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Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis is a urinary tract infection that is ascending reaching the pelvis of the kidney. Urosepsis is the term if the condition becomes severe meaning it has spread throughout the different systems of the body because of infection. It may cause septic shock with symptoms of low blood pressure, increased heart rate and rapid breathing. Antibiotics are required for therapy and any cause involved preventing recurrence. It can also be called as nephritis or pyelitis.

Symptoms include, dysuria or pain in urination, abdominal pain radiating at the back and bladder tenderness at the side of the involved kidney. Fever, shivering especially with increasing temperature, vomiting and headache are some symptoms of systemic cases. Delirium may be present.

Pyelonephritis occurs in twelve to thirteen women per 10,000 population and three to four per 10,000 population in men. Young women are mostly affected especially the ones engaging in sexual activity. Elderly and infants have increase risk due to hormonal and anatomical changes.

Diagnosis

PyelonephritisDoing a dipstick test with presence of white blood cells and nitrate in the urine with usual symptoms is acceptable to confirm presence of pyelonephritis. It is an indication that practical treatment should be done. If the source of infection is doubtful, formal tests like urine cultures should be done.

A suspected kidney stone with colicky pain and bloody urine features brings the patient to the X-ray room for x-ray of the kidney, ureter and bladder to confirm diagnosis.

Causes

Pyelonephritis that is community-acquired is due to organisms in the bowel entering the urinary tract. E. coli comprises 70% to 80% of infection. Enterococcus faecalis is another causative agent. Hospital-acquired infections are due to enterococci and coliforms. Most pyelonephritis starts in the lower urinary tract with prostatitis and cystitis.

· Mechanical cause

Structural abnormalities involving the kidney and urinary tract, calculi or kidney stones, vesicoureteral reflux in young children, drainage procedure like nephrostomy, neurogenic bladder, pregnancy and prostate disease can be the causes of pyelonephritis.

· Consitutional cause: immunocompromised and diabetes mellitus patients

· Behavioural cause: sex partner change and use of spermicides

· Family members with frequent UTIs

Treatment

Antibiotics are the main treatment of pyelonephritis because it is mainly caused by bacteria. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed in mild cases but intravenous antibiotic therapy should be initiated as an initial stage of treatment.

Antibiotics may include beta lactams such as cephalosporin and amoxicillin; flouroquinolones like ciprofloxacin; and trimethoprim in combination with sulfamethoxazole. Antibiotics with increased toxicity like aminoglycosides are avoided.

Intravenous fluids are administered to reduce oral intake and to compensate for insensible water loss because of increased temperature and vasodilation and to increase output of urine. Percutaneous nephrostomy is indicated for septic patients.

In patients having recurrence, surgery is indicated to treat abnormalities. But if no abnormality is identified, the doctor suggests consuming antibiotics as treatment for long term use. Drinking of cranberry juice is also a helpful measure.

Also, drinking of blueberry juice, increase oral fluid intake and milk products that are fermented containing probiotic bacteria has shown to inhibit bacteria adherence to the urinary tract’s epithelial cells.

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Pseudomonas Infection

Pseudomonas is a gram negative bacterium that grows on yellow-green agar colonies. It is occasionally found in anogenital and axilla areas of normal skin and rarely in the stools. The organisms commonly contaminate lesions populated with harmful organisms and causes infection to tissues exposed to external environment.

Pseudomonas infections develop in different anatomic locations including subcutaneous tissue, skin, ears, eyes, bone, urinary tract and heart valves. The site infected depends on the mode of entry.

Pseudomonas is also the common cause of UTI in patients who have obstructive uropathy and urologic manipulation. Also, patients who have respiratory infection connected to endotracheal tubes, tracheostomy and IPPB treatment where in Pseudomonas have joined other rods that are gram-negative colonizing in the oropharynx.

Pseudomonas is an opportunistic pathogen causing nosocomial infections. Aside from being a life-threatening disease, it is often resistant to most antibiotics over time and developed new resistance after exposing to antimicrobial agents. Some species of pseudomonas that were identified as causative agents are now examined to be use as a biological warfare agent.

