Viral Diseases – Symptoms, Causes &Treatments


A viral infection is any type of illness or disease caused by a virus, a type of microbe. A viral infection occurs when a virus enters the body through such processes as breathing air contaminated with a virus, eating contaminated food, or by having sexual contact with a person who is infected with a virus. A viral infection may also be caused by an insect bite. In a viral infection, the virus invades the inside of the body’s cells in order to reproduce. A virus then spreads to other cells and repeats the process.

This process of viral infection results in a variety of symptoms that vary in character and severity depending on the type of viral infection and individual factors. Common symptoms of a viral infection includefatigue, flu-like symptoms and fever.


Many types of viral infections, such as a cold, are self-limiting in generally healthy people. This means that the viral infection causes illness for period of time, then it resolves and symptoms disappear. However, some people are at risk for developing serious complications of viral infection. In addition, certain types of viral infections, such as HIV/AIDS, are not self-limiting and cause serious complications and are eventually fatal.


There are many types of viruses that cause a wide variety of viral infections or viral diseases. For example, there are over 200 different viruses that can cause a cold or an upper respiratory infection. Other common viruses include the influenza virus, which causes influenza or the flu. The Epstein-Barr virus and the cytomegalovirus cause infectious mononucleosis. The varicella zoster virus causes shingles, and chickenpox, and HIV causes AIDS.


Viral diseases are extremely widespread infections caused by viruses, a type of microorganism. There are many types of viruses that cause a wide variety of viral diseases. The most common type of viral disease is the common cold, which is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). Other common viral diseases include:

  1. Chickenpox
  2. Flu (Influenza)
  3. Herpes
  4. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS)
  5. Human papillomavirus(HPV)
  6. Infectious mononucleosis
  7. Mumps,measles and rubella
  8. Shingles
  9. Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
  10. Viral hepatitis
  11. Viral meningitis
  12. Viral Pneumonia


Viral diseases are contagious and spread from person to person when a virus enters the body and begins to multiply.Common ways that viruses spread from person to person include:


Symptoms of viral infection vary depending on the type of viral infection, the area of the body that is infected, the age and health history of the patient and other factors. The symptoms of viral infection can also resemble symptoms of other diseases, such as bacterial infections.

Symptoms may affect almost any area of the body or body system and include fever,chills, headache, stiff neck, irritability, enlarged glands, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, rash, abdominal pain, sore throat, ear pain, cough,weight loss, fatigue, body aches, and other flu-like symptoms.

In infants, signs of viral infection can include excessive crying, excessive sleepiness, difficulty with feeding, and a bulging of the soft spot on the top of the head.


Many viral infections, such as upper respiratory infection and seasonal influenza, are self limiting. People who are generally healthy are often able to survive these infections without developing serious complications. However, even young and healthy people may develop serious complications to some viral infections. For example, women infected with certain strains of HPV are at risk for developingcervical cancer.

Certain risk factors make it more likely that a person will develop serious, even lethal, complications from a viral infection. People who are generally most at risk for developing complications include those who have a compromised immune system due to such diseases as HIV/AIDS or combined immunodeficiencies. People who take certain medications, such as corticosteroids, which suppress the body’s natural immune response, are also at risk. Other risk factors include malnutrition, high stress levels and being very young or very old.

Complications of a viral infection can include a secondary bacterial infection, pneumonia,dehydration, shock, the development of some forms of cancer and coma.

Symptoms of viral diseases vary depending on the specific type of virus causing infection, the area of the body that is infected, the age and health history of the patient, and other factors. The symptoms of viral diseases can affect almost any area of thebody or body system. Symptoms of viral diseases can include:

  1. Flu- like symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, aches and pains)
  2. Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  3. Irritability
  4. Malaise (general ill feeling)
  5. Rash
  6. Sneezing
  7. Stuffy nose, nasal congestion, runny nose, or postnasal drip
  8. Swollen lymph nodes
  9. Swollen tonsils
  10. Unexplained weight loss


Viral infections occur when a virus enters the body and invades the inside of the body’s cells in order to reproduce. If the body’s immune system is unable to fight off the virus, it multiplies and spreads to other cells, repeating the process and leading to a widespread infection.



There are many types of viruses that cause a wide variety of viral infections or viral diseases. In fact, there are more than 200different viruses that can cause a cold or an upper respiratory infection. Other common viruses include the following:

  1. Epstein-Barr virus causes infectious mononucleosis (cytomegalovirus causes a very similar disease in some people)
  2. Human papillomaviruses (HPV) cause HPV infection, cervical dysplasia, genital warts, and cervical cancer.
  3. Influenza viruses,such as H1N1, cause influenza (flu).
  4. Respiratory syncytical virus (RSV) causes lower respiratory tract infections in young children.
  5. Rhinoviruses cause the common cold
  6. Rotavirus, enteroviruses and noroviruses cause viral gastroenteritis.
  7. Varicella zoster virus causes shingles and chickenpox
  8. West Nile virus causes west nile fever.


