Recurrent Infections

A person who has an infection with the same organism in the same anatomic location multiple times can become very frustrated. The physician must determine the underlying cause, in order to prevent recurrence.The medical history will often point to the source of the infection.

For example:

Several episodes of pneumococcal meningitis occurring in a 30-year old male with a history of head trauma should alert the physician to a possible anatomic brain defect. Computerized axial tomography (CT scan) of the head with images from the front of the face to the back of the head (coronal cuts), instead of standard images from the top of the head to below the chin may reveal a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistula. Surgery repairs the leak.

Multiple episodes of Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infection in a 40-year-old male who stepped on a nail should suggest a foreign body. A puncture through the sole of a shoe into the foot can cause retention of rubber or fibers in the wound. Surgical exploration of the wound determines if threads from a sock serve as a nidus of infection. Removal of all fibers prevents further infection.

Not only is streptococcal cellulitis of the right leg of a 70-year-old male a known complication of saphenous vein harvesting for a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), but also repeated infections occur due to the altered anatomy. Patients who have two or more episodes of cellulitis per year require prophylactic antibiotics and may need them permanently.

Several episodes of urinary tract infection in a 60-year-old female who had an ileo-uretero diversion for bladder cancer should trigger an evaluation. Ultrasound of the kidneys may show a perinephric abscess, a complication of repeated urinary tract infections with obstruction, or, in this case, altered urinary tract anatomy. Needle aspiration of the abscess under ultrasound guidance prevents further episodes.

Recurrent episodes of pain in the left cheek and teeth accompanied by pus draining from the mouth in a 13-year old boy requires an evaluation. CT scan of the head may show an extra tooth embedded in a sinus. Endoscopic surgery removes the tooth and resolves the infection.

Repeated elevations of white blood cells with no bacteria seen in a urine sample (sterile pyuria) can have a number of causes, not only a partially treated urinary tract infection, but also a classic sign of genitourinary tuberculosis.

Repeated infections can cause a patient to undergo multiple courses of intravenous antibiotics with multiple hospitalizations. A careful history may lead to the correct diagnosis.

HIV Testing In New York – What Can You Expect?

There have been some significant changes to the process of HIV testing in New York, all in an attempt to make it more readily available and as straight-forward a process as possible. Residents of New York may have noticed that their primary physicians have been offering HIV testing more often. This could be because they suspect risky behavior, they usually recommend regular testing, or simply because it’s required by state law.

In an attempt to make HIV testing easier to acquire, New York and other states have required that any person between the ages of 13 and 64 seeking non-emergency care must be offered an HIV test. They are not required to accept the offer. However, if they should choose to have the test done the provider must cover some important details regarding the testing. They will explain basic details about HIV and AIDS, the confidentiality of testing and, if the test should come back HIV-positive, what steps can be taken for treatment and management of the disease.

While it may seem difficult and unnecessary for them to cover this information with you, it is for your benefit and usually is not extremely difficult to complete. For instance, if someone were to visit the Health department at 303 9th Avenue in New York, NY 10001, they may ask general questions about your sexual history to determine your risk level. It is very important that you are truthful in your answers in order to establish the best testing option. Additionally, they might ask you for personal information such as a street address or ethnicity. This information is primarily used for statistical reasons and to avoid double reporting. As always, the information regarding your testing is to remain completely private and confidential.

Apart from the testing and reporting regulations for HIV testing in New York, you will also find that there are various options available for how to get tested. The local health department (mentioned earlier as well as several other locations throughout New York) is almost always an available resource; however, the process is often more difficult than expected. A first-come first-served operation with limited hours of operation often leaves you in a waiting room for extended periods of time.

Testing through your personal doctor is also a great option, but some people are embarrassed to talk to their doctor about HIV or don’t want the testing going on their medical records.

Lastly, you can get tested through online testing companies. The cost varies, but generally you can get the collection done the same day you call and receive results within a few business days. With this option you would most likely be visiting a generalized collection facility, such as the one located at 269 W. 16th Street in New York, NY 10011. These locations usually do collections for just about any blood and/or urine test available.

Regardless of which route you decide to take, HIV testing in New York can be a bit more involved than testing elsewhere. In the end though, it’s better than no testing at all.

