Is pneumonia contagious?

Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection. Pneumonia is usually the result of a pneumococcal infection, caused by bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae. Pneumonia is most commonly caused by bacteria and viruses, which are contagiousThe germs that can cause pneumonia are usually breathed in. People often have small amounts of germs in their nose and throat that can be passed on through:-

  1. Coughs and Sneezes
  2. Touching an object and transferring germs on to it.
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What is Bronchitis and Can Bronchitis Kill you?

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs, known as your bronchi, causing them to become irritated or inflamed. The bronchi branch off on either side of your windpipe lead to smaller and smaller airways inside your lungs, known as bronchioles. The walls of the bronchi produce mucus to trap dust and other particles that could otherwise cause irritation. Most cases of bronchitis develop when an infection irritates and inflames the bronchi, causing them to produce more mucus than usual, which the body tries to shift through coughing.

Can Bronchitis Kill you?

Yes, it could be if it progresses , for example, to a severe bacterial or viral infection with compromised lungs leading to respiratory insufficiency. The bronchitis is deadly when it turns to produce the symptoms like shortness of breath. Chronic bronchitis is the major causes of disability and death around the world.

Full Body Transplant or Head Transplant

    A human head transplant will be a new frontier in science. Some people say it is the last frontier in medicine. It is a very sensitive and very controversial subject but if we can translate it to clinical practice, we can save a lot of lives.’

   In 1970, Robert White led a team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, US, that tried to transplant the head of one monkey on to the body of another. The surgeons stopped short of a full spinal cord transfer, so the monkey could not move its body. last year researchers at Harbin Medical University in China made some headway with mice. They hope to perfect a procedure they claim “will become a milestone of medical history and potentially could save millions of people”. Continue reading “Full Body Transplant or Head Transplant”

Astrovirus Infections

Clinical Manifestations of Astrovirus Infections

Astrovirus Infections is a major cause of acute diarrhea among children. Human astrovirus (HAstV), along with rotavirus and calicivirus, is recognized as a common cause of infantile acute gastroenteritis. Illness is characterized by diarrhea of short duration accompanied by vomiting, fever and, occasionally, abdominal pain and mild dehydration.

Duration of Astrovirus Infections

Infection in an immunocompetent host is self-limited, lasting a median of 5 to 6 days. Asymptomatic infections are common.

Etiology of Astrovirus Infections

Astroviruses are nonenveloped, singlestranded RNA viruses with a characteristic starlike appearance when visualized by electron microscopy. Eight human antigenic types originally were described, and several novel species have been identified.

Epidemiology of Astrovirus Infections

Astroviruses have been detected in as many as 10% to 34% of sporadic cases of non bacterial gastroenteritis among young children but uncommonly cause severe childhood gastroenteritis requiring hospitalization. Astrovirus infections occur predominantly in children younger than 4 years; these infections peak during the late winter and spring.

Transmission of Astrovirus Infections Continue reading “Astrovirus Infections”

Adenovirus Infections

Clinical Manifestations of Adenovirus Infections

Adenovirus infections of the upper respiratory tract are common and, although often subclinical, can result in symptoms of the common cold, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, and pharyngoconjunctival fever. Life threatening disseminated infection, severe pneumonia, hepatitis, meningitis, and encephalitis occur occasionally, especially among young infants and immunocompromised hosts. Apart from respiratory involvement, illnesses and presentations of adenovirus include gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, cystitis, and rash illness. Symptoms of respiratory illness caused by adenovirus infection range from the common cold syndrome to pneumonia, croup, and bronchitis.

Epidemiology

Infection in infants and children can occur at any age. Adenoviruses causing respiratory tract infections usually are transmitted by respiratory tract secretions through person-to-person contact, airborne droplets, and fomites, the latter because adenoviruses are stable in the environment. The conjunctiva can provide a portal of entry.

Incubation Period

Respiratory tract infection, 2 to 14 days; gastroenteritis, 3 to 10 days.

Diagnostic Tests Continue reading “Adenovirus Infections”

Be Aware of Ticks

What are Ticks

Experts predict that ticks and the diseases they cause will be more abundant due to warmer winter temperatures. Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids, like the spider, they have eight legs when they reach adulthood. Life begins as an egg, and then ticks develop through larval and nymphal stages before reaching maturity.

Risk Related with Tick Bites

To survive, ticks must eat the blood of mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. If infected with bacteria, viruses or parasites, a biting tick poses a risk to human health.

Ticks Living Areas.


Ticks can be found in our backyards, under leaves, on ground cover, around walls and near structures and woodpiles where rodents and other small mammals are active. They are mainly active outdoors in wooded areas amongst shrubs, trees and tall grasses.Ticks

Types of Ticks.

  1. Black Legged Ticks. Black-legged ticks (also called deer ticks) make their home throughout the Northeast and upper Midwest. Nearly 90% of ticks in the Northeast and upper Midwestern US are black-legged ticks.
  2. Dog Ticks. Dog ticks are common in the Midwest and Eastern US, with limited numbers on the Pacific Coast.
  3. Lone Star Ticks. The lone star tick, which can be found throughout Southeastern and Eastern states.

Disease Caused by Ticks Continue reading “Be Aware of Ticks”

Lactose Intolerance

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Milk
Milk

Lactose is usually the first things that we consume in the morning. But as we age, our bodies express less and less of the enzyme lactase that helps our bodies break down the lactose in milk and other dairy products. Around 75 percent of the global population will eventually develop lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. As a result, they have diarrhea, gas and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products. The condition, which is also called lactose malabsorption, is usually harmless, but its symptoms can be uncomfortable. A deficiency of lactase, an enzyme produced in your small intestine, is usually responsible for lactose intolerance. Many people have low levels of lactase but are able to digest milk products without problems.