Viral diseases can be very difficult to treat because viruses live inside the body’s cells where they are protected from medicines in the blood stream.

  1. No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available.
  2. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve some symptoms
  3. In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.

The first step in treating viral infection is preventing its occurrence and spread. Vaccines are available to prevent some common viral infections, such as chickenpox, shingles, influenza, HPV,hepatitis B, hepatitis A, measles and mumps.


Prevention of the spread of harmful viruses that cause viral infection also includes frequent hand washing and covering the mouth and nose with a tissue during sneezing or coughing. It is also important to avoid contact with a person who has a viral disease. Prevention of sexually transmitted viral infections, such as HIV/AIDS includes abstaining from sexual contact. The proper and consistent use of male and/or female condoms also provides some protection.


Treatment of viral infections varies depending on the specific virus and other factors. However, treatment of viral infections generally includes rest, increased fluids, good nutrition, and may require hospitalization and intensive care, especially if complications occur.

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and are ineffective for the treatment of viral infections.


Researchers developed the first antiviral drug in the late 20th century. The drug, acyclovir, was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat herpes simplex virus infections. Only a few other antiviral medicines are available to prevent and treat viral infections and diseases.

Common Diseases during Cold Weather

Some health problems, such as asthma, sore throat and cold sores, are triggered or worsened by cold weather.


  1. It is caused by more than 200 types of viruses, with coronavirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus as the most well-known.
  2. The reason why colds are more common during cold days is because people tend to stay inside when it gets chilly out.
  3. Indoor air is trapped, so when people sneeze, others catch the viruses that come along with it.
  4. You can help prevent colds by washing your hands regularly.
  5. This destroys bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people.
  6. It’s also important to keep the house and any household items such as cups, glasses and towels clean, especially if someone in your house is ill.


  1. Sore throats are common in winter and are almost always caused by viral infections.
  2. There’s some evidence that changes in temperature, such as going from a warm, centrally heated room to the icy outdoors, can also affect the throat.
  3. Another year-round disease that becomes more widespread when it gets cold.
  4. It’s either caused by bacterial/viral infection or throat irritation from low humidity.
  5. While not exactly a serious illness, it is nevertheless painful and annoying.
  6. If it becomes too unbearable to wait for the condition to self-terminate, one can take warm, clear, and neutral beverages as an alleviatory means or consult a physician.


  1. Cold air is a major trigger of asthma symptomssuch as wheezing and shortness of breath.
  2. People with asthma should be especially careful in winter.
  3. The triggers for this congenital respiratory disease vary from one patient to another.
  4. To some who have it, cold weather is one of those – and a powerful one at that.
  5. Once triggered,asthma constricts the airways, causing difficult, short, and painful breathing.
  6. To prevent this, it’s advisable for asthmatic people to stay indoors and wear appropriate clothing during cold weather.
  7. Also, it’s best to carry doctor-prescribed inhalers in case, as an attack can happen anytime, anywhere.


  1. Also known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an extremely infectious stomach bug.
  2. It can strike all year round, but is more common in winter and in places such as hotels and schools.
  3. The illness is unpleasant, but it’s usually over within a couple of days.


  1. Many people with arthritis say their joints become more painful in winter, though it’s not clear why this is the case.
  2. Only joint symptoms such as pain and stiffness are affected by the weather.
  3. There’s no evidence that changes in the weather cause joint damage.


  1. Most of us recognise that cold sores are a sign that we’re run down or under stress.
  2. While there’s no cure for cold sores, you can reduce the chances of getting one by looking after yourself through winter.


  1. Heart attacks are more common in winter.
  2. This may be because cold snaps increase blood pressure and put more strain on the heart.
  3. Your heart also has to work harder to maintain body heat when it’s cold.


  1. Raynaud’s phenomenon is a common condition that makes your fingers and toes change colour and become very painful in cold weather.
  2. Fingers can go white, then blue, then red, and throb and tingle.
  3. It’s a sign of poor circulation in the small blood vessels of the hands and feet.
  4. In severe cases, medication can help, but most people live with their symptoms.


  1. Dry skin is a common condition and is often worse during the winter, when environmental humidity is low.
  2. Because of the low humidity during cold weather, the skin easily dries up, causing it to itch and crack.
  3. As a remedy, one can apply moisturizer to stop the skin’s moisture from evaporating.
  4. Also, taking warm showers can help. Hot showers will not only worsen the condition, but also make your hair look dry and dull.


