CXC CSEC exam guide: Human and Social Biology - Section D: Disease and its impact on Humans

CXC Human and Social Biology exam guide: Section D: Disease and its impact on Humans

CXC CSEC exam guide: Human and Social Biology


Specific Objectives

Students should be able to:

Explanatory notes


define the terms, 'good health' and 'disease';

WHO (World Health Organization) definition which relates to physical, mental and social well being and not just the absence of disease.


classify diseases;

Communicable (infectious) diseases and non communicable diseases (chronic or degenerative disease, nutritional deficiency disease, inherited disorders).


differentiate between the terms, 'signs' and 'symptoms';


state the main causes,
primary symptoms and
possible treatment of asthma;

5. explain how asthma affects the respiratory tract
6. discuss the causes,
signs/symptoms, treatment modality and
prevention of chronic/lifestyle related diseases;

(a) Obesity, diabetes mellitus(type I and type II) and cardiovascular disease (hypertension and coronary heart disease)

(b) Diabetes mellitus (type II) and secondary hypertension as complications of obesity.

(c) The importance of diet and exercise.

(Link to Specific Objective B3.11)


discuss the causative agent, signs, symptoms, prevention and control of infectious diseases;

Acute respiratory infections
(influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia),

sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (gonorrhoea or syphilis, herpes),

ringworm, typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, gastroenteritis.

(Link to Specific Objective A2)

8. discuss the cause, symptoms, mode of action, prevention, and control of HIV/AIDS.

Include method of transmission,

methods of limiting spread/prevention and

possible treatment of HIV/AIDS (anti-retro viral drugs - side effects).

9. describe the effects of sexually transmitted Infections (STIs) on the pregnant mother and the foetus;
10. discuss the impact of diseases on the human population;

Socio-economic implications, analysis and interpretation of data.

11. discuss the effects of malaria and dengue (strain I -IV) on the human body;

Signs and symptoms,
causative agent,
method of transmission, prevention/control
and treatment.

12. explain the effects of vectors on human health;

Definition of vectors: rats, mosquitoes, houseflies.
Include mode of action.

13. describe the life cycle of the mosquito and the housefly; Diagrams required.
14. explain the importance and methods of controlling vectors which affect human health;

Spread of communicable fatal diseases: leptospirosis.
dengue fever,

15. explain how and why personal hygiene is maintained;

Elimination of body odours; social acceptance;
prevention of infections;
prevention of dental caries.
Include male circumcision. Care of genitalia.

(Link to Specific Objective B7.2)

16. explain the methods used to control the growth of microorganisms;

(a) Definition of the term sterilization, methods of sterilization (ultra high temperature, pasteurization, autoclaving, boiling, canning).

(b) Effects of high temperatures, disinfectants and antiseptics in the control of microorganisms.

(c) Disinfection - use of chemical agents (chlorine, disinfectants, antiseptics).

17. distinguish between disinfectants and antiseptics;
18. explain the use of common antibiotics and antifungal agents; Definition of antibiotics.
Antigen, antibody, anti-toxin.
19. explain the types of immunity;
20. distinguish between immunity and immunization, vaccine and vaccination; Artificial,
active and passive,
natural passive,
21. discuss the use and misuse of drugs;

Include dependence,

Prescription (sedatives, pain killers and antibiotics);

Non prescription (cocaine, LSD, heroin, ecstasy, alcohol, marijuana);

physiological and psychological effects.

22. explain the social effects of drug misuse on the individual, family and community; Analysis and interpretation of data.
23. use tables charts and diagrams to represent data on disease and its impact on human beings.


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