Islam is a syumul religion that governed the basic principles of all areas of human life including economic, political, worship, sociality, healthiness, and others. Muslim were expected to practice religion in every single aspects of their life, in relation to what had been stated by Allah swt in the Holy Quran,
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“O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely and perfectly and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy”. Al-Baqarah:208
In another hadith reported by Ibn. Abbas, Prophet Muhammad saw said, “There are two blessings which many people waste it, which are health and free time”. Indeed, health is one of the important aspect that Islam largely emphasized to be taken care of and appreciated, as good health leads to a worthful life. Negligence in maintaining a good health has driven human to experience various diseases including life-threatening diseases that present today.
Disease is a condition in which the body possess any abnormalities in its structure or function and referred as a medical condition that is commonly associated with signs and symptoms (Nii-trebi, 2017). Disease can be subdivided into two types which are communicable disease and non-communicable disease. Examples of communicable diseases are tuberculosis, hepatitis B and influenza, whereas non-communicable disease includes heart disease, hypertension, as well as diabetes mellitus. According to Smith et al. (2014), over the past decades ago, there has been an increase in the cases of infectious diseases where the outbreak has risen significantly years by years starting from 1980. Based on Figure 1 below, data shows that various diseases were increased together with the number of outbreaks. Moreover, the proportion of diseases transmitted by animals or vector has also risen relative to those that are transmitted via human (Smith et al., 2014).
Figure 1: Number of outbreaks occur within 30 years
Infectious disease or communicable disease is an illness results from an infection that are caused by pathogenic microorganisms either bacteria, virus, fungi or parasites. This infectious disease can spread directly or indirectly from one person to another and it can also spread even from animal to human (World Health Organization, 2016). Nowadays, although there are a lot of medications and drugs to treat this infectious disease, Islam always uphold the concept of prevention as prevention is always better than cure.
In a hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad saw said, “Allah swt never sends down a disease to mankind without sending down a cure for it”. Therefore, from this hadith, it was clearly said that for every sickness, there is a cure for it. Despite that, nowadays there are still some diseases in which the cure has not been found yet. According to World Health Organization (2018), there is no cure yet found to treat the HIV infection, however, antiretroviral (ARV) drugs was found to be effective in controlling the virus and help preventing its transmission. As the communicable disease have distinctive features at which it can spread and being transmitted from one person to another, hence, this literature review intends to overcome these problems by analysing the preventive measures suggested and promoted by the Islamic teaching, in relation to decrease the prevalence of these infectious diseases.
2.1 Infectious Disease and Types of Infection
As being mentioned above, infectious disease or transmissible disease are caused by microorganisms includes viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites that can spread among individuals. As they cause disease and illness to human, they are referred and considered as pathogens. According to Alberts et al. (2002), these pathogens mainly cause disease to human via 2 methods; directly disrupting the normal physiology functions of the body or stimulate the body’s immune system to produce a defensive response. As a result, one may experience symptoms such as inflammation, running a fever, redness, swelling, fluid drainage as well as continuous pain (World Health Organization, 2016). Some pathogens can endure in a dormant state outside a living host, however most of them primarily need a living host for their survival, among of them are HIV virus, Ebola virus as well as herpes simplex virus (Klatt, 2016). This infectious or transmissible disease, as the term itself, can be transmitted from one to another. It can be transmitted through various method of transmission such as direct or indirect contact transmission, waterborne, foodborne, airborne or it can also spread through a vector from an insect’s bite such as mosquito (Smith et al., 2014).
To begin with, virus is one of the pathogens that can cause infectious disease. In order to invade a host, a virus particle need to attach to the specific receptor proteins on the cell surface of a host cell prior its entry. Upon entry, this virus will insert its genetic material and subsequent intracellular replication steps will then take place, thus further contribute to its proliferation and multiplication (Nizet & Esko, n.d.). According to Fischer et al. (2014), one of the most leading cause of global mobidity and mortality for viral infection is severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) including influenza. Each year, it was estimated that 20-30% of children along with 5-10% of adults get infected with this influenza resulting in approximately 1 million deaths worldwide (Fischer et al., 2014).