  1. Flu is a major killer of vulnerable people. People aged 65 and over and people with long-term health conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, are particularly at risk.
  2. The best way to prevent getting flu is to have the flu jab (or flu nasal spray for children aged 2 to 18).
  3. The flu vaccine gives good protection against flu and lasts for one year.
  4. This infection shares a lot of similarities with the common cold: they’re both upper respiratory tract infections, perennially present, and caused by a wide plethora of viruses.
  5. They also share a handful of symptoms: headaches, a clogged nose, and cough. Because of these likenesses, it’s easy to mistake one for the other.
  6. In order to know which is which,take note that influenza causes joint pains, body weakness, and fever that can reach up to 41°C.


As people age, they become more susceptible to disease and disability. However, much of the burden of ill health among older people can be reduced or prevented by adequately addressing specific risk factors, including:

  • Injury
  • Poverty
  • Social isolation and exclusion, mental health disorders
  • Development of noncommunicable diseases
  • Elder maltreatment.



  • Falls and the injuries to which they often lead cause a large share of the burden of disease and disability on older people.
  • Injuries from falls (such as femur fracture) usually require hospitalization and costly interventions, including rehabilitation, and cause much of the functional limitations that lead to the need for long-term care, including admissions to nursing homes.
  • The risk of falls increases steeply with age.
  • Frailty in itself can considerably increase the risk of falls, which can happen in all settings.
  • About 30–50% of people living in long-term care institutions fall each year.
  • Convincing evidence, however, shows that most falls are predictable and preventable.
  • Some injury-prevention measures (such as hip protectors) have been shown to be cost effective or even cost saving, and there are examples of successful implementations of strategies to prevent falls, supported by public policies.



  • The risk of poverty grows with older age and is much higher among women than men.
  • Moreover, many older people cannot afford to pay health costs, including prescription drugs, from their own pockets.
  • WHO/Europe works closely with Member States to support them in developing policies that reduce this financial risk and ensure a more equitable distribution of the burden of health system funding.



  • Loneliness, social isolation and social exclusion are important social determinants and risk factors of ill health among older people.
  • Depression among older people is frequently undiagnosed.
  • They affect all aspects of health and well-being, including mental health, the risk of maltreatment and the risk of emergency admission to hospital for avoidable conditions, such as severe dehydration or malnutrition.
  • In all countries, older women have a higher risk of social isolation than older men.
  • Mental health support, including preventive action, is a vital, often neglected, aspect of medical and social attention to older people.




  • Healthy ageing is a lifelong process. Patterns of harmful behaviour, often established early in life, can reduce the quality of life and even result in premature death.
  • Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol contribute to the development of chronic conditions: 5 of these (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and mental disorders) account for an estimated 77% of the disease burden and 86% of the deaths in the European Region. The most disadvantaged groups carry the greatest part of this burden.
  • Although smoking or lack of exercise, for example, can have long-term effects, changing course is beneficial at any age.
  • The risk of premature death actually decreases by 50% when people stop smoking at age 60–75 years.
  • Also, according to WHO’s “Global recommendations for physical activity and health”: “the overall evidence for adults aged 65 years and above demonstrates that, compared to less active individuals, men and women who are more active have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, healthier body mass and composition, and a biomarker profile that is more favourable for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and the enhancement of bone health.
  • These benefits are observed in adults in the older age range, with or without existing noncommunicable diseases.”
  • In addition, a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.



  • Elder maltreatment is defined as physical, sexual, mental and/or financial abuse and/or neglect of people aged 60 years and older.
  • Maltreatment affects both the mental and physical well-being of older people and, if unchecked, reduces the quality of life and survival.
  • Until recently, elder maltreatment was considered a private matter. Only in the last two decades has the scope of the problem been recognized and systematically studied and addressed in various settings where older people live. WHO/Europe’s “European report on preventing elder maltreatment” reviews the findings of recent surveys and programmes to address the problem in the Region.

How Does a Broken Heart Physically Affect the Body ?

Broken heart syndrome, also known as stress cardiomyopathy, is a sudden weakness in the heart muscle due to a severely stressful situation. It has the same symptoms as heart attack difficulty breathing, chest pain and a drop in blood pressure but while a heart attack permanently damages the heart, broken heart syndrome‘s effects are temporary.

