Talk:Infectious diseases

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So should all the diseases currently linked below be merged into this page? It would certainly be more portable that way... and links like Malaria can be redirected to Tropical diseases#Malaria. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:58, 26 Mar 2005 (EST)

There may be justification for having separate article on an intricate disease like Malaria or covering a major topic like food poisoning but I do not think every disease need to be enumerated and described in its own article. This is one of those Slippery slopes. -- (WT-en) Huttite 01:06, 26 Mar 2005 (EST)
I very strongly agree. After deleting the nominated typhoid and avian influenza articles I noticed that there are several more here (mosquitoes, yellow fever, dengue, etc). I think it would be best to keep things to a single page with a brief description of what the disease is, necessary precautions, and affected areas. Adding a link to the CDC or Wikipedia would suffice for those wanting more info. The specifics of, for example, how polio was nearly eradicated aren't necessarily relevant for a travel guide. -- (WT-en) Wrh2 15:06, 4 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Page Reversion[edit]

So I reverted the page! Yes I know that is a rather agressive move but I felt the page had been changed too much, and wrongly, so decided to go back to the previous good version. I had the following issues with the direction the page was being taken.

  1. Several non-goal articles were being created, and the potential for a lot more were apparently proposed.
  2. Some diseases were deleted => information loss
  3. Diseases were being confused Typhus is not Typhoid - I checked when I put them in.
  4. Specific diseases were being talked about when the more general ones were not. eg Avian Influenza may be specific to Asia but Influenza is not and should be covered too.
  5. Wikivoyage is not a medical encyclopaedia.

I think this article should be kept fairly simple, for the lay-person, explaining precautions the traveller can take generally. Instead of writing another scientific disease article we should reference more elaborate scientific articles on other websites. I will try and incorporate some edits made into the article. -- (WT-en) Huttite 01:01, 26 Mar 2005 (EST)


I think there should be a general discussion which health topics should be mentioned in a travel guide.
1. You`re right, Wikivoyage is not a medical encylopaedia
2. If I confused Typhus with Typhoid Fever, I regret!
On the other hand (my opinion) a travel guide should not only mention that a disease exist, but also give information about symptoms, precautions, vaccinations (& requiements), and the way the disease may be acquired. But the informations must be of value for the traveller. And it`s hard to give this information in only one sentence on a `general` site (e.g. tropical diseases). So there should be a general decision: more detailed information about every disease important for a traveller (e.g. Malaria, Hepatitis, AIDS, ...), which means a separate page for each disorder or only a brief introduction into the field without any specific diseases listed (so the user/ traveller must look for information elsewhere).
For me, it`s the first way I prefer ... -- (WT-en) Tniehoff 15:48, 26 Mar 2005 (EST)
I agree that the traveler should be informed about the diseases that exist and that is what I think this article should be about. Rather than just one sentence about a disease, I think there should be a couple of paragraphs, at least. Once we have that on this page, perhaps then we can launch forth into individual articles. However, by that stage the key information should have been communicated in the basic article.
Mind you, I think concentrating on the disease is the wrong approach. To go down that path is to presume you already know what disease you have. If that is the case then there is a lot more information that can be extracted from a google search than we could ever have on Wikivoyage. I would rather see a concentration on Signs, Symptoms and History as that is what the traveler needs to render first aid to themselves and others. If you vomit, cannot get off the toilet, bleed, have pains or swelling, you know you are sick, though you probably do not care too much what you are sick with. All you really need to know is do I need to get to a doctor? now? or should I wait till morning?, should I go to a hospital or call an (air) ambulance or is an undertaker needed?
Certainly we should have information about vaccinations. But the details change from time to time, even within the year, so too much detail should be avoided as it will be difficult to keep up to date. We should deal in the general and advise people to consult an experienced doctor and relevant websites for the most current information. -- (WT-en) Huttite 17:52, 26 Mar 2005 (EST)
OK, you`ve won. Probably it`s time for WikiMedic or so. And now my pager makes me going to the A&E ... (-: -- (WT-en) Tniehoff 23:21, 26 Mar 2005 (EST)