Classification

Pseudomonas InfectionThe genus Pseudomonas is classified into five groups basing on ribosomal RNA and DNA hormology. There are more than 20 species of Pseudomonas found but among them, these four are most common:

· Pseudomonas aeruginosa (hormology group 1)

· Pseudomonas cepecia (group 2)

· Pseudomonas pseudomallei (group 2)

· Pseudomonas mallei (group 2)

Causes

Pseudomonas infection is the most serious complication that can happen in debilitated patients with inability to fight organisms due to other diseases and therapy.

It often occurs in the hospital in moist areas such as antiseptic solutions, sinks, and urine receptacles. The cross infection is transmitted from patient to patient through the hands of medical personnel usually in burn, urinary tract infection and neonatal intensive care units.

Symptoms

Symptoms include chills fever and purulent matter production on infected wounds.

Diagnosis

Pseudomonas infection is diagnosed through culturing the site of infection.

Treatment

If the infection is external and localized, irrigations of 1% acetic acid or topic agents like colistin or polymyxin B are effective treatments. In cases with abscess, it should be drained and necrotic tissue should be debrided.

Parenteral therapy is also done by divided doses of 5mg/kg/day of aminoglycoside antibiotic such as gentamicin and tobramycin inhibiting further Pseudomanas infection.

Other antibiotics include several penicillins such as ticarcillin, carbenicillin, mezlocillin, piperacillin, and azlocillin are also effective against Pseudomonas.

The choice of antibiotic to be used should be based on the pseudomonas sensitivity through culture.

Mortality and Morbidity

Pseudomonas infection in sepsis, bacteremic pneumonia, burn wound infections, meningitis and others are associated with high mortality rate.

Bacterial keratitis causes monocular blindness where in pseudomonas is also the cause.

Melioidosis bloodstream infection and untreated glanders causes death to infected people within 7 to 10 days. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has an estimated mortality rate of 50% higher than other gram-negative infections. Bacteremic type of pseudomonal pneumonia is associated with mortality which occurs in 3 to 4 days after the first symptoms of pulmonary infection or extrapulmonary infection. Pseudomas aeruginosa in ventilator-associated pneumonia has higher mortality rate of 68% than VAP caused by other organisms.

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Ringworm Infection (Dermatophytosis)

Ringworm or dermatophytosis is a condition caused by a skin fungal infection found in humans, pets, domesticated animals like cattle and sheep. “Ringworm” is a term which is like a nickname because the condition is caused by several species of fungi and not parasitic worms. The fungi causing ringworm feeds on keratin, a material found in skin, hair and nails. These fungi grow in moist and warm skin but they can also penetrate on the shafts outside of hair and in the inner parts.

Up to 20% of the population can be infected of dermatophytosis or ringworm. It is common to people active in sports, wrestling and any activities involving a lot of sweat.

Sometimes misdiagnosis of ringworm is treated with topical steroid which is a standard treatment for pityriasis rosea that may result to Tinea incognito. It is a condition where in the fungus grows without features that are typical like a raised border.

Classification

Ringworm InfectionVarious types of fungi are involved. The common causative agents are Microsporum and Trichophyton dermatophytes. They attack different parts of the body leading to the following conditions:

· Dermatophytes

· Athelet’s foot or tinea pedis

· Toenails and fingernails (Tinea unguium)

· Legs, arms and trunk (Tinea corporis)

· Groin area or jock itch (Tinea cruris)

· Hands and palm (Tinea manuum)

· Scalp (Tinea capitis)

· Facial hair (Tinea barbae)

· Face or face fungus (Tinea faciei)

Signs and Symptoms

Body infections give rise to enlarging red raised ringworm rings, skin infection of the feet (athlete’s foot) and in groin (jock itch). Onychomycosis means nail involvement that may discolor, thicken, crumble and fall out. Ringworms are common in adult people. Up to 20% of population have these infections in their lives.

Dermatophytes are common during summer and alleviates during winter. Cats and dogs may also be infected and transmission from animals to human is possible.

Causes and Prevention

Fungi thrive in warm and moist areas like in locker rooms, swimming pools, tanning beds and in skin folds.

Prevention includes:

· Avoiding sharing of sports equipment, clothing, towel, shower and sheets.

· Washing the clothes in hot water using a fungicidal soap if exposure to ringworm is suspected.

· Wearing protective shoes especially in locker rooms and sandals or slippers at beach. Avoid walking barefoot.

