Top Diseases in Iraq
The people of Iraq face many obstacles to their safety. When discussing the middle eastern country, many focus on the physical threats of violence, terrorism and forceful opposition. Health is also a hazard. Diseases spread in many ways. Infection can be airborne, blood born or spread through food and water. Blood-borne diseases, such as Hepatitis A and B, are a risk in Iraq. The two main transmission types in Iraq are food or water-borne and vector-borne. Here are some of the top diseases in Iraq.

  1. Food or Waterborne
    Hepatitis A is spread through a fecal-oral path. This route of disease infection occurs when fecal matter from an infected person is in the food or water consumed by another person, thus infecting the recipient of the food or water. This is why sanitation is the best precaution other than immunization. The spread of this disease occurs because of poor sanitation in food preparation. The risk of infection is much higher in developing or poor countries due to a lack of proper sanitation, which is why Hepatitis A is one of the top diseases in Iraq.Another food or waterborne disease that contributes to the top diseases in Iraq is Typhoid fever. Typhoid is a bacterial disease that contributes very high fevers. Like Hepatitis A, this is spread through fecal-contaminated food or water. Typhoid fever has a higher mortality rate. If the disease is not treated, one in five do not survive.
  2. Vector-borne
    Vector-borne diseases are spread through animals, insects or parasites. One of the top diseases in Iraq is malaria. Malaria is spread by mosquito bites. The disease causes parasites to accumulate in the liver and attack red blood cells. This often leads to death from interrupted blood supply to vital organs.Another top disease in Iraq is yellow fever. This, again, is spread through the bite of a mosquito. Although the severity varies, there is a mortality rate of 20 percent.

These top diseases in Iraq are less common in developed countries, as there are vaccines available. The economic infrastructure in Iraq does not allow for many of its citizens’ access to such life-saving precautionary medication.

Nate Harris

Photo: Flickr