Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease
Infections are caused by viruses, bacteria, mold and other organisms and lead to conditions like flu, chicken pox, pneumonia, sore throat, rashes, malaria and other ills. An infection occurs when these germs attack the body, causing it to respond with antibodies and white blood cells to defend itself. Preventing infectious disease involves eating a healthy diet, getting proper exercise to keep the body strong, and keeping clean by washing hands regularly.

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    We always consult with a travel medical center like Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group Travel Center before we take a trip. A travel medicine specialist can review your unique itinerary, length of stay and current travel conditions/advisories before you go. Vaccine and medication recommendations will be tailored to that corner of the globe using the latest guidelines. The CDC also has a site with good information as well as the Department of State country sites. Better to be prepared than not.
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    Planes are excellent places to get sick because the area is closed and uses recycled air. This means that no matter where you are sitting on a plane, you could get germs from that ill patient sitting somewhere on the plane. The germs get sucked up into the ventilation system and dispersed to the rest of the plane. Studies have been done, and due to the ventilation system, those sitting closest to an ill patient aren't necessarily more apt to get the illness.
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    MRSA is very common. You can catch it in the community in which you live. You can also catch it in the hospital. One third of us carry around the germ without being affected by it. MRSA is most likely to be spread to an open wound.  Individuals that are prone to catch MRSA are young children with open wounds and people who participate in contact sports. In the hospital, patients are in greater danger of contracting MRSA infections as they have a weakened immune system.
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    Your risk for protozoan infections is increased by your exposure to the single-celled parasites that cause the condition or the insects that spread them. These parasites, referred to as protozoa, thrive in situations where modern sanitary methods are not practiced. They are often spread by mosquitoes or certain types of biting flies. Ingesting contaminated food or water heightens your risk of infection. If you have a weakened immune system, your risk is also increased.

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    Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by a particular strain of the coxsackie virus. It causes typical symptoms of mouth sores, and painful lesions on the hands and feet, hence its name. Rarely, it can also cause inflammation of the brain and meninges.
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    The best way to protect your children from protozoan infections is to limit their exposure to the single-celled parasites that cause the condition. Parasites thrive in unsanitary conditions and can be introduced into the human body through the ingestion of contaminated food or through the bite of mosquitoes and certain flies. Some protozoan infections can be passed from a mother to her unborn child.

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    There is no cure or specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease. The infection must be allowed to run its course. Treatment is supportive with the use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen for pain and fevers and adequate hydration.
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    A Nursing, answered on behalf of
    How can I avoid getting sepsis?
    Handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid sepsis, says Liz Rigney, RN, of HCA Englewood Community Hospital. Watch this video to learn more.
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    Typical symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include painful sores in or around the mouth and nose as well as on the hands and feet in addition to fever. Rarely, the virus that causes the disease can infect the central nervous system and cause meningitis with typical symptoms of altered mental status, stiff neck and muscles and seizures.
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    A , Pediatrics, answered

    In addition to fever for a few days with painful sores in the mouth, there is often a blister-like rash on the hands, feet, and sometimes the diaper area. The rash may also be tender, especially on the bottom of the feet, so your child may not want to walk.

    Fortunately, the discomfort will soon pass and nothing needs to be applied to the rash. All symptoms are caused by a coxsackievirus and will improve on their own. Your pediatrician may advise you to try acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the discomfort.

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