· After exposure to suspected area for contamination risk, wash with antifungal and antibacterial soap containing tea tree oil.

· Avoid touching pets if they have bald spots because they are often fungus carriers.

Treatment

Topical agents like terbinafine, miconazole, clotrimazole, tolnaftate, and ketoconazole are antifungal treatments which should be applied twice a day until the symptoms resolve, usually 1 to 2 weeks. The topical treatments must be continued for 7 days more after symptoms has resolve to prevent fungal infection recurrence. The treatment’s total duration may be 2 weeks or it can be three weeks.

In severe cases like ringworms in the scalp, oral medications for systemic treatment are given.

Lesions are not to be touched to prevent transmission. Regular hand washing and maintaining good hygiene is essential.

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Skin Disorders

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, acquired from a tick bite. Ticks live in wooded areas and survive by attaching to a host.

Signs and Symptoms

· First stage

Skin DisordersSymptoms can occur several days to months following the bite. A small red pimple develops that spreads into a ring-shaped rash. Rash may be large or small or may not occur at all. Flulike symptoms occur such as headaches, stiff neck, muscle pains and fatigue.

· Second stage

This stage occurs several weeks following the bite. Joint pain, neurological and cardiac complications occur.

· Third Stage

The large joints become involved and arthritis progresses.

Medical Interventions

· The tick is removed with tweezers and washes the skin with antiseptic and the tick is disposed by flushing it down the toilet.

· A blood test is obtained after 4 to 6 weeks of bite to detect the presence of the disease. Testing in this time is not reliable.

· The antibiotics are only administered if the disease is confirmed.

· The patient is instructed to avoid areas that contain ticks such as wooded grassy areas, especially in the summer months and to wear long-sleeved tops, long pants, closed shoes and hats while outside.

· The patient is also instructed to spray the body with tick repellent before going outside and examine body when returning inside.

Scabies

Scabies is a parasitic skin infection caused by an infestation of the Sarcoptes scabei or itch mite. Scabies is endemic among school children and institutionalized populations because of close personal contact.

The risk factors are personal contact with infected person or contact with a contaminated article. Usually, there is a one month delay of symptoms between the initial infestation and onset of pruritus in the host.

Signs and Symptoms

· Erythematous papules and pustules

· Threadlike, brownish, linear burrows up to 1cm long

· Secondary lesions consist of vesicles, crusts, reddish-brown nodules and excoriations

· Intense pruritus of itchiness that worsens at night

Treatment

· Topical steroids or antihistamines are administered to relieve itching.

· Topical antiscabies creams or lotions such as lindane, crotamiton or permethrin 15% are prescribed.

· Lindane should not be used in children younger than 2 years of age because of the risk of seizures and neurotoxicity.

· The antiscabies preparation is thinly applied to the entire skin from the neck down and leave on for 12 to 24 hours as prescribed. The face and scalp are not usually affected. The medication is removed by washing it with soap and water.

· The patient is instructed to wash all bedding and clothing in hot water and dried on the hot dryer cycle or dry cleaner.

Herpes Zoster (shingles)

Shingles is an acute viral infection of the dorsal nerve root ganglion caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It can be a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus or exposure to varicella-zoster or can occur during any immunocompromised state.

Diagnosis is determined by visual examination, skin cultures and skin stains that identify the organism and by an antinuclear antibody blood test that will produce a positive result. Herpes zoster is contagious to individuals who have not had chickenpox.

Signs and Symptoms

· Clustered skin vesicles along the trunk, thorax or face

· Fever

· Neuralgia and burning

· Pruritus

· Paresthesia

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Prostate Infection

The prostate gland functions by secreting fluids helping the sperm to be transported. The gland is part of the reproductive system of men which surrounds the urethra located just below the bladder. When the prostate is infected, it causes swelling. It generally occurs in men, 30-50 years of age but it can also occur in the elderly.

Classification

· Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

· Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

· Prostatodynia or pain in the prostate

· Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

· Prostate Cancer

Causes

Prostate Infection5% of prostate infection is caused by bacteria. The cause of 95% is not known. Other causes include:

· Genital viruses, fungi, parasites and E. coli

· Streptococcal and staphylococcal organisms are rarely found as a causative agent

· The bacteria from previous urethral infection may have moved through the ducts of the prostate into the prostate gland.

