Sickle Cell Disease is a blood disorder that affects your blood cells. So, typically everyone's blood cells are a circular shape. People with Sickle Cell Disease have a bunch of blood cells that are shaped like a half letter C. That's why its called "Sickle" Cell Disease because the cells are literally shaped like a sickle. This can cause major side effects and long-term health complications.
1. It's a genetical disease.
Sickle Cell Disease does not come from viruses or bacteria. You may be more prone to catching different infections, but it does not come originally from that. Everyone of course has DNA. A normal person's dna coding is GAG, CTC. For the RNA it is GAG. A person who has Sickle Cell Disease has those genes mutated. It shows as GTG, CAC for DNA and GUG for the RNA. This can easily be passed down from parents to their offspring. If both parents have the sickle cell "trait" there is a huge risk for their child to have the actual disease. If one parent has the disease or trait and the other one doesn't, the child most likely won't get the disease they will only inherit the trait of it. It is very critical to make sure if you have the trait or disease to be careful who you would be with and double check to see if they have a trait or the disease as well.
2. Other regions besides Africa carry it.
A lot of the disease does have a lot to do with ethnicity. A lot of this disease originated from Africa but other regions such as India, South America, Central America, Saudi Arabia, and in the Caribbeans also carry it as well. You would hear more about it in African Americans because that is the most concentrated area that it is in.
3. There are four types of sickle cell disease.
Not a lot of people know this but there are actually different versions of the sickle cell disease. The first one is called Hemoglobin SS. This one is considered the worst type to have and the symptoms are at the highest. This comes from the hemoglobin S gene from both parents. The second one down is the hemoglobin SC. This one comes from one parent having the hemoglobin C gene and the other one having the S gene. The symptoms of this type are similar but a little less than SS. The third one down is SB+ thalassemia. The cause of this is from the Hb S gene and this causes red blood cells to appear smaller because of the beta protein not being produced. Hemoglobin SB 0 thalassemia is the last type of sickle cell. This one is more severe compared to the Hb SS occasionally.