Chemical Changes

  • When a person falls in love, the “happy” chemical dopamine and the “trust” chemical oxytocin increase to very high levels.
  • Critical thinking shuts down, caution is thrown to the wind and one becomes blind to her lover’s faults.
  • At times, it seems as if the lover is the only thing that matters.
  • People become “addicted” to these chemical rushes much the same as one can become addicted to drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, morphine and oxycontin.
  • When a relationship ends, the body is in withdrawal from these chemicals.
  • The circuits in the brain that are involved in love and loss are really a motivational system.
  • A person who has been dumped is experiencing the same irrational and involuntary brain state as a person deprived of food, water or a drug.
  • Mania and an obsession with regaining what has been lost may set in. The circuits of fear and anxiety are also at full throttle, as oxytocin levels decrease.

Physiological Changes

  • Being dumped also has effects on the autonomic nervous system.
  • The chemical changes cause physiological variations in heart rate, blood flow, blood pressure and digestion.
  • The stress hormone cortisol runs high, weakening the immune system and bringing fatigue and sickness.
  • Loss of romantic love ignites the same brain circuits as physical pain.
  • Thus, the notion of a heart breaking is not simply a metaphor. Loss can create very real pain in the body.


  • The physical and chemical changes brought about by the loss of romantic love can create a cycle of symptoms.
  • If the heart does not heal quickly, symptoms can begin to build upon one another, creating more and more problems.
  • Many people nursing a broken heart withdraw from social activities and sink into depression.
  • The sleep cycle is thrown off as the person either lies in bed all day or develops insomnia.
  • Frequently, there are also disturbances in eating patterns.
  • Some people will stop eating while others may overeat or tend to overindulge in very unhealthy foods.
  • The constant nagging pain of loss may also lead to constant, uncontrollable crying, and an inability to work or concentrate on any task.
  • These debilitating symptoms can have adverse effects on all areas of life.
  • It is important for someone who has just had her heart broken to keep a social support system. It may also be helpful to look at the benefits of singlehood.
  • Many people find that after the initial shock of the breakup has passed, they have a newfound energy.
  • The freedom, independence and sense of accomplishment that come with doing it all on your own can be revitalizing.


  • The stress of rejection might agitate your body’s immune system, leading to cell-damaging inflammation.
  • The parts of your immune system that fight infection and keep viruses under control start to lose steam. You may get sick or develop a cold sore.
    • The anguish experienced during a spilt activates the same part of the brain that is stimulated during addiction.
    • Brain scan of the broken hearted found similarities between romantic rejection and cocaine craving.
    • We also go through a similar bereavement process during a break up as when someone has died.
    • This is typically shock, denial, grief, anger, blame, self-blame,helplessness,fear of the future,depression and the acceptance.
  • EYES
    • Emotional tears are more watery and less salty than everyday tears. This means they cause water to move into the saltier tissues around the eyes by osmosis, making them swell up and look puffy.
    • Cardiologist say it is not uncommon to see people dying of the heart attack within the first fortnight after a break-up with raised adrenaline levels the body goes into fight or flight mode and the stress can cause sudden heart attack and death.
  • Intense emotional pain can activate the same networks of nerves as physical pain so being rejected or grieving over a lost love can actually really hurt and feel a bit like being punched.
    • Stress causes weight gain, especially around the middle.
    • It also causes the body to crave sugar and fat, which leads to mindless eating.
    • Your stressed-out nervous system signals your digestion to slow down.
    • You may also suffer with zero appetite.
  • SKIN
    • Stress and depression is linked with a deterioration of psoriasis, eczema, alopecia and even acne.
  • HAIR
    • Some of the hair follicles on your head could enter a state called “Telogen Effluvium”.
    • That’s medspeak for “resting phase,” in which your strands stop growing or, after a while, start falling out.
  • LEGS

People who have gone through a divorce are more likely to suffer from mobility issue such as difficulty climbing stairs or walking short distance stress from a breakup can also cause muscle spasm and tightness

Pneumonia Symptoms Causes and Risk Factors

Pneumonia facts

  • Pneumoniais inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs, most commonly due to an infection.
  • Pneumonia may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi.
  • The most common bacterial type that causes pneumonia is Streptococcuspneumoniae.

Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is acquired outside of the health-care setting and is typically less severe than hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP).
  • About 20% of those with CAP require treatment in a hospital.
  • Antibiotics treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection. The initialchoice of antibioticdepends on the organism presumed to be causing the infection as well as local patterns of antibiotic resistance.
  • Pneumonia can be fatal in up to 30% of severe cases that are managed in the intensive-care setting.
  • Complications of pneumonia include sepsis, pleural effusion, and empyema.
  • Influenzaand respiratory syncytial virus(RSV) are the most common viral causes of pneumonia.
  • A chest X-rayis typically done to diagnose pneumonia.

Risk factors for pneumonia include age over 65 or under 2, having certain chronic medical conditions (including underlying lung disease, cigarettesmoking, alcoholism, and neurological problems), or sustaining injuries that interfere with swallowing orcoughing.