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Continue reading “Lactose Intolerance”

Prostate Enlargement or Benign Hrostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

What is Prostate Gland?

enlarged-prostate
Enlarged Prostate

The Prostate Gland surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis. As the prostate grows larger, it may press on the urethra. This narrowing of the urethra can cause some men with prostate enlargement to have trouble with urination. This Benign prostatic hypertrophy, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), occurs when the cells of the prostate gland begin to multiply. Prostate enlargement may be the most common health problem in men older than 60 years of age.

What does it mean if you have an enlarged prostate?

An enlarged prostate means the gland has grown bigger than its normal size.

What is the size of Prostate Gland?

The prostate gland, which is normally about the size and shape of a walnut, wraps around the urethra between the pubic bone and the rectum, below the bladder. As men age, and under the influence of male hormones the prostate can grow to many times its normal size. In some men, it may become as large as a grapefruit.

What is enlarged Prostate Gland?

In the early stage of prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and forces urine through the narrowed urethra by contracting more powerfully. As a result, the bladder muscle may become more sensitive, causing a need to urinate more often and more. As the prostate grows larger and the urethra is squeezed more tightly, the bladder might not be able to fully compensate for the problem and completely empty. In some cases, blockage from prostate enlargement may cause repeated urinary tract infections and gradually result in bladder or kidney damage. It may also cause a sudden inability to urinate(acute urinary retention) that is a medical emergency.

What are the Causes of Prostate Enlargement?

The prostate grows larger due to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). However, the precise reason for this increase is unknown. A variety of factors may be involved, including androgens (male hormones), estrogens, growth factors and other cell signaling pathways.

Symptoms of Prostrate Enlargement

Less than half of all men with BPH have symptoms of the disease. Symptoms may include:-

  • Dribbling at the end of urinating
  • Inability to urinate (urinary retention)
  • Incomplete emptying of your bladder
  • Incontinence
  • Needing to urinate 2 or more times per night
  • Pain with urination or bloody urine (these may indicate infection)
  • Slowed or delayed start of the urinary stream
  • Straining to urinate
  • Strong and sudden urge to urinate
  • Weak urine stream

Tests and Exams for Prostate Enlargement

Doctor will check medical history and do a digital rectal exam to feel the prostate gland. Other tests you may have include:

  • Urine flow rate
  • Post-void residual urine test to see how much urine is left in your bladder after you urinate
  • Pressure-flow studies to measure the pressure in the bladder as you urinate
  • Urinalysis to check for blood or infection
  • Urine culture to check for infection
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer
  • Cystoscopy

Treatment Prostate Enlargement.

The treatment you choose will be based on how bad your symptoms are and how much they bother you. Your provider will also take into account other medical problems you may have. Treatment options include “watchful waiting,” lifestyle changes, medicines, or surgery.

If you are over 60, you are more likely to have symptoms. But many men with an enlarged prostate have only minor symptoms. Self-care steps are often enough to make you feel better.

Self Care during Prostrate Enlargement.

These steps may help you manage mild symptoms:

  1. Do pelvic-strengthening exercises.
  2. Stay active.
  3. Decrease alcohol and caffeine intake.
  4. Space out how much you drink rather than drinking a lot at once.
  5. Urinate when the urge strikes — don’t wait.
  6. Avoid decongestants and antihistamines.

Continue reading “Prostate Enlargement or Benign Hrostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)”

Zika Virus

Mosquito
Mosquito

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus closely related to dengue virus. It was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Zika forest, Uganda in 1947, in mosquitoes (Aedes africanus) in the same forest in 1948 and in humans in Nigeria in 1954. Zika virus is endemic in parts of Africa and Asia and was first identified in the South Pacific after an outbreak on Yap Island in 2007.

Transmission of Zika Virus

Zika virus is primarily transmitted to humans through bites from Aedes mosquitos, which often live around buildings in urban areas and are usually active during daylight hours (peak biting activity occurs in early mornings and late afternoons). Some evidence suggests Zika virus can also be transmitted to humans through blood transfusion, perinatal transmission and sexual transmission. However, these modes are very rare.

  • These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases.  They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people.
  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.

Incubation Period of Zika Virus

The incubation period is typically between 2 and 7 days
Signs and Symptoms of Zika Virus

About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). A high rate of asymptomatic infection with Zika virus is expected, similar to other flaviviruses, such as dengue virus and West Nile virus.

  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.
  • Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Diagnosis of Zika Virus

Zika virus is diagnosed through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and virus isolation from blood samples. Diagnosis by serology can be difficult as the virus can cross-react with other flaviviruses such as dengue, West Nile and yellow fever.

Treatment of Zika Virus

There is no commercial vaccine or specific antiviral drug treatment for Zika virus infection. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving symptoms using anti-pyretics and analgesics. Treat the symptoms of Zika Virus with following:

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration

  • Take medicine such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain

  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

There are concerns that pregnant women who become infected with Zika virus can transmit the disease to their unborn babies, with potentially serious consequences. Reports from several countries, most notably Brazil, demonstrate an increase in severe foetal birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes in babies whose mothers were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Additional international research is necessary and ongoing to determine the link between Zika virus and foetal damage. If you are pregnant and develop a rash, red eyes, fever, or joint pain, please consult your health care provider

Prevention From Zika Virus

Prevention and control relies on reducing the breeding of mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This can be achieved by reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled habitats that support mosquito larvae, reducing the adult mosquito populations around at-risk communities and by using barriers such as repellants, insect screens, closed doors and windows, and long clothing.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
  • Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant and nursing women and children older than 2 months when used according to the product label. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
  • If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).
  • Use bed nets as necessary
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

 

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