A Look at Diphtheria – Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Diphtheria is an acute, highly contagious, toxin-mediated infection that’s preventable by vaccine. Diphtheria is rare in the UK but remains a serious problem in some other parts of the world. There have only been eight cases since 1986, and all of those have returned from abroad.

What causes it
Diphtheria is caused by an infection of Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a grampositive rod that usually infects the respiratory tract (primarily the tonsils, nasopharynx and larynx). It’s more serious when it occurs in infants because they have smaller airways, which are more susceptible to obstruction because of their size.

How it happens
The infection is transmitted by:

  • contact with an infected patient’s or carrier’s nasal, pharyngeal, eye or skin lesion discharge
  • contact with articles contaminated with the bacteria
  • ingestion of unpasteurised milk.
Incubation and communicability
The diphtheria incubation period is 2 to 7 days. The period of communicability is 2 to 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms, or until 4 days after the initiation of antibiotic therapy.What to look for
Symptoms of diphtheria include:

  • fever
  • malaise
  • purulent rhinitis
  • cough, hoarseness and stridor
  • cervical lymphadenopathy
  • pharyngitis.
Obstruction production
The infection, localised to the tonsils and posterior pharynx, is characterised by a thick, patchy, greyish green, membranous lesion that can lead to airway obstruction. Some children also exhibit infectious, ulcerated skin lesions as a manifestation of the disease.

What tests tell you

*Culture specimens from the nose, throat and skin lesions reveal the presence of coryneform organisms.
*Sensitivity tests determine the optimal antibiotic therapy.
*Serologic testing will identify the presence of diphtheria toxin.

Complications
Infection with the toxin can result in myocarditis, thrombocytopoenia, peripheral neuropathy or an ascending paralysis with symptoms similar to Guillain-Barré syndrome. Renal, cardiac and peripheral CNS damage may also occur.

It’s a cover-up
The membranous lesion that covers the tonsils can spread to cover the posterior pharynx, which can result in airway obstruction. Removal of the membrane may be indicated, but attempting to do so can cause bleeding. Left untreated, however, it can result in death.

How it’s treated
Diphtheria is treated with antitoxin and antibiotics.

No time to waste
IV administration of diphtheria antitoxin and antibiotic therapy must begin within 3 days of the onset of symptoms. The patient should be tested for allergy to horse serum before administering the antitoxin. The antibiotic of choice is usually penicillin G or erythromycin for those allergic to penicillin.

Too close for comfort
Close contacts of the infected child should be identifi ed, monitored for signs of illness and treated with prophylactic antibiotic therapy (oral erythromycin for 7 to 10 days). Cultures of the nose, the throat and skin lesions should be obtained.

What to do
Diphtheria is a preventable disease. The immunisation series is designed to begin at age of 2 months. The vaccine confers immunity for 10 years, after which boosters should be given every 10 years throughout the lifespan. Passive immunity conferred from the presence of maternal antibodies lasts as long as 6 months after birth.

Diagnose, then act
When the disease is diagnosed, follow these steps:

  • Report the infection to the local public health department.
  • Place the infected child in droplet isolation to prevent respiratory transmission. (Show the child isolation gowns, masks and gloves that will be worn and provide a simple explanation such as, ‘your parents, nurses and doctors are going to wear these so everyone stays healthy’.)
  • Institute contact isolation precautions if skin lesions are present.
  • Maintain infection precautions until after two consecutive negative nasopharyngeal cultures to prevent spread of the disease.
  • Closely monitor the child for signs of airway obstruction. Provide humidified oxygen, if oxygen is ordered, to reduce airway inflammation.
  • Administer antitoxin and antibiotics as ordered. Monitor for allergic or anaphylactic reaction.
  • Maintain the child on complete bed rest to prevent myocarditis. Provide age-appropriate activities to prevent boredom.

Recurring Yeast Infections

You took the pills, used the cream or suppositories, maybe even tried to implement one of those rigorous anti-Candida diets, and the darned infections just keep coming back. Why are recurrent yeast infections so persistent, and how can you get rid of them for good?

First, know the enemy

If you’re suffering from recurrent yeast infections, Candida albicans (or C. albicans), the bacteria most commonly associated with yeast infections, is not the problem. C. albicans is present in almost all humans, but yeast infection symptoms only occur when the populations of the bacteria begin to grow in an uncontrolled fashion. This unnatural growth is called a bloom.

