News and Information on Infectious Disease
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DeadlyMicrobes

The Ebola virus is certainly one of the most deadly viruses jeopardizing human lives and even entire generations in Africa and now on other continents.

Prevent Contracting the Ebola Virus

There is no FDA-approved vaccine intended for preventing or reversing Ebola but if you travel to, or if you are in contact with people from countries affected by Ebola or in an outbreak-country, practicing the following procedures will help to prevent contracting the disease.
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One of the most well known viral diseases is Influenza (flu). Individuals frequently use the name “flu” for almost any type of moderate sickness, like a cold or a stomach virus. While the symptoms are similar to the flu, having a viral infection from the actual flu virus is different. Influenza symptoms are generally more serious compared to symptoms of a cold and the influenza viral infection lasts longer. Catching the flu won’t result in vomiting or diarrhea in adults, in normal situations.

People suffering from Influenza complain of chills, high body temperature, drippy nose, a sore throat, muscle aches, severe throbbing headache, hacking and coughing, lack of strength / tiredness and generally feeling uncomfortable.

The flu changes its characteristics every year, although there is always a dominant strain. One of the most deadly flu strains is H1N1, also known as the swine flu, which caused pandemics around the world and is still showing up today as a dominant strain.

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Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a microbe called Legionella that can be found in warm, stagnant water and is known to grow in residential or commercial water systems, hot water tanks, hot tubs or other large water containment systems.

Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted at any time of year, but most infections occur in summer when air conditioning and whirlpool tubs are used most often.

If treated early, the damage to internal organs from Legionnaires’ disease can be significantly reduced or stopped altogether. By killing the bacteria, the patient can fully recover from all symptoms of the infection.

The Legionella bacteria has evolved quite well however, and essentially escapes eradication by killing the very defense mechanism our body uses to stop the disease.
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Mononucleosis, aka “mono” is a common viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Mononucleosis symptoms can include fever and sore throat, infection of the liver, lymph nodes and mouth. Swelling of the lymph glands in the neck are the classic symptom. While not considered a dangerous disease, mononucleosis is very contagious and has serious symptoms of fatigue and tiredness which can last for several months.
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Normally, HIV symptoms are non-existent in individuals who have recently become infected by the HIV virus. But, within a couple of months from contracting the HIV virus, it is very likely that they will exhibit signs very similar to symptoms of the flu. The HIV symptoms will rapidly grow to include high temperature and fever, extreme headache, fatigue and overall body ache. It is also common to find enlarged lymph nodes that are easy to detect in the neck and groin region.
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What Is Shingles?

Shingles is a viral condition that affects nerves and is usually diagnosed after its physical symptoms appear: an unpleasant rash with painful blisters frequently appearing on the skin. Once the rash and blisters have gone, many people still endure intense pain, that can persist for months or years.

Early identification and treatment of shingles can minimize the initial pain and may reduce the chance of persistent, recurring pain.

Shingles may also be referred to as Herpes zoster, or Zoster.
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Lyme disease gets its name from Old Lyme, Connecticut where the disease was initially diagnosed in 1975 after a number of children were found to have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a very strange occurrence. In researching the symptoms of Lyme disease, doctors learned that it is transmitted when people are bitten by ticks, notably the deer tick, which is very small and can often go unnoticed when biting the skin.
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West Nile virus Infection occurs as a result of mosquito bites that transfer the West Nile virus. The West Nile virus generally strikes birds, but may sometimes cause infection in humans. In children, as with infected adults, the virus typically won’t cause obvious sickness, and many infected children show no symptoms at all.
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What is Naegleria fowleri?

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that lives in the sediment along the banks of freshwater lakes and rivers. Naegleria fowleri prefer warmer water and more likely to cause infection when water temperatures are above 80°F. However, they can survive for long periods of time in colder water while they are in cyst form and become dormant. For this reason, infection from Naegleria fowleri can be found in tropical as well as cooler climates.
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