  • Pneumonia is an inflammation of the airspaces in the lung most commonly caused by infections. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause the infection. There are also a few noninfectious types of pneumonia that are caused by inhaling or aspirating foreign matter or toxic substances into the lungs.
  • Common in elderly people and often occurs when the immune systembecomes weakened via a prior infection or another condition.
  • Pneumonia is generally more serious when it affects older adults, infants and young children, those with chronic medical conditions, or those with weakened immune function. 

Types of Pneumonia:

Pneumonia can be classified in different ways. Doctors often refer to pneumonia based upon the way that the infection is acquired, such as community-acquired pneumonia or hospital-acquired pneumonia.

  • Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), as the name implies, develops outside of the hospital or health-care environment. It is more common than hospital-acquired pneumonia.
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is acquired when an individual is already hospitalized for another condition. HAP is generally more serious because it develops in ill patients already hospitalized. Being on a ventilator for respiratory support increases the risk of acquiring HAP.
  • Other classification systems for pneumonia describe the way the inflammatory

cells infiltrate the lung tissue or the appearance of the affected tissue (see the following examples).

  • Bronchopneumonia causes scattered, patchy infiltrates of inflammation in the air sacs throughout the lungs. It is more diffuse than lobar pneumonia.
  • Lobar pneumonia causes an inflammation of one lobe of a lung and typically involves all the airspaces in a single lobe.
  • Lipoid pneumonia is characterized by the accumulation of fatswithin the airspaces. It can be caused by aspiration of oils or associated with airway
  • Sometimes, types of pneumonia are referred to by the type of organism that causes the inflammation, such as bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonia, or fungal pneumonia. The specific organism name may also be used to describe the types of pneumonia, such as pneumococcal (Streptococcus pneumoniae) pneumonia or Legionella
  • Other types of pneumonia that are commonly referenced include the following:
  • Aspiration pneumonia develops as a result of inhaling food or drink, saliva, or vomit into the lungs. This occurs when the swallowing reflex is impaired, such as with brain injuryor in an intoxicated person.
  • Several types of bacteria, including Legionella pneumophilaMycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophilapneumoniae, cause atypical pneumonia. It is sometimes called “walkingpneumonia” and is referred to as atypical because its symptoms differ from those of other types of bacterial pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia that arises from being on a ventilator for respiratory support in the intensive-care setting is known as ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Causes of Pneumonia:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae, a type of bacteria, is the most common cause of pneumonia.Legionella pneumophilais the bacterial type that causes the pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease. Other bacteria types that can cause pneumonia include the bacteria that cause so-called “atypical” pneumonia, Legionella pneumophilaMycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophila pneumonia.
  • The most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults is the influenza virus. A number of different respiratory viruses cause pneumonia in children, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). While viral pneumonia tends to be less severe than bacterial pneumonia, there is a risk of developing secondary bacterial pneumonia when viral pneumonia is present. Other virus types that can cause pneumonia include emeaslesandvaricella (chickenpox) viruses. Rarely, certain viruses may develop lethal pneumonias such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) or MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome); both diseases are caused by different coronaviruses.
  • Fungi that cause pneumonia includeCryptococcus,Histoplasma, and Coccidioides. In most cases, these organisms don’t cause illness, but they can cause pneumonia in some people. Fungal infections are most common in those with weakened immune systems due toHIV/AIDS or those taking medications that suppress immune function. Another infection that is considered a fungal type of pneumonia is Pneumocystis jiroveci, formerly known as Pneumocystis carinii. This organism became known as a frequent cause of pneumonia in patients with HIV/AIDS. 

Symptoms and Signs of pneumonia

Symptoms and signs of pneumonia may be mild or severe and depend upon someone’s overall state of health as well as the type of organism causing the pneumonia. Severe symptoms include

  • Cough
  • Chest Painwhen breathing or coughing
  • Labored breathing or shortness of breath
  • Coughing up phlegm
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea& vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other possible symptoms that can accompany the respiratory symptoms.
  • Infants and newborns may not show specific symptoms of pneumonia.
  • Instead, they may appear restless or lethargic. They may have a fever or cough or vomit.
  • Older adults or those who have weak immune systems may also have fewer symptoms and a lower temperature.
  • A change in mental status, such as confusion, can develop in older adults with pneumonia.

Complications of Pneumonia:

  • There are a number of potential complications of pneumonia.
  • The infection that causes pneumonia can spread to the bloodstream, causing sepsis. Sepsis is a serious condition that can result in lowering of blood pressure and failure of oxygen to reach the tissues of the body..
  • Another complication is the accumulation of fluid in the space between the lung tissue and the chest wall lining, known as apleural effusion.
  • The organisms responsible for the pneumonia may infect the fluid in a pleural effusion, known as an empyema.
  • Pneumonia can also result in the formation of anabscess(collection of pus) within the lungs or airways.