So why do C. albicans populations bloom? – That’s a key question, and the reason why most typical “kill-the-Candida” approaches do nothing to prevent a C. albicans bloom from recurring. The problem, therefore, is not the bacteria. The true enemy is an imbalance in you body’s internal environment.

The human body naturally contains a plethora of various bacteria and other organisms all living together in a dynamic state of tension. When the body is healthy, these organisms are kept in a state of balance. L. acidophilus, for example, is a beneficial bacteria that aids in digestion, supports the immune system, and naturally controls population levels of C. albicans.

If something happens to disrupt the chemistry of the body, for example if the body becomes too acidic, or if something happens that dramatically reduces populations of beneficial bacteria, such as the decimation of L. acidophilus populations by antibiotics, then C. albicans populations can begin to bloom and yeast infection symptoms will result.

Candida blooms can be lethal

Yeast infections need to be taken seriously. Moderate populations behave in a yeast-like fashion. Their impact tends to be local and easily controlled, but when the populations become too great, the bacteria begins to behave like a mold, sending root-like tendrils out into the surrounding tissue and organs. This is called a “systemic infection”, and left untreated can result in a death rate of over 75%.

Developing a battle plan

Knowing that the enemy is not the C. albicans bacteria itself, but rather the imbalance that allows it to bloom, yet knowing also that uncontrolled C. albicans growth can ultimately result in death, we need to develop a battle plan that quickly reduces populations of the bacteria, then re-establishes the body’s natural balance to prevent a recurrence of the bloom.

Unfortunately, many over-the-counter and prescription treatments for yeast infections tend to focus only on killing the C. albicans bacteria while actually aggravating the imbalance. We need a more natural and holistic approach.

Quick Information On What Causes Yeast Infections

Candida yeast infection is a disease condition that affects the skin of women, men or in some cases children. Knowing what causes yeast infections helps one to have a better chance of dealing with the disease. The commonly affected skin areas are the vagina, mouth and other areas where the skin folds. The symptoms of the disease include itching and burning sensations and sometimes sores starts to be noticed when there is an overpopulation of Candida yeast on the body. This condition usually occurs in area of the skin that has been kept moist and hot for prolonged periods. An increase in the alkalinity (PH) level of the skin also encourages the growth of yeast.

Hormonal disruption and weakened immune system could be caused by the use of medications like antibiotics and birth control pills. Prolonged use of antibiotics reduces the amount of good bacteria that is present in the body. Yeast then moves in to fill the void left by good bacteria. High body PH is also a good breeding ground for the organism. This is why a lot of yeast infection treatments involve the use of substances that help to increase acidity.

Good body bacteria could also be killed by some everyday products that people use daily. Body disinfectants and deodorants that are meant to prevent odors end up killing the good bacteria in the body. This creates an imbalance as said earlier that encourages yeast to move in. The use of spermicidal creams and other topical birth control methods have also been found to lead to a disruption of body hormone balance.

Diet is also part of what causes yeast infection. Food is not a direct causative agent but provides nourishment for the growth of Candida. Yeast feeds on sugar therefore individuals that are prone to the infection are always advised to stay away from or reduce sugar consumption levels. It is also important to stop eating food that contains yeast like pastries. Body sugar level can also be increased by pregnancy, menstruation and disease conditions like diabetes.

Dressing habits like the wearing of tight synthetic clothing also creates heat and moisture for yeast to grow. Although this disease does not have severe effects on the health of the sufferers, it however comes with a lot of discomfort. Quick treatment is also important to prevent it spreading to other skin areas. The knowledge of what causes yeast infections is important for those who want to find a lasting cure for this condition.

Prevent Flu

Flu is a highly contagious viral infection which attacks the whole body. It spreads through droplet infection when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also be transmitted through the hands of an infected person. The symptoms that are commonly associated with influenza are fever with chills, dry cough, headache, sore throat, stuffy or running nose, backache, muscle ache, etc. There are some patients who experience pain and stiffness in joints. Initially it is the children who are infected but the infection spreads quickly in adults too. There are several effective vaccines available to prevent flu. Apart from these vaccines, there are several flu remedies available which can help you get rid off all those troublesome symptoms in case you are infected.

