Showing posts with label Typhus & Influenza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Typhus & Influenza. Show all posts

Health Care : Beware Of Typhus Diseases, Information about Typhus and Its Treatment

Home Remedies For typhus


Typhus is a disease caused by infection with one or more rickettsial bacteria. Fleas, mites (chiggers), lice, or ticks transmit it when they bite you. Fleas, mites, lice, and ticks are types of invertebrate animals known as arthropods. When arthropods carrying around rickettsial bacteria bite someone, they transmit the bacteria that causes typhus. Scratching the bite further opens the skin and allows the bacteria greater access to the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria continue to reproduce and grow. 
There are three different types of typhus:
  • epidemic (louse-borne) typhus
  • endemic (murine) typhus
  • scrub typhus
The type of typhus you are infected with depends on what bit you. Arthropods are typically carriers of a typhus strain unique to their species.

Typhus outbreaks usually only occur in developing countries or in regions of poverty, poor sanitation, and close human contact. Typhus is generally not a problem in the United States, but you may become infected while traveling abroad.

Untreated typhus can lead to serious complications, and it’s potentially fatal. It’s important to see your doctor if you suspect that you may have typhus.

Cause of Typhus

Typhus is not transmitted from person to person like a cold or the flu. There are three different types of typhus, and each type is caused by a different type of bacterium and transmitted by a different type of arthropod.

Epidemic/louse-borne typhus
This type is caused by Rickettsia prowazekii and carried by the body louse, and possibly by ticks as well. It can be found around the world, including in the United States, but is typically found in areas of high population and poor sanitation, where conditions promote lice infestation.

Endemic typhus
Alternatively known as murine typhus, this type is caused by Rickettsia typhi and is carried by the rat flea or cat flea. Endemic typhus can be found worldwide. It may be found among people in close contact with rats. It isn’t commonly found in the United States, but cases have been reported in some areas, primarily Texas and southern California.
Is it a fleabite? Symptoms and treatments »

Scrub typhus

This type is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi and carried by mites in their larval stage when they are chiggers. This type of typhus is more commonly found in Asia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands. It’s also called tsutsugamushi disease.
The louse, flea, tick, or mite becomes a carrier of the bacteria when they feed on the blood of an infected person (epidemic typhus) or an infected rodent (any of the three typhus forms mentioned above).
If you come in contact with these bacterium-carrying arthropods (for example, by sleeping on bed sheets infested with lice), you can become infected in a couple ways. The bacteria, in addition to being transmitted through your skin by their bites, can also be transmitted through their feces. If you scratch the skin over an area where lice or mites have been feeding, the bacteria in their feces can enter your bloodstream through the tiny wounds on your skin.
Symptoms of typhus
Symptoms vary slightly by the type of typhus, but there are symptoms that are associated with all three types of typhus, such as:
  • headache
  • fever
  • chills
  • rash
Symptoms of epidemic typhus usually appear suddenly and include:
  • severe headache
  • high fever (above 102.2°F)
  • rash that begins on the back or chest and spreads
  • confusion
  • stupor and seeming out of touch with reality
  • low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • eye sensitivity to bright lights
  • severe muscle pain
The symptoms of endemic typhus last for 10 to 12 days and are very similar to the symptoms of epidemic typhus but are usually less severe. They include:
  • dry cough
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
Symptoms seen in people with scrub typhus include:
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • tiredness
  • red lesion or sore on the skin at the site of the bite
  • cough
  • rash
The incubation period for the disease is five to 14 days, on average. This means that symptoms won’t usually appear for up to five to 14 days after you are bitten. Travelers who get typhus while traveling abroad may not experience symptoms until they are back home. This is why it is important to tell your doctor about any recent trips if you have any of the above symptoms.

