Infectious Diseases Digest

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The viruses pass through the air and enter your body through your nose or mouth. The flu can be serious or even deadly for elderly people, newborn babies and people with certain chronic illnesses. Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. They may include. Is it a cold or the flu? Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.


Flu almost never causes an upset stomach. The main way to keep from getting the flu is to get a yearly flu vaccine. If you get the flu, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms. Sneezing, sore throat, a stuffy nose, coughing—everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In the course of a year, people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds. You can get a cold by touching your eyes or nose after you touch surfaces with cold germs on them.

You can also inhale the germs. Symptoms usually begin 2 or 3 days after infection and last 2 to 14 days. Washing your hands and staying away from people with colds will help you avoid colds. However, do not give aspirin to children.

Bacterial Infections: MedlinePlus

And do not give cough medicine to children under four. An infected woman can give hepatitis B to her baby at birth. If you get HBV, you may feel as if you have the flu, or you may have no symptoms at all. A blood test can tell if you have it. HBV usually gets better on its own after a few months. If it does not get better, it is called chronic HBV, which lasts a lifetime. Chronic HBV can lead to scarring of the liver, liver failure or liver cancer. There is a vaccine for HBV. It requires three shots. All babies should get the vaccine, but older children and adults can get it too.

If you travel to countries where Hepatitis B is common, you should get the vaccine. Are you at risk for viral hepatitis? Take this quick Hepatitis Risk Assessment test to find out. However, you can get it at any age.

Recognizing and managing emerging infectious diseases in the emergency department [digest].

Symptoms of mono include. A blood test can show if you have mono. Most people get better in two to four weeks. However, you may feel tired for a few months afterward.

Continuing Education

Treatment focuses on helping symptoms and includes medicines for pain and fever, warm salt water gargles and plenty of rest and fluids. A fungus is actually a primitive vegetable.

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Mushrooms, mold and mildew are examples. Fungi live in air, in soil, on plants and in water. Some live in the human body. Only about half of all types of fungi are harmful. Some fungi reproduce through tiny spores in the air. You can inhale the spores or they can land on you. As a result, fungal infections often start in the lungs or on the skin. You are more likely to get a fungal infection if you have a weakened immune system or take antibiotics.

Fungi can be difficult to kill. For skin and nail infections, you can apply medicine directly to the infected area. Oral antifungal medicines are also available for serious infections. Candida is the scientific name for yeast.

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It is a fungus that lives almost everywhere, including in your body. Usually, your immune system keeps yeast under control. If you are sick or taking antibiotics, it can multiply and cause an infection. Antifungal medicines eliminate yeast infections in most people. If you have a weak immune system, treatment might be more difficult. Parasites are living things that use other living things—like your body—for food and a place to live. You can get them from contaminated food or water, a bug bite, or sexual contact.

Parasitic diseases can cause mild discomfort or be deadly. Parasites range in size from tiny, one-celled organisms called protozoa to worms that can be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases happen in the United States. Contaminated water supplies can lead to Giardia infections. Cats can transmit toxoplasmosis, which is dangerous for pregnant women. Others, like malaria, are common in other parts of the world. Prevention is especially important. There are no vaccines for parasitic diseases.

Some medicines are available to treat parasitic infections. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung, usually caused by an infection. Three common causes are bacteria, viruses and fungi. You can also get pneumonia by accidentally inhaling a liquid or chemical. People most at risk are older than 65 or younger than 2 years of age, or already have health problems.

If you have pneumonia, you may have difficulty breathing and have a cough and a fever. A physical exam and history can help determine if you have pneumonia. Chest x-rays and blood tests can help determine what is wrong. Many give off chemicals called toxins, which can damage tissue and make you sick. Examples of bacteria that cause infections include Streptococcus , Staphylococcus , and E.

Antibiotics are the usual treatment. When you take antibiotics, follow the directions carefully.

Each time you take antibiotics, you increase the chances that bacteria in your body will learn to resist them causing antibiotic resistance. Later, you could get or spread an infection that those antibiotics cannot cure. Bacterial Infections. Learn More Related Issues Specifics. See, Play and Learn Images. Resources Find an Expert.

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