Among of the 4 types of influenza viruses; types A, B, C and D, influenza virus type A is the main contributor to the occurrence of the seasonal epidemics of the infectious disease (World Health Organization, 2018). The key factor that contributes to the emergence of many different types of influenza A virus nowadays, is due to its ability to undergo periodic changes in the antigenic characteristics of their glycoproteins known as hemagglutinin (H) as well as neuraminidase (N) (Raphael Dolin, 2018). Two influenza viruses of type A, H1N1 and H5N1 are the most currently viruses that circulate in humans, with the last case reported to World Health Organization (WHO) for avian influenza A (H5N1) was recently occurred in Egypt and Indonesia, both in 2017. Figure 2 below further demonstrates the emergence of various subtypes of influenza A virus in human population.
Figure 2: Influenza A virus subtypes in human population
On top of that, other than viral infection, bacterial infection is also one of the major factors that cause infectious disease to human. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016), tuberculosis (TB) has become one of the most deadliest disease in the world, where one fourth of the world’s population were estimated to be infected with TB. The most common cause of tuberculosis is Mycobacterium tuberculosis that reside in the human sputum and it spreads through the airborne droplets from the act of coughing, sneezing, or any other form of enforced expiration from the lungs (Agyeman ; Ofori-Asenso, 2017). Despite that, not all the bacteria are harmful to human. There are certain bacteria that beneficial to human’s physiological functions, where they reside in the human gut helping the breakdown of the food and absorbs nutrients such as Lactobacillus (Liu et al., 2015). Over the past decades ago, patients generally being prescribed with antibiotics medications by the physicians to fight against this bacterial infection. However, a new significant problem has arisen when the antibiotics given has become less effective to treat the disease and this was referred as antibiotic resistance. In this condition, patient may need a higher dose of antibiotic or may change to other different classes of antibiotics (Cantón & Morosini, 2011).
Besides, the incidence as well as the prevalence of fungal infection has also shown to be significantly increased contributing to the mortality and morbidity across the world since 1980 (Sardi et al., 2013). The most prevalent species that involved in invasive fungal infection is caused by Candida albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen that lead to candidiasis (Vediyappan et al., 2013). This candidiasis can be further classified into two categories depending on the severity of the disease, and the most commonly occurred is the mucosal infections known as thrush. According to Da Silva Dantas et al., (2016), Candida albicans can be found usually in the gastrointestinal tract, mouth or vagina, and in the case of oral thrush, the appearance of white spots in the mouth that looks like cottage cheese is one of the characterized symptoms for this infection. In fact, untreated oral thrush infection may lead to a more severe systemic Candida infection, particularly for those who have a weak immune system including HIV-infected patients, chemotherapy patients, transplant recipient as well as premature infants (Kabir et al., 2012).
Meanwhile, parasites can also become one of the contributors to the infectious diseases. Parasites are organisms that live in the host (endoparasite) or outside the host (ectoparasite) and benefit themselves by getting nutrients from their host without offering any benefit in return (Chmielewski, 2014). There are several types of parasites that can infect human, one of them is Plasmodium malariae, a type of parasite that is usually being transmitted to human via the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquito. Upon infected with this parasites, human will suffer from a life-threatening blood disease called malaria (Valki?nas & Iezhova, 2018). In 2015, it was estimated around 212 million malaria cases had been reported and almost half of the world’s population is at high risk of getting malaria infection, predominantly children under age of 5 together with the pregnancy women (WHO, 2016). According to Cox (2010), the life cycle of malaria parasites comprises of 2 phases which are sexual phase (multiplication in the mosquito) along with the asexual phase (multiplication in human), as shown in Figure 3 below.
Figure 3: Life cycle of malaria parasite
Infection starts when an infected female Anopheles mosquito injects thousands of malarial sporozoites into human, circulated in the bloodstream and later will invade the hepatocytes (liver cells). Upon a certain period of time developing and multiplied in the liver cells, merozoites were released back into the bloodstream, penetrating the erythrocytes and will further evolved to become schizonts. The patient will remain asymptomatic until the moment where the erythrocytes burst. The clinical symptoms will start to appear on the infected person when the mature schizont-infected erythrocytes had ruptured, hence release thousands of merozoites and toxic products from the parasite’s metabolism into the human blood (Cox, 2010). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2018), the typical symptoms of malaria includes fever, sensation of cold, shivering, headache, fatigue, while in more chronic cases, malaria can also leads to anaemia and jaundice due to severe loss of red blood cells.