Name change[edit]

Many of the diseases/ailments listed on this article, such as influenza, HIV, diarrhea, SARS etc etc, are not confined to tropical regions, so I propose that we 1. change the title to something more appropriate or 2. transfer the non-tropical diseases to a new article titled ???. (WT-en) WindHorse 12:13, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

And three and a half years later I agree with you. Condoms prevent tropical diseases!? --(WT-en) inas 20:22, 15 December 2010 (EST)
Almost three years later than the last post, I still agree. I'd like to move this page to "Diseases" with a redirect. Does anyone object? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:36, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps we can use the name "Infectious Diseases while Travelling" or something like that. I agree that "Tropical diseases" is a misnomer here. Many such diseases do not only in the tropics, and some very dangerous diseases can be more common in temperate regions. However, it is true that many diseases which are extremely rare in developed countries, such as diphtheria and measles, are still rampant in much of the developing world. Travellers going to those places should definitely be aware of such risks, and get vaccinated if possible. The dog2 (talk) 20:21, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
That name seems too long. I think we should just call it "Diseases" and put it under "Health" in the Travel topics index. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:45, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
So how about just "Infectious Diseases" then? I think "Diseases" is a little too general. The term "diseases" include some others such as cancer, genetic diseases or auto-immune disorders, which (with the exception of cervical cancer) are not caused by pathogens. With genetic diseases, you are either born with them or not, and there's absolutely nothing you can do to protect yourself from them. "Infectious Diseases" make it clear that we are only covering diseases that are caused by pathogens, and you can pick them up while travelling, so by taking appropriate precautions, you can protect yourself from them. The dog2 (talk) 21:10, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree. "Infectious diseases" is a logical name. I'll wait a day or so to see if there are any objections before I make the move. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:16, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I decided it was prudent to post to Wikivoyage:Requests for comment for some more input before the article is moved. One issue is what we do with the introductory sections of the article, which are focused on health problems of the tropics, and in significant part, not even on diseases as such. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:16, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

I'd prefer just "diseases" since some issues are technically not infections.

I'd also like to see our Dengue fever, Malaria, Travellers' diarrhoea and Yellow fever articles merged into the newly named article. --W. Frankemailtalk 21:56, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

That's a sensible suggestion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:05, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes diseases sounds reasonable to me. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:12, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
I think "tropical diseases" is OK as a name, but the article should deal only with those — dengue, malaria, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, ... I've been to a doctor who said his specialty was "tropical medicine".
Some more general problems Travellers' diarrhea, Sunburn and sun protection and Altitude sickness are fine as as separate articles. Others should either be merged into a new article or deleted. Pashley (talk) 22:28, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

