infection – HTV https://htv.com.pk Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:32:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tetanus https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/tetanus https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/tetanus#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 05:15:56 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=38450

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Overview

Tetanus is a dangerous disease of the nervous system, caused by infection by the bacterial species Clostridium tetani. It is commonly known as “Lockjaw,” by the symptoms it causes. If not given emergency treatment, it could be life-threatening.

Causes

The bacterial spores enter the body through a wound and make their way up to the nervous system. The spores germinate into bacteria that produce a toxin called “tetanospasmin” which is responsible for the symptoms produced by the infection. The toxin disrupts the motor neurons that supply innervation to the muscles, which leads to the painful spasms.

Symptoms

The symptoms of tetanus appear within a few days, to a few weeks of contracting the infection. They can be listed as:

  • Spasms and stiffness in your jaw muscles (trismus)
  • Stiffness of your neck muscles
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Painful body spasms lasting for several minutes, typically triggered by minor occurrences, such as a draft, loud noise, physical touch or light
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Raised blood pressure

Diagnosis:

There are no specific lab tests to make the diagnosis of tetanus, so the diagnosis is made by the physical signs and symptoms, as well as the history of getting a wound from falling on the road, or dirt. Vaccination history of the patient is also very important.

Treatment

The treatment of tetanus is useful mainly before the toxin has bonded to the nerves, and it consists of the following measures:

  • Ensuring that the wound is cleaned
  • Medications (Tetanus antitoxin, Antibiotics, Vaccines, Sedatives)
  • Supportive therapy to combat the symptoms, to make sure the patient is at ease.

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Tuberculosis (TB) https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/tuberculosistb https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/tuberculosistb#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2018 11:15:36 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=38434

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Overview

Tuberculosis is a highly infectious, and transmissible disease, most commonly in the lung, but can occur in other organs as well. The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it. It is found much more commonly in undeveloped countries. In patients with HIV, the incidence of TB is higher, as a lowered immune response, makes a patient unable to fight the infection.

Causes

The bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it. The bacteria is spread via person to person by air borne transmission. This means that if a person with TB coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs, or spits, microscopic droplets of water, carrying the bacteria, enter the air. When this air is drawn in by a healthy person, that person can also get infected.

It’s easier to get the infection from someone you live with, so precautions must be taken.

Symptoms

TB has 2 forms, a latent form, that is the inactive form of the disease, which does not have any symptoms (but the patient still can develop symptoms at a later stage when the disease becomes active), and, an active form, that manifests with some of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing, lasting for more than 3 weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss (when the patient isn’t trying to lose weight)
  • Loss of appetite

These symptoms vary according to the organ in which the infection is active, for example, abdominal TB can present with diarrhea, and TB of the spine can manifest as back pain.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of TB is made easily by symptoms, and signs found on proper clinical examination of the patient, however, some of the following tests are helpful in confirming the diagnosis:

PPD tuberculin skin test

  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Chest CT scan
  • Sputum test (to check the presence of the bacteria in the sputum)

Treatment

For the treatment of TB, a 9 month course of a combination of 4 drugs is necessary. The drugs most commonly used are:

  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin
  • Ethambutol
  • Pyrazinamide

It is very important to complete the entire course of medication for 9 months, otherwise the disease may come back, and this time it could become resistant to the drugs.

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Malaria https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/malaria-2 https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/malaria-2#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 06:44:50 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=37917

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Overview

Malaria is a blood illness caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted by the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. It is still widely prevalent in tropical and underdeveloped countries, with high morbidity and mortality rates.

Causes

The parasite Plasmodium causes this disease, which is transmitted by a mosquito bite and travels and stays in the blood and the liver of the infected individual. It can also be transmitted by infected blood via blood transfusions, sharing needles, and during pregnancy.

Risk factors for malaria include:

  • Areas endemic with malaria (African countries, Asian subcontinent, Solomon islands etc.)
  • Young children and infants
  • Pregnant women and unborn children
  • Travelers

Symptoms

Malarial infection is characterized by the recurrent experience of the following symptoms:

  • Moderate to severe shaking chills
  • High fever which comes and goes in a pattern
  • Sweating

Other symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Generalized body pain
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms usually start after a few weeks of the mosquito bite. In some strains of Plasmodium, however, the parasite can lay dormant in the body and display symptoms later.

Complications of severe forms of malaria include:

  • Cerebral malaria
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Organ failure
  • Anemia
  • Hypoglycemia and other side effects of malaria medication

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of this disease requires blood tests to determine the presence of an infection and to figure out the type of parasite.

Treatment

The treatment of this disease is depeeennndent on the type of parasite present, and the age and severity of the infection of the patient. Antimalarial drugs include:

  • Chloroquine
  • Quinine sulfate
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Mefloquine
  • Atovaquone
  • proguanil

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Lyme Disease https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/lyme-disease https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/lyme-disease#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 09:05:18 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=37805

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Overview

Lyme disease is caused by infection of the 4 main bacterial species:

  1. Borrelia burgdorferi
  2. Borrelia mayonii
  3. Borrelia afzelii
  4. Borrelia garinii

The bacteria are spread via a tick bite, from an infected tick. The disorder is more common in grassy, heavily wooded areas.

Causes

When a black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, gets infected with one of the species of Borrelia, it can transmit the bacteria to a healthy human individual by biting them. The bacteria penetrate the skin through the bite and eventually enter the human’s bloodstream. For the tick to actually transmit the infection, it must be attached to the bite site for at least 36-48 hours.

Symptoms

The symptoms for Lyme disease can be divided into two stages:

  1. Early stage signs and symptoms:
  1. Late stage signs and symptoms:
  • Erythema migrans
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological problems such as meningitis (Inflammation of meninges), Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis of half face), numbness and weakness of extremities
  • Nausea and vomiting

Diagnosis

Since the symptoms of Lyme disease are often nonspecific, it is not very easy to diagnose the disease by history and physical exam. However, once there is a suspicion of Lyme disease, the following tests can help confirm the diagnosis:

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) – detects antibodies against the bacteria
  • Western blot – detects antibodies against the bacteria

Treatment

The treatment of Lyme disease is done through antibiotics.

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Intestinal Infection https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/intestinal-infection https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/intestinal-infection#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:13:27 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=37895

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Overview

Intestinal infection refers to an acute Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection of the small intestine. The scientific term used for such infections is “Gastroenteritis.” It is an extremely common condition and affects individuals of all ages.

Causes

Since it is an infection, there is a long list of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause the infection. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Norovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Escherichia coli
  • Shigella
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Yersinia

There are numerous methods in which an individual can contract these infections, such as:

  • Contact with someone who has the infection
  • Intake of food or water that has the infection
  • Poor hygiene

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of intestinal infection are usually mild and resolve within a few days on their own. The following are the main symptoms:

  • Sudden, watery diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Body ache

Diagnosis

Even though the conduction of tests isn’t usually necessary, as the diagnosis is made on medical history and examination, the following tests can help get to a definitive diagnosis:

  • Stool direct report
  • Stool culture to identify the presence of the organism in the stool
  • Blood culture to check for presence of organism in the blood

Treatment

The treatment is not necessarily indicated unless the condition is severe. The following measures are usually enough to manage intestinal infection:

  • Give hydration/fluid
  • Paracetamol for fever and body ache
  • Rest
  • Antidiarrheal – loperamide
  • Antiemesis (emesis means vomiting) – metoclopramide

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