Cytomegalovirus (or CMV), is the most common viral infection that infants are born with in the United States. It is a virus that is spread by contact with body fluids and can easily be passed from pregnant moms to their unborn babies. For every 1,000 pregnancies that result in a live birth, about 1 to 2 babies will have permanent CMV-related problems (such as hearing loss, cerebral palsy or developmental disabilities) due to the infection. More children have disabilities due to this disease than other well-known congenital infections and syndromes, including Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, spina bifida, and pediatric HIV/AIDS.
Pica is a condition of eating non-food materials. It is seen more in young children than adults. Between 10 and 32% of children ages 1 – 6 have these behaviors. Pica can also occur during pregnancy. Cravings for non-food items may be caused by a lack of certain nutrients, such as iron deficiency anemia and zinc deficiency. Pica may also occur in adults who crave a certain texture in their mouth.
Some common Pica cravings include: animal feces, clay, dirt, hairballs, ice, pain or sand. These cravings or eating these items must continue for at least 1 month to be diagnosed as Pica.
Hemochromatosis is a condition that causes excess absorption of iron from the digestive tract. In the United States, five in every 1,000 Caucasians has the condition Over time, the excess iron can accumulate in the body’s tissue and can cause an iron overload. Symptoms may include joint pains, weakness, sexual dysfunction, changes in skin coloration, liver damage (cirrhosis), heart failure, diabetes mellitus and rarely thyroid disease or liver cancer.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or C.O.P.D.) is described as the new name for emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These are the two most common forms of it, and many people with C.O.P.D. have both of them. C.O.P.D. affects more than two hundred million people around the world. At least five million people died from C.O.P.D. in 2005. In the United States, C.O.P.D. is the fourth leading cause of death.
While many of us have heard of allergies to pets, pollen, dust or bedbugs, not too many have heard of cockroach allergies . However allergies to roaches is a big problem in some inner cities. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of inner-city dwellers suffer from allergies to cockroaches. A person who is allergic to cockroaches can develop acute asthma attacks. Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, and the attacks can occur after inhaling cockroach allergens and last for hours. 23-60% of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to the cockroach allergen.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Congenital CMV Infection , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Pica , MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
Ashish V. Dalal, MD, Hemochromatosis is Common Disease You’ve Never Heard Of , Space Coast Medicine and Central Florida Medicine
Caty Weaver, A Common Disease Many People Have Never Heard Of , Learning English
Itchy? Check Out These Common Allergies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of , ABC News
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Cockroach Allergy FAQ , AllergyBuyersClub.com