I'd like to see a consistent variety of spelling within our two word article title until it is merged. Either Travellers' diarrhoea or Travelers' diarrhea --W. Frankemailtalk 22:32, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Amazingly, I don't yet have administrator's tools so I'd like you to make an executive decision tonight with our "Delhi belly" article name, please. --W. Frankemailtalk 01:02, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I just realized you're talking about consistency of spelling between what's a separate article right now and this article. Let's wait for a consensus on what to do about the articles before we change all the spellings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:38, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Spelling should definitely be internally consistent. So, I can see this going either of three ways: Having a catch-all "Diseases" article that has a separate "Tropical diseases" section; keeping this article as "Tropical diseases" and moving sections of this article that deal with diseases that are not fundamentally tropical to (an)other article(s); or having a catch-all "Diseases" article that lists diseases alphabetically. If the non-tropical diseases are split out, what will we do with them?
I just thought of a fourth and maybe better possibility: There is no Stay healthy article, and it would probably make sense to have one, by analogy with the Stay safe article. Some of the things in this article, such as the warning about HIV, could be mentioned instead in the context of a reminder in a "Stay healthy" article to "practice safe sex by being cautious about who you sleep with and always using a condom, and never share needles if you make the already risky decision to inject yourself with a narcotic." Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:06, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy for a new Stay healthy article to be created. I think that the scope of an article restricted to only tropical diseases is way too narrow. There are many diseases you can catch in the temperate and polar regions as well. Diseases like measles, polio and tetanus are found everywhere, not just in the tropics and there's no doubt that these are dangerous diseases too. And there's also sexually transmitted diseases which you will get by having sex with an infected person anywhere in the world, not just in the tropics. But at the same time, you do need to consider that diseases not present in your hometown can be picked up elsewhere. For instance, measles is rare in the US, but recently, an American traveller picked it up in Indonesia and brought it back, which started a measles outbreak in his hometown in Texas. The dog2 (talk) 05:41, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
(per RFC) I agree that Tropical diseases does not cover the content, and that the content is generally appropriate for a travel article. A new name is needed, and should make the content clear to the user. Stay healthy seems to have too wide a scope, for this content, but appropriate for a higher level article. Diseases also seems to wide in scope for a travel article. If the article is to be about communicable diseases that are a hazard while travelling the name should indicate this. I don't have an obvious name to suggest that has not already been suggested. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:17, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
"Infectious diseases" was suggested, but it's not clear that all of the diseases covered in this article (excluding introductory sections are infectious. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:24, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Which diseases are not considered infectious? Or are they not considered diseases? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:11, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I just looked through the text again, and I would say that, actually, all are infectious, but "Diarrhoea" is a symptom that could have several causes. So maybe "Infectious diseases" would be fine, providing the introductory sections are mostly eliminated (e.g., moved to the talk page pending further actions). Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:31, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
The travel connection is a bit vague in "Infectious diseases". it sounds a bit encyclopaedic, but I can't think of anything better. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:45, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Same with Dangerous animals, Pests, Pickpockets, Beggars, and the like. The name is practical. I still think I should wait another day or so for more comments before acting, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:13, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
No problem. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:46, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Creating Stay healthy as the catch-all article strikes me as obviously the correct solution. Most of the other articles mentioned should become redirects to that and we might add other redirects like Condoms, but we can leave detailed decisions to whoever does the work. Pashley (talk) 13:41, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I do understand the "infectious diseases" sounds a little technical, but I can't really think of anything else. Essentially, an "infectious diseases" is one that is caused by infection from some pathogen, be it bacteria, viruses, fungi or other parasites. A "contagious diesease" is one that is easily spread. "Diseases" is a very general term. There are lots of diseases which are not caused by pathogens, such as genetic diseases. For example, with say, haemophila, it's something that you are born with due to genetic defect. If you don't have it, you will never get. If you have it, you'll never get rid of it. I think that this article should focus on diseases which you actually can increase your risk of getting due to travelling. While tropical diseases is too narrow, I don't think we need to cover things like cancer, heart disease and so on. Your risks of getting non-infectious diseases are unaffected by whether you travel or not. The dog2 (talk) 21:54, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with your reasoning. There are actually certain types of travel that can increase risks of non-contagious diseases like cancer - for example, travel to areas with high levels of radiation (e.g., Chernobyl, especially if you do something stupid like rolling around on the ground), but those should be covered only in the specific "Stay safe" section of the individual article.
So I think I see a plan taking shape: This article should be renamed Infectious diseases and pared of most of the introductory sections, with individual articles on contagious diseases like Malaria, Dengue, and Travellers' diarrhoea merged into the article with redirects, and a separate higher-level Stay healthy article should be created that summarizes issues not only of disease but also sun safety, taking adequate water on hikes in hot, dry climates, etc. If we're agreed on that, I'll go ahead and rename this article shortly (probably later tonight), start making appropriate edits, and create Stay healthy in outline form, to be filled in later. Is there any objection or better suggestion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:34, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
That works well with me. Yes, a Stay healthy article can cover more than just diseases. We can also probably mention a little in that article about travel insurance, healthcare and sanitation standards and all that. It's a relavant point that a traveler to say, Japan or Hong Kong need not worry about having access to modern healthcare facilities if he's sick but conversely, if you were in say, North Korea or Niger, it could be a huge problem. The dog2 (talk) 23:29, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Text irrelevant to the general topic of "Infectious Diseases," copied here from the article space[edit]

This material may prove useful on another page, such as the Stay healthy article that will be created:

There are a number of Tropical diseases that present a health risk to travellers that are not present in their own countries. This article is meant as a traveller's introduction to the more common aspects of the subject.