A blister is a bubble of fluid under the skin. The clear, watery liquid inside a blister is called serum. It leaks in from neighboring tissues as a reaction to injured skin. If the blister remains unopened, serum can provide natural protection for the skin beneath it. Small blisters are called vesicles. Those larger than half an inch are called bullae. A blood blister is filled with blood, rather than serum.

Causes of blisters

Blisters are most often caused by skin being damaged by friction or heat. Certain medical conditions also cause blisters to appear.

The damaged upper layer of skin (epidermis) tears away from the layers beneath and fluid (serum) collects in the space to create a blister.


Friction blisters are common in people who are very active, such as sports players and those in the military. They’re usually caused by poor-fitting shoes. A blister can develop if the skin is rubbed for a long period or if there’s intense rubbing over shorter periods.

Friction blisters often occur on the feet and hands, which can rub against shoes and handheld equipment, such as tools or sports equipment. Blisters also form more easily on moist skin and are more likely to occur in warm conditions.

Skin Reaction

Blisters can appear when skin is exposed to excessive heat – for example, when you have sunburn. Blisters can sometimes form when your skin comes into contact with substances such as cosmetics, detergents and solvents.

Medical Conditions

A number of medical conditions may cause blisters. The most common are:

  • Chickenpox:A childhood illness that causes itchy red spots.
  • Cold Sores:Small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth, caused by a virus.
  • Herpes:A sexually transmitted infection (STI)that most commonly affects the groin.
  • Impetigo:A contagious bacterial skin infection.
  • Pompholyx:A type of eczema.
  • Scabies:A skin condition, caused by tiny mites, which may lead to blisters developing on young children’s feet or palms of their hands.
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease:A viral infection that usually affects young children.

Several Rarer Conditions Can also Cause Blisters.

They are

Bullous pemphigoid: A skin disease that causes large blisters and usually affects people over 60 years of age.

  • Pemphigus VulgarisA serious skin condition where blisters develop if pressure is applied to the skin; the blisters burst easily, leaving raw areas that can become infected.
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis: A skin condition that causes intensely itchy blisters, usually on the elbows, knees, back and buttocks; blisters usually develop in patches of the same shape and size on both sides of the body.
  • EpidermolysisBullosaA group of rare inherited skin disorders that cause the skin to become very fragile; any trauma or friction to the skin can cause painful blisters.
  • Chronic Bullous Dermatosis of Childhood: A condition that causes clusters of blisters to develop on the face, mouth or genitals.
  • Bullous IchthyosiformErythroderma: A type of icthyosis someone is born with, which causes inflamed, scaly skin with blisters.


In general, blisters are round or oval bubbles of fluid under the skin that may be painful or itchy, or they may not cause any symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on the cause.

  • Irritation, burns and allergies:Blisters caused by friction or burns are usually painful. Blisters resulting from eczema can be accompanied by redness, severe itching and small bumps on the affected skin.
  • Infections:When blisters are caused by an infection, the symptoms depend on the type of infection. Examples include:
  • Bullous impetigo:The affected skin can redden, and the blisters may burst easily.
  • Herpes simplex virus:When herpes simplex type 1 is the cause, the tiny blisters commonly are known as fever blisters or cold sores. They typically appear on the lips. The affected skin may itch, tingle, swell and become red before the blisters appear. When the blisters eventually break, they leak fluid, and then painful sores develop. Herpes simplex type 2 is the most common cause of genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection (although type 1 also can cause genital herpes). Generally, small red bumps appear before blisters develop in the affected area, typically the vaginal area or penis, the buttocks and thighs, or the anus. Other symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, headache and burning with urination.
  • Varicella zoster virus: When this virus causes chickenpox, the infection starts with a diffuse, itchy rash that develops quickly into itchy blisters. Varicella zoster also can cause shingles (herpes zoster). People with shingles may experience small, painful blisters that usually erupt in a linear pattern along the length of an infected nerve.
  • Coxsackievirus: Coxsackievirus A16 can cause a condition commonly called hand-foot-and-mouth disease, in which painful blisters often occur on the hands, on the soles of the feet and in the mouth.
  • Skin diseases: Erythema multiforme typically causes blisters on the palms of the hands, the forearms, the soles of the feet, and on the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and genitals. Other symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough and muscle pain. The autoimmune diseases (also known as bullous diseases because of the large blisters seen) vary in appearance as well. Dermatitis herpetiformis causes itchy, red bumps or blisters. Pemphigoid, an uncommon condition that primarily affects the elderly, results in large, itchy blisters, and pemphigus, an uncommon disease that tends to strike in middle age, causes blisters inside the mouth and on the surface of the skin. The blisters of pemphigus break easily and leave painful areas.

