Childhood diseases in the UK
Most common childhood condition affecting around 1.4 million
Causes: Complex - may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but common triggers are allergy to dust mites, animal fur and grass pollen. Attacks may also be provoked by viral infections such as colds
Symptoms: wheezing, tight chest or a cough after exercise
Diabetes - type 1
Relatively rare, affecting around 16,000 children
Causes: Unknown, but some children may be genetically predisposed to the condition
Symptoms: Extreme thirst and passing of urine; weight loss; blurred vision and skin infections. A condition called ketoacidosis - which can lead to diabetic coma and is characterised by breath smelling of pear drops - is also a classic sign.
Diabetes - type 2
Confirmed cases are in "low double figures".
Causes: Poor diet (in particular high sugar intake) leading to obesity.
Symptoms: Similar to Type 1 diabetes.
Sickle Cell Anaemia
3,500 newborns carry the gene, 200 develop the disease
Causes: An inherited disorder caused by abnormal haemoglobin (the blood's oxygen carrier)
Symptoms: pain in the joints and other bones, fatigue, breathlessness, delayed growth and puberty, susceptibility to infections and attacks of abdominal pain
Around 1,300 children currently affected
Causes: Mother to infant and bloodtissue transfer
Symptoms: HIV - sometimes a flu-like illness or no symptoms; AIDS - Slow growth or suffer many opportunistic illnesses Leukaemia
Around 400 new cases diagnosed every year
Causes: Not known
Symptoms: the child is usually pale with other symptoms of anaemia.
Bruising and sometimes a rash consisting of tiny bleeding spots
Causes: A viral infection, spread by exhaled droplets
Symptoms: Runny nose, red eyes and a dry cough. A mild fever before a rash develops, usually behind the eyes and then rapidly spreading over the face and body
Causes: the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, transmitted from person to person. Can be also be spread through infected cow's milk
Symptoms: loss of energy and appetite and later cough, sputum and weight loss.