Hot humid environments provide ideal conditions for a number of diseases, or their vectors, to survive and spread. Some of these are transmitted by pests such as insects, others are water borne or may be carried by foods, often in meat. A number are transmitted by human contact.

Simple precautions — vaccinations, condoms, mosquito nets and insect repellents, and taking care with food and drink — can greatly reduce the risks.

Heat and sun[edit]

Tropical sun is much stronger than at higher latitudes. Sunglasses are almost essential. Many travellers need sunscreen. In places like China and India, many locals routinely carry parasols; consider emulating them. A hat can be a good idea, especially for balding men.

Consider Noel Coward's line "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun." You need to manage your time in the sun, avoiding the heat of the day. If partying until dawn is your style, do that, then sleep until two. If not, consider rising around dawn to do your sightseeing before the crowds and the sun get too bad. Try a siesta, or a leisurely lunch in the shade, in the heat of the day.

Heatstroke can be a very serious illness. Drink plenty of bottled water. Consider carrying rehydration salts to replace what you lose by sweating. Soda water includes some salts.

See also Sunburn and sun protection.

Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:51, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

What to move here[edit]

As it stands, the Yellow fever article is too long to move here, I think. So we have two logical alternatives: Edit it to a more manageable size and move it, or keep it separate. If we edit it, here's what I think is important to keep: (1) The description of the disease; (2) the description of the vaccination; (3) the maps of endemic zones in Africa and South America; (4) the vaccination requirements - but these could be put into prose list form instead of the table. I think that the comments about where the disease was endemic as of 2006 could be dispensed with, but we should be concerned that they may be inaccurately out of date.

The Malaria article is not quite as long and could be moved here. It might be a problem if this article gets too long, though.

The Travellers' diarrhea article is helpful. Most of it could be moved here, but it's kind of long and well-written, so maybe we should leave it separate.

The Dengue fever article is rather short and could be moved here, though if it's the only one we move, that would be rather inconsistent.

Are there others?

What do you think, everybody? Is it best to keep this article brief and link to the other articles, which have more detailed information about some diseases?

Also, completely different topic: There are a bunch of other-subject Wikipedia links in this article. Is there a good justification for them? I think I woulds say No, that if we want to provide informational links about diseases, they should go to authoritative sources like official public health authorities (the one in the US is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but of course other countries have them, too) or highly reputable hospitals. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:13, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Recognized health authorities[edit]

I noticed the following edit comment from Ikan: "Deleted inline Wikipedia links. Wikipedia is not an authoritative source of medical information; only recognized health authorities should be linked to. Repointed Wikipedia link in sidebar"

I would agree that is a valid statement, however I am unclear as to what is a 'recognized health authority'? Would it be restricted to government health departments? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:39, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

I would say the WHO; government health ministries, departments, agencies, etc.; and well-known research hospitals and university medical schools. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:29, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Doc James would probably be able to advise on this. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:35, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Rabies Vaccine[edit]

I just want to point out, the rabies vaccine by and large does confer immunity provided you have had the full 3 doses. Of course, there are exceptions as some people's bodies just do not respond well to vaccines, and others are not able to produce antibodies and so on. It is not true that the rabies vaccine is only meant to delay the onset of symptoms rather than confer immunity. Getting treated even if you have been vaccinated is more of a safety precaution than anything in case you are one of those few whose bodies to not respond well to vaccines. But someone with a normal uncompromised immune system will typically be immune to rabies for at least 10 years after receiving 3 doses of the vaccine. The dog2 (talk) 03:14, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Avian influenza[edit]

The statement "Current outbreaks among animals occurred in South-East Asia" doesn't make sense. Can this be reworded or should it be deleted? Nurg (talk) 07:42, 13 March 2020 (UTC)