Diagnosing typhus

If you suspect that you have typhus, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and your medical history. To help with the diagnosis, tell your doctor if you:
  • are living in a crowded environment
  • know of a typhus outbreak in your community
  • have traveled abroad recently
Diagnosis is difficult because symptoms are common to other infectious diseases, including:
  • dengue, also known as breakbone fever
  • malaria, an infectious disease spread by mosquitos
  • brucellosis, an infectious disease caused by Brucella bacterial species
Diagnostic tests for the presence of typhus include:
  • skin biopsy: a sample of the skin from your rash will be tested in a lab
  • Western blot: a test to identify the presence of typhus
  • immunofluorescence test: uses fluorescent dyes to detect typhus antigen in samples of serum taken from the bloodstream
  • other blood tests: results can indicate the presence of infection

Treatment for typhus

Antibiotics most commonly used to treat typhus include:
  • doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin): the preferred treatment
  • chloramphenicol: an option for those not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro): used for adults who are unable to take doxycycline

Complications of typhus

Some complications of typhus include:
  • hepatitis, which is inflammation of the liver
  • gastrointestinal hemorrhage, which is bleeding inside the intestines
  • hypovolemia, which is a decrease in blood fluid volume
Outlook for typhus
Early treatment with antibiotics is very effective, and relapses aren’t common if you take the full course of antibiotics. Delayed treatment and misdiagnosis can lead to a more severe case of typhus.
Epidemics of typhus are more common in poor, unsanitary, and crowded areas. People who are most at risk of dying are generally those who are unable to afford quick treatments. The overall mortality rate for untreated typhus depends on the type of typhus and other factors, such as age and overall health status.
The highest rates are seen in the older adults and those who are malnourished. Children usually recover from typhus. People with underlying diseases (such as diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, or chronic renal disorders) also have a higher risk of mortality. Mortality for epidemic typhus that goes untreated can range from 10 to 60 percent, and mortality from untreated scrub typhus can range up to 30 percent. Endemic/murine typhus is rarely deadly, even without treatment. Death occurs in no more than 4 percent of cases, according to an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Preventing typhus
During World War II, a vaccine (but I recommended you not to use vaccine however it can save you from illnesses) was created to prevent epidemic typhus. However, the shrinking number of cases has stopped the manufacture of the vaccine. The easiest way to prevent typhus is by avoiding the pests that spread it.
Suggestions for prevention include:
  • maintaining adequate personal hygiene (helps guard against lice carrying the disease)
  • controlling the rodent population (rodents are known to carry arthropods)
  • avoiding travel to regions where typhus exposure has occurred, or to countries that are high risk due to lack of sanitation
  • chemoprophylaxis with doxycycline (used as a preventive only in those at high risk, such as those on humanitarian campaigns in areas with extreme poverty and little or no sanitation)
Use tick, mite, and insect repellant. Perform routine examinations for ticks, and wear protective clothing if you’re traveling near an area where there have been typhus outbreaks.

Health Care : Beware The Dangers of Influenza, Ways to Treat Your Influenza Naturally Without Visiting a Doctor