· The infected urine moved to the glandular prostate tissue and infects it via prostatic and ejaculatory ducts.

Symptoms

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis Symptoms

· Urgency to urinate

· Increased urinary frequency

· Pain and burning while urinating

· Difficult to produce a normal stream

· pain in the genital area

· pain upon ejaculation

· chills and high fever

· generalized fatigue and malaise

· examination shows an enlarged, warm, tender and irregular prostate

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis Symptoms

This is usually caused by recurred UTI. The same strain of bacteria is the cause or the infected urine flowed to the prostate area causing it to recur. Symptoms are quite the same with the acute one but less intense.

· Increased urinary frequency with difficulty and pain while urinating

· Pain in the testes, penis and lower back

· Sexual dysfunction

· Joint pains, low-grade fever and muscle aches

· Examination shows tender epididymis or testes and urethral discharge

Diagnostic Tests

A tender and enlarged prostate gland makes the diagnosis and treatment to start. The doctor orders for urinalysis and urine culture to determine the type of bacteria involved. An ultrasound is also done to confirm the diagnosis or to rule out abscess.

For chronic bacterial prostatitis, Meares-Stamey 3-glass test is performed where in three sets of urine samples are obtained from the patient. If the bacteria is still not detected in this test, PPMT or premassage and postmassage test is performed. Urine samples are obtained for premassage and after postmassage and are sent to laboratory for microscopic exam. A person is diagnosed of having chronic bacterial prostatitis if both bacteria are present in the blood and in the urine.

Treatment

You may be given antibiotics such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and fluoroquinolones for 4 to 6 weeks. If you have fever, you are advised to admit yourself in the hospital and you will be given different medications such as cephalosporins like ampicillin and aminoglycosides like gentamycin and amikacin. The doctor may order to put a catheter if severe obstruction is found. Some men have relapse after taking full dose of antibiotics. These patients need to take a longer course of antibiotics to prevent it from recurring.

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Recurrent Yeast Infection

In average of healthy woman with non-recurring yeast infection, the irritation is usually cleared within a week with the use of over the counter homeopathic remedies.

Chronic and recurrent yeast infection is not only disturbing and annoying but it can also put a person in having other illnesses like urinary tract infection and diabetes. It is a common problem in diabetics and to those who consume high sugar content. A person is said to have recurring yeast infection if you have experience four yeast infections in a year.

Causes

Recurrent Yeast Infection· Birth control pills are said to be the cause of yeast infection in women. Some women reported that the infection disappeared or gotten better after discontinuing the pill.

· Food can be a cause of yeast infection such as sugary foods and sugar treats especially if your blood sugar is not controlled.

· Trapped moisture around the vagina.

· People who have weak immune system as in HIV or AIDS patients have increased risk in developing yeast infection.

A simple tingle, touch or pain in the pubic region or genital area is the earliest sign that the infection has returned.

Treatment

Infected persons are usually placed on prescription drugs but medical professionals are hesitant to this kind of medication course because the yeast might be resistant to the drug over time. It is suggested to treat recurring yeast infection with prescription drugs alternated with over the counter drugs.

Diflucan is the common prescribed drug for recurring infection in different strengths depending on the need.

A recurring yeast infection may develop to the involvement of Candida if the situation doesn’t change. Even if the yeast infection is treated but the area is not kept dry and clean, the infection is likely to recur.

Proper diagnosis is important in treating yeast infection to determine the kind of treatment right for you. You should not engage in sex while being treated in yeast infection.

Prevention

Yeast like damp and warm places. The first prevention of having yeast infection is to expose the vulva to air every day.

· Wear the proper underwear. Cotton is the best material for underwear.

· At night, allow air exposure. Do not wear pajama bottoms or underpants. Wear a night gown instead.

· Take a bath. Yeast thrives in moist places. Taking a bath regularly keeps your skin dry preventing yeast infection.

Yeast love acidic pH seen in the hormone estrogen of the females. The high levels of contraceptive pills and hormones in pregnancy increases the risk of those women in these situations. Using of non-hormonal contraceptives may be helpful in eliminating recurrent yeast infection.

Take care of your skin. Yeast tends to infect broken, irritated skin. So taking care of your skin prevents the invasion of yeast. Avoid irritating products which may have direct contact with your vagina. Examples are dryer sheets or fabric softeners.