Typhoid Fever Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The Facts on Typhoid:

  • Typhoid, also known as typhoid fever or enteric fever.
  • Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria.
  • Typhoid fever is rare in industrialized countries.
  • However, it remains a serious health threat in the developing world, especially for children.
  • Typhoid is usually curable, but some bacterial strains are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
  • If untreated, about 10% to 16% of people with typhoid will die. This drops to less than 1% when people aretreated promptly.
  • Typhoid fever spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who’s infected.
  • Signs and symptoms usually include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea.
  • Most people with typhoid fever feel better within a few days of starting antibiotic treatment, although a small number of them may die of complications.
  • Vaccines against typhoid fever are available, but they’re only partially effective.
  • Vaccines usually are reserved for those who may be exposed to the disease or are traveling to areas where typhoid fever is common.

Causes of Typhoid:

  • Typhoid is usually transmitted by water or food, in much the same way as cholera.People who are infected excrete live bacteria in their feces and urine. They are usually contagious for a few days before any symptoms develop, so they don’t know they need to take extra precautions. If they don’t wash their hands properly, the typhoid bacillus can be transferred to food or water and from there to another person. Also, it can be spread directly from person to person via contaminated fingers.
  • About 3% of infected people (treated or not) become asymptomatic carriers ofSalmonella typhi. This means that they continue to shed bacteria in their feces for at least a year and often for life but don’t have any symptoms of typhoid. There are a small number of typhoid carriers in every country.
  • Typhoid fever is caused by virulent bacteria called Salmonella typhi (S. typhi). Although they’re related, S. typhi and the bacteria responsible for salmonellosis, another serious intestinal infection, aren’t the same.


Symptoms usually appear 1 or 2 weeks after infection but may take as long as 3 weeks to appear. Early symptoms include fever, general ill-feeling and abdominal pain. High fever (103°F, or 39.5°C) or higher and severe diarrhea occurs as the disease gets worse.

Some people with typhoid fever develop a rash called “rose spots,” which are small red spots on the abdomen and chest.

Other symptoms that occur include:

  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Agitation
  • Bloody stools
  • Chills
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty paying attention (attention deficit)
  • Delirium
  • Fluctuating mood
  • Hallucinations
  • Nosebleeds
  • Severe fatigue
  • Slow, sluggish,lethargicfeeling
  • Weakness
  • With antibiotic treatment, symptoms start to subside after 5 to 7 days,but without treatment they continue to get worse for several weeks, and more than 10% of untreated people may die.
  • A small number of people who recover from typhoid may have a relapse of their symptoms just a few weeks later. The second bout tends to be less severe than the first, and clears up quickly with further treatment.
  • Many people suffer from mild intestinal bleeding, but it is severe in only a small minority of cases. The main way typhoid kills is by causing perforation of the small intestines, causing bacteria to pour into the abdominal cavity. This condition is calledperitonitis, and is often fatal.
  • Other complications of typhoid occur when a large number of bacteria get into the bloodstream, causingbacteremia. They can travel to the lungs, causing pneumonia, or to the lining of the brain (meningitis), the bones (osteomyelitis), the heart valves (endocarditis), the kidneys (glomerulonephritis), the genital or urinary tract, or the muscles. Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) can also occur.

Diagnosing Typhoid:

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. If your doctor suspects typhoid fever, it is diagnosed by culturing a blood or stool sample and, in rare instances, bone marrow. A blood test that checks for antibodies can be used to make a diagnosis. However, this test is not very accurate. Your doctor may do other tests to rule out other conditions that cause symptoms similar to typhoid.

Exams and test:

complete blood count (CBC) will show a high number of white blood cells.

blood culture during the first week of the fever can show S. typhibacteria.

Other tests that can help diagnose this condition include:

  • ELISA urine test to look for the bacteria that cause Typhoid fever
  • Fluorescent antibody study to look for substances that are specific to Typhoid bacteria
  • Platelet count(platelet count may be low)
  • Stool culture 


Typhoid is treated with antibiotics (e.g., ceftriaxone, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin),* which usually clear up symptoms in less than a week. People with severe typhoid also may be treated with glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone.

Very few people die of typhoid if they are properly treated. However, they are likely to be infectious for at least a week after symptoms pass. Some people remain infectious, excreting the organisms in the stool, for 3 months or more. The long-term carrier state is unlikely to occur except for those with gallbladder disease.

Careful hand-washing after bowel movements and prior to food handling will help prevent the spread of typhoid. Carriers may be treated with antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks.

