Healthcare associated infections
• Antimicrobial resistance
• Emerging infections
• Sexually transmitted infections and HIV
• Acute respiratory infections
HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATED INFECTIONS (HCAI)
Healthcare Associated Infections can be defined as infections which occur as a result of healthcare interventions, either in patients undergoing an intervention, or in healthcare workers involved in the interventions. They can arise from a wide range of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses) which in turn can cause a range of different diseases. The most common are those affecting the lower respiratory tract including pneumonia, gastrointestinal system, the urinary tract, surgical wounds and skin and soft tissue.
Infections result from a complex interplay between the microorganism, the patient and the environment, where factors such as the virulence or transmissibility of the organism, the vulnerability of the patient (immune-compromised, age, frailty) and infection hazards associated with the environment interact.
The microorganisms involved in HCAI can arise from either the patient themselves
(endogenous infection) or from other patients or healthcare workers (cross-infection),
with spread occurring by contact (hands, clothing, equipment etc) or airborne routes9.
It is important to note that not all HCAI can be eliminated and the aim of infection
control should be to minimise the number of infections.
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