Home Remedies For influenza


The flu or influenza is a respiratory virus that affects the throat, nose, bronchi and, sometimes, the lungs. There are different types of influenza viruses and they evolve and change from year to year. 
For most people, influenza is an inconvenience that subsides in a few days. For others, influenza can lead to health complications, visits to the hospital and even death. Globally, 5 to 10 percent of adults and 20 to 30 percent of children get the influenza each year and 3 to 5 million of these cases are severe, leading to about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many people originally called an epidemic "visitation, influence (of the stars)," from the Medieval Latin word influential. Italians also used the word influenza for diseases since at least 1504 because they, like those that used the Latin word influential, believed that the stars influenced health, according to the Douglas Harper Etymology Dictionary. Influenza in Italian literally means “influence.” The Italians would add the word influenza to the names of ailments. For example, influenza di febbre scarlattina was "scarlet fever."
There have been many major pandemics caused by the flu throughout history. For example, the 1918 to 1919 pandemic, known as “The Great Pandemic,” infected twenty to fourthy percent of the worldwide population and an estimated fifthy million people died because of it, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This pandemic was also named “Spanish flu” because is believed that the pandemic originated in Spain.
A more recent pandemic occurred in 2009 to 2010. A new form of influenza, called H1N1, appeared. This virus is also called swine flu because the virus is similar to a virus found in pigs. It is not called swine flu because it can be contracted from pigs or by eating pork.
The first U.S. case of H1N1 was diagnosed on April 15, 2009. People in 74 countries were affected and 43 million to 89 million people had H1N1 between April 2009 and April 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated there were between 8,870 and 18,300 H1N1 related deaths during this time.
The main three types of influenza virus are named A, B, and C. A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease almost every winter in the United States while C causes only mild respiratory symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The A virus is broken down into subtypes, and both A and B are broken down into strains for classification.
While there are many types of flu, it is important to note that the "stomach flu" isn't actually a type of influenza. It is actually gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the lining of the intestines caused by a virus, bacteria or parasites.
Also, avian influenza (bird flu, H5N1) is a flu virus that typically only affects birds. It is very rare for a human to contract it and only around 650 cases of the bird flu in humans have been reported from 15 countries since 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. It is contracted directly from birds and is not spread from human to human like most types of influenza. 
The influenza virus is very contagious and is spread from person to person by droplets and small particles from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. People older than 65, children under 5 — especially those under 2 years — pregnant women, the obese and people with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, kidney disease and diabetes, are more at risk of health complications from the flu that could result in hospitalization or death.
Are there some cases where a seemingly healthy person may die of the flu? The Spanish flu killed many healthy adults ages 20 to 50 years old. The reason is still unknown.
"There are some thoughts that a very robust immune system can have an overly exuberant inflammatory response to influenza, that could be potentially detrimental to the patient," Dr. Susan Donelan, medical director of health care epidemiology at Stony Brook Medicine.
People often get the symptoms of the common cold and the flu mixed up. One of the biggest differences between the two is the accompanying fever. The common cold is usually accompanied by a low-grade fever, while those with the flu often experience a fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches, either, and the flu almost never causes an upset stomach, according to U.S. National Library of Medicine. 
Here are some more common signs and symptoms of the flu include, according to the Mayo Clinic: 
  • headache
  • aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • fever 
  • chills and sweats
  • sore throat
  • dry, persistent cough
  • weakness
  • nasal congestion
Most people infected with influenza recover within one to two weeks without requiring medical treatment, according to WHO. "It is very important for anyone diagnosed with influenza to take care of themselves, giving themselves enough time, enough fluids and enough rest to fully recover," said Donelan.
Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and aspirin are often taken to reduce fevers and help relieve aches and pains during the flu. Decongestant drops and cough syrups may also help ease symptoms, but always contact a medical professional before administering over-the-counter remedies to children. 
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should see a medical professional if:
  • their fever rises to 103 F (39.4 C) or higher
  • the fever accompanied by sweating
  • they experience chills and a cough with colored phlegm
  • they have significantly swollen glands
  • feel severe sinus pain 
Children should be taken to see a medical professional if they experience: 
  • fever of 100.4 F (38 C) in newborns up to 12 weeks
  • fever that rises repeatedly above 104 F (40 C) in a child of any age
  • fever that lasts more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2
  • fever that lasts more than three days in a child older than 2
  • drinking inadequate fluids or signs of dehydration, such as urinating less often than usual
  • difficulty breathing
  • ear pain
  • persistent cough
  • severe headache
  • vomiting or abdominal pain
  • unusual sleepiness
  • stiff neck
  • persistent crying
The doctor may administer antiviral drugs, including adamantanes, such as amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine), and inhibitors of influenza, including neuraminidase inhibitors, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), or Peramivir and laninamivir (Inavir), if the patient is seen within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, according to WHO.
Though washing your hands regularly and practicing good hygiene are good tactics for preventing the flu, the best course of action is to receive the flu vaccine every year. Each year, researchers determine what strain of the influenza virus will be most active and vaccines are produced to prevent infection.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. The CDC also recommends that high-risk patients with a flu-like illness get prompt treatment with influenza antiviral drugs without waiting for confirmatory testing.
"For the seasonal flu, those who are younger, those who are older, and those who are immunocompromised are more likely to contract influenza; and if someone in that group is unable to get vaccinated, it is important for those who have close interaction with them or care for them to get vaccinated to reduce their exposure," said Donelan.
Why do some people still get the flu after getting a flu shot? The flu vaccine protects against the viruses that will be most common for that particular year, but not all types of the virus. It is possible to contract a strain of the virus that is not included in that year's vaccine. 
Read also : Typhus & Treatment