Yeast infection is not sexually transmitted. Even if you are having sexual contact with someone who is infected with yeast, there is no chance that yeast can be transmitted to you.

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Penis Yeast Infection

A penis yeast infection is caused by yeast-like fungi called Candida which occur in the penis. Candida causes most yeast infection which belongs to the Candida albicans family. They are part of the mouth, intestinal tract and skin’s normal environment.

Other causes:

· Weak immune system. Examples are thyroid gland that is underactive, HIV, chronic stress and lyme disease.

· Transmission through sexual activity from a female with vaginal yeast infection.

· Antibiotics. There are antibiotics which kills beneficial bacteria found on the penis and crotch.

· Diabetes. A person with diabetes is likely to develop yeast infection because the sugar in the urine makes it a good environment for the growth of yeast.

Symptoms

Penis Yeast InfectionThere are instances that symptoms do not appear. If your partner tells you that he/she has a yeast infection, go to the doctor immediately.

Present symptoms:

· Irritation and soreness of the head of penis

· Itching that is severe on the head of the penis

· Clumpy, white discharge

· Redness on the head of penis

· Small blisters on the head of penis

Prevention

The best way to prevent penis yeast infection is to practice safe sex.

Treatment

A lot of men go to the doctor for treatment and doctors usually prescribe a pill or cream form of Diflucan. Woman use Monistat 7 which can be bought as an over the counter drug. But Diflucan doesn’t work for all men. Sometimes, the infection gets better in a while then recurs over time. If that happens then probably the yeast has become resistant to the drug. Here are some natural methods on treating and stopping yeast infection from recurring.

· Gentian Violet

Gentian violet has been used as an antifungal drug for the past years before the azole drugs was invented. It is non-toxic and natural and works very well in the skin though it stains your clothes if you are not careful on applying it.

· Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is medically proven as an effective anti-fungal drug. It works by destroying the plasma and nucleus of the yeast cell and kills it. It is also used as a lubricant for sex. Consume one or two table spoons each day orally.

· Silver Fuzion

This product has been found to treat penis yeast infection very quickly.

· Yeast Probiotics

It is use by pouring the contents of the capsule directly into the site with yeast infection. The active bacteria will kill the yeast. This is the same as curing yeast infection with natural and unsweetened yogurt without having to deal with mess.

· Organic Mediterranean Oregano Oil

Use it by diluting it in coconut or olive oil to avoid burning of your skin. It is very effective in penile yeast infection as well as yeast infection in scalp.

· Cinnamon Oil

It was found to be very effective in oral thrush if applied directly on the affected site. It is also effective in penis yeast infection. You also need to dilute it like what is done in oregano oil.

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MRSA Infection

MRSA or Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection is caused by a staphylococcus bacteria strain that has become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat staphylococcus infection. MRSA infections are common to people who are working or have been in hospitals and health care institutions like dialysis centers and nursing homes. This is called as health care associated MRSA or HA-MRSA. Another type is community associated MRSA or CA-MRSA which occurs in the people in the community. It begins as a boil that is painful. It is usually spread by skin to skin contact.

Symptoms

MRSA InfectionStaphylococcus skin infections and MRSA starts as a small red bumps that look like pimples, spider bites or boils, and turns into deep painful abscess requiring draining and surgery. The bacteria sometimes remains in the skin but the bacteria may also burrow deep down the body causing bone, joints, heart valves, lungs and bloodstream infections which are life-threatening.

Causes

The cause of MRSA infection is Staphylococcus aureus, known as staph, has a lot of variety. Staph bacteria are usually found in the skin and nose in about one-third of population. The bacteria is harmless unless they enter through a cut or wound. They are usually only minor skin problems in healthy people.

MRSA resulted because of unnecessary use of antibiotics and even if antibiotics are appropriately used, this can still contribute to the rise in drug-resistant bacteria. Bacteria evolve fast so if bacteria survive in one antibiotic, it learns to resist others.

Diagnosis

MRSA is diagnosed by doctors through checking a sample of tissue or nasal secretions for drug-resistant bacteria signs. The specimen is placed in a dish with a lot of nutrients which encourages bacterial growth. But bacteria cultures takes 48 hours before it can grow so a new test was invented where in it detects the DNA in just a few hours. Such tests are now widely used.