Typhoid fever can be acquired almost anywhere in the world, but it is very rare in developed countries. You have a higher risk of getting typhoid fever if you travel to developing areas such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America. 


Preventing typhoid is all about avoiding contaminated food and water. The same healthy practices will also help protect you from diseases such as cholera and hepatitis A, which are transmitted in the same way. Follow these guidelines to minimize your risk:

  • Boil or disinfect all water before drinking it – use disinfectant tablets or liquid available in pharmacies or drink commercially bottled (preferably carbonated) beverages.
  • Peel all fruit and vegetable skins before eating.
  • Keep flies away from food.
  • Watch out for ice cubes, ice cream, and unpasteurized milk, which can easily be contaminated.
  • Cook all food thoroughly and eat it while it’s hot.
  • Be aware of the “danger foods” – shellfish, salads, and raw fruit and vegetables.
  • Do not eat food or drink beverages from street vendors.
  • At present, vaccinations against typhoid provide about 50% protection for 3 to 7 years– the duration of protection depends on the vaccine used. The vaccine is available as an oral capsule and as an injection. Your doctor will determine what form is best for you or your children. Even vaccinated people must follow the food safety tips listed above. It is best to be immunized at least 7 to 14 days before possible exposure (depending on the vaccine used).


The Water Hydration Technique

  1. The kidney keeps the fluid level balanced. This is the most important function of kidney.
  2. The kidneys need to balance out a large amount of water into the blood stream at once when you dump a large amount of water into the blood stream.
  3. By drinking slowly, a mouthful at a time, you reduce the pressure on the kidneys and increase hydration.

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Managed care is a big part of health care today. The main question is whether it is the best way to control health care costs. Becausesometimes managed health care can be advantageous or other times it may be disadvantages. We will look at both the advantages and disadvantages of managed health care.


Most people who have managed care health insurance don’t even understand the concept or why they might be better or worse than ordinary insurance plans.

In managed health care insurance, mainly companies attempt to control the cost of health care for employers by introducing specific guidelines or protocols health care professionals must follow and improve the ways both employees and employers select their medical providers and facilities.

The assumption is the plan will allow a financial accounting that shows the results of various medical treatments in both patient responses and quality of life issues. 


Currently there are three different types of managed health care plans are available.

They are as follows:

  • Heal Maintenance Organizations (HMO)
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)
  • And Point of Service plans (POS)

Each is a little different from the other. The main features of these plans are to provide the same basic service i.e. managed health care.


  • Lower Cost
  • The first and main advantage of managed healthcareis the lower costs associated with them.
  • The aim of managedhealth care is to keep healthcare costs down without sacrificing quality.
  • This is a great benefit of these types of health care plans.
  • This is accomplished through the contracts that are set up with doctors and hospitals.

Accredited Care

  • Another advantage seen by many in managedcareis the network of health care providers that are readily available to them.
  • All the doctors and health care providers that are contracted through managed health care plans have to pass a very in depth accreditation process in order to be approved for their network of care providers.
  • This is important to members in that it gives them peace of mind to know that they are in good hands

Cheaper Prescriptions

  • Along with the initial visits, medications are also covered underneath these plans.
  • For many, this is the main reason for appeal to these managed care plans.
  • This greatly reduces the cost of already expensive medications.
  • Some people need medications in order to live a healthy life, and many of these medications are ridiculously high priced.


  • Restricted Care
  • Since you can only visit doctors that are in your managed health care provider’s network.
  • So your options get limited, as to who you can see.
  • Many doctors are instantly out of your reach with these plans.
  • Strict Approval
  • Insurance companies are businesses, meaning their primary goal is to make a profit.
  • Because of this, the things that they are willing to fully cover, or cover at all, are very strict.
  • Pre-approval is required before starting treatment.
  • You must tell an insurance company representative about your problem to be approved, no matter how embarrassed you are to talk about it.
  • You may have to wait weeks for an appointment.
  • You must receive authorization for all treatment.
  • Many people with preexisting health conditions and problems are out of luck. 

Referral Problems

  • It is not uncommon for a doctor to refer you a specialist when a problem is out of his scope of practice.
  • They do not concern themselves with finding out if that doctor is in your care network, meaning you cannot go to see them, and if you do the cost will come fully out of pocket.
  • While many people criticize the quality of care and the ethical practice of managed care providers, the fact remains, they provide a great service to many people.
  • Without health insurance even the most minor of illnesses can cause an incredible amount of financial stress.



Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) made by your body and found in some foods.
Every cell in your body contains cholesterol.
Too much cholesterol in the bloodcan be serious.
A certain type of increase cholesterol level in your blood can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Continue reading