There are several influenza defense products available in the market which help prevent this infection, alleviate the symptoms and reduce the side effects produced by the flu vaccine in the shortest time period. But all of them do not work and fail to offer beneficial results.

You need to do some research on the defense product before you purchase it. If you purchase any flu relief product without doing the proper research you will be purchasing it at your own risk. The best defense product is the one which contains the appropriate components which will help you see results quickly.

The infection cannot be prevented until and unless a influenza defense product can manage the current season’s strain of the virus. You must select a homoeopathic formula which can tackle the current season’s viruses, but if the defense product cannot tackle the current season’s virus, it cannot prevent the infection. The selected flu defense product should be FDA approved. It should be safe for use and free from any allergens, gluten or mercury.

Apart from the influenza defense product, the virus can further be prevented by administrating vaccinations at appropriate intervals. The vaccinations are available in the form of injections or nasal sprays. With the help of these vaccines, your body builds up antibodies against these viruses and protects you from being infected. These vaccines contain dead viruses whereas the nasal sprays contain weak live viruses.

Flu vaccinations reduce the chances of a person getting infected by up to 80% during the season. The vaccine can prevent infection against only a few of the viruses which give rise to influenza like symptoms. Vaccines fail to produce any guarantee against getting sick. But if a person who has received the vaccine gets the virus, the symptoms generally will be lesser and milder.

Another way to prevent flu is to wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. Some healthy habits such as exercising, healthy meals and sleep also play an important role in the prevention of the virus as these habits help by improving the immune system. Sometimes, people after vaccination are also infected, but the intensity of such infection would not be so high.

Sinus Infection and Sinusitis Eye Pain

You might have seen lots of people suffer from eye related pain. Some might think that the eyes are strained due to spending too much time on the computers; some may worry about brain cancer, glaucoma, eye diseases and some other ailments. Others may even undergo MRI and multiple eye tests only to find out that the cause of their eye problem is sinus infection.

Most people are suffering from sinusitis eye pain due to sinus infections and pressure. You must understand that allergies may cause swelling of these sinuses and there are lots of allergens in the environment including smoke, dusts, pollens, dust mites, pet dander, and a lot of other irritants. You may also be suffering from a full-blown sinus infection already and you are not aware of it. These sinus infections can bring pressure into your eyes and can make it feel swollen, and this is the reason why you are feeling sinusitis eye pain.

Sinusitis is the inflammation of your Para nasal sinuses which is often the result of an infection. These sinus infections may be due to bacteria, fungi, virus, and an allergic reaction or from an autoimmune disease. However, most studies have shown that the usual main cause of a sinus infection is due to a fungus, which is mold.

The pain and pressure you are feeling in your eyes may be due to the swelling of your maxillary sinuses, that is why you are experiencing sinusitis eye pain. This may cause pressure and/or pain in your cheek area, around or behind your eyes, and Amy even give you toothache and headache.

You may not have thought that your eye problem is actually a sinusitis eye pain. You may not even know that your sinuses are inflamed or infected. It is essential for you to know that there are lots of available home remedies that you can use to help you determine if you do have a sinus problem or a sinus infection.

Conducting a little research can be very helpful so that you have an idea of what a serious eye problem is all about, and how you should deal with it. Finding a relief on your sinus problem and being able to eliminate it can help you get rid of your sinusitis eye pain as well. If you have learned that your eye problem is actually a sinusitis eye pain and it is due to an infection, it is best to consult your doctor for treatments as this can really bring you a lot of pain and discomfort if left untreated.

Do You Really Need A Flu Shot?

Every year around Labor Day the commercial begin. “Get your flu shot early this year; don’t wait“. Now we can even get the yearly shot at the grocery store, the drug store, or while browsing at Walmart. No longer do we have to go to the doctor to get the injection and pay the fee for the office visit as well as whatever they charge to get the inoculation. What is all the fuss about? What IS the flu, anyway? And do you really need a shot? Read about the history and then decide for yourself.

Influenza or “the flu” is caused by a virus. It is extremely infectious virus that affects birds and mammals and has a set list of common symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • General feeling of malaise

Some of the symptoms can cause serious problems for those in the population which are very young and have no immunities built up or for the elderly and those whose immune systems have been compromised by other illnesses. There are several variations of the flu which have added symptoms such a nausea and vomiting and diarrhea. This type is usually called “the stomach flu” or a 24 hour virus.

No one really knows how the flu is spread but it is assumed that it can be spread through touch, drinking after someone who has the virus, being close to someone with the virus during the “infectious” part of the disease (usually when the person has a fever or the first 48 hours of the virus). Coughing or sneezing also can spread the flu. Using aerosol disinfectants like Lysol can clear the air of the virus.

Disinfectants, soap and water, Clorox, sunlight all seem to destroy or inactivate the virus. This is the basic reason for constantly washing your hands with soap and hot water. Countries that have poor access to basic cleanliness are the ones that suffer the most deaths from the virus. A Pandemic could wipe out an entire country. Every year there are thousands of deaths from the flu virus or a variation of it.

In 2010 there was an outbreak of the mutation of the virus called the Swine Flu or H1N1. Although it was touted as a “new” version of the flu, it was actually a repeat of the virus that swept through the population in the late 1970’s. The scientists have since then said it was a mutation of the original version of the swine flu from the early 1900’s that caused the pandemic of 1918 in which so many people died.

The 1976 outbreak of the swine flu appeared first at a New Jersey Army base when a soldier who felt unwell died after being ill only two or three days. Several of his friends were ill, too. The virus was identified as a mutation of the 1918 flu and its spread continued until, in March, the US government mandated that all persons working in the public domain be inoculated with a swine flu vaccine. There were lots of delays with the vaccine and when it was ready there were deaths as well as lasting damage from the inoculations. A version of this same vaccine was given to the general public in 2009-2010 without the side effects of the previous version. This year a new version of the vaccine is available.

Yeast Infection – What You Should Know

Candida has plenty of tricks to invade the immunity system of the host as a result there are number of diseases are resulted by its invasion.

1. It can change the structure of its own outer wall so that the receptors of body’s immune system cannot recognize the invaders and can send the signals.

2. Candida can manufacture some factors to suppress the immune response which are found in the blood circulatory system of the Candida infected people.

3. Candida can suppress the offensive weapons of body’s immune system and can cause inflammation in the intestinal tract. If the inflammation persists in the large intestine it is called as ulcerative colitis; while in the small intestine it is called as Crohn’s disease.

4. Autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis are triggered by Candida, because the invader had ability to suppress the receptors of the cell surface of the connective tissue of the host that results in painful, inflamed joints.

5. Candida has the same structural similarities with those of receptors of brain and when it invades the brain can cause Multiple sclerosis.

6. Fifty percent of women are affected by Candida infection at some or other of their life. Inflammation of vagina, vulva can trigger off to Vaginitis or monilial vaginitis.

7. Candida inhabits the mouth parts of fifty percent of the population, known by the name Oral thrush.

Some commonly occurring yeast infections:

Vaginitis:

This is common phrase used for inflammation of vaginal area which can be due to a variety of causes.

Causes:

· Chemical irritation from douching,
· Usage of spermicides, condoms etc
· Low levels of estrogen
· Infection caused by some other germs
· Low immune response
· Pregnancy( high levels of estrogen in the second trimester)
· Usage of perfumed feminine hygiene sprays
· Tight fitting clothes
· Through gastrointestinal tract
· Hormonal and physiological disturbances
· Hormonal replacement therapy
· Unhygienic methods during menstruation

Symptoms:

· Uncontrollable deep pelvic pain
· Fever over 1010 F
· Swollen glands in the groin
· Vaginal and labial Itching
· Redness and swelling of vulva
· Pain during intercourse
· Burning sensation during urination

Oral thrush:

This is another most commonly occurring yeast infection. The infection is temporary does not cause any problems if diagnosed and treated early unless the chemistry of the oral cavity is changed and favors the growth of Candida. The sufferers are mostly the infants, children between 3-9 years who are mal nutritional and adults who are diabetics, denture wearing, drug users, immuno deficient.The infants are easily targeted because they have no protection towards yeast infection ailments.

Affected parts:

All the parts of the mouth are affected by yeast invasion like tongue, around the mouth, throat.

Symptoms of Yeast Infection include:

· There will be white colored, slightly raised patches, beneath which the membranes are raw and bleeding.
· Pink/ red colored peelings on the palate
· White or yellow colored coating on the tongue
· Red cracks around the mouth