Treatment

Both health care and community types of MRSA are still able to respond in certain antibiotics. Antibiotics are sometimes unnecessary. For example, a doctor treats the abscess by draining it instead of treating it with drugs.

Prevention

People who are infected with HA-MRSA in the hospital are placed in isolation to prevent MRSA spread. Those health workers and visitors attending to the patient must wear protective garments and follow strict hand washing guidelines to prevent MRSA contamination and spread. Contaminated laundry and surfaces should be disinfected properly.

To prevent community-associate MRSA, one should practice careful hand washing to prevent contamination and spread. An individual should know how to scrub the hands thoroughly for 15 seconds. Or you may carry a hand sanitizer anywhere you go to regularly disinfect your hands preventing contamination.

Keep your wounds covered. You should keep abrasions and cuts clean and cover it with sterile bandages until healed. The pus in the wound may contain MRSA so you should cover it to prevent spread of MRSA.

Avoid sharing of personal items like towels, razors, sheets, athletic equipment and clothing. MRSA spreads through direct contact as well as with contaminated objects.

Always practice good hygiene. In athletes, shower every after practice or in games using soap and water. Do not share your towel with others.

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Meningitis

Meningitis is the inflammation of the spinal cord and brain’s protective covering, called as the meninges. The causes of infection are bacteria, viruses and microorganisms and also rarely by certain drugs. Meningitis is considered as a medical emergency because of the brain and spinal cord involvement.

Symptoms

The common symptoms include stiff neck and headache associated with confusion, fever, vomiting, photobia or light intolerance or phonophobia or loud noises. Symptoms such as irritability and drowsiness are some of the nonspecific symptoms of meningitis usually present in children. A rash may signify a certain cause of meningitis, like meningitis with meningococcal bacteria as a causative agent.

Diagnosis

MeningitisTo diagnose meningitis, a lumbar puncture is done. Lumbar puncture is initiated through insertion of a needle in the spinal canal to get a cerebrospinal fluid sample (CSF), a fluid that coats the spinal cord and brain. The CSF is then brought to the laboratory to be examined. Antibiotics and sometimes antiviral drugs are the treatment for meningitis. Corticosteroids are also used for some situations to prevent complications from inflammation. Meningitis may lead to long-term conditions such as epilepsy, deafness, cognitive deficits, and hydrocephalus if not treated immediately.

Haemophilus influenza type B, meningococci, mumps virus and pneumococci which are associated with meningitis can be prevented through immunizations.

Causes

· Bacterial

The bacteria that cause meningitis vary depending on the age group. In newborns and premature babies, the common bacterial causative agents are group B streptococci which normally live in the vagina and E. coli that lives in the digestive tract. Newborns are also infected by Listeria monocytogenes. Older children are infected with Neisseria meningitidis, streptococcus pneumonia and children under 5 years by Haemophilus influenza type B.

In adults, streptococcus pneumonia and Neisseria meningitidis causes the 80% of all bacterial meningitis including Listeria monocytogenes in 50 years old people.

The incidence of pneumococcal meningitis in newborns and adults declined since the pneumococcal vaccine was introduced.

· Aseptic

Aseptic meningitis means that the causative agent involved is not bacteria. The cause is usually a virus or with the participation of bacteria that has been treated and disappeared before and disappears from the meninges. An example is endocarditis, an infection of the valves of the heart with small particles of bacteria in the blood stream causes aseptic infection.

· Virus

Viruses causing meningitis are herpes simplex type 2, enteroviruses, varicella zoster virus, HIV, and mumps virus.

· Parasitic

If eosinophils are found in the CSF, it is assumed as parasitic cause. Gnathostoma spinigerum and Angiostrongylus cantonensis are the common viruses causing meningitis.

Treatment

The initial treatment for meningitis is wide-spectrum antibiotics. If the patient is hypotensive, intravenous fluids should be given. If necessary, transfer to intensive care unit for thorough observation and quick response by health care providers is a must. If the consciousness level is low, mechanical ventilation should be connected to support the breathing.

After culture is done and the kind of bacteria is known, the antibiotic most sensitive to the particular bacteria will be administered to the patient. Cefalosporins are found to be increasingly resistant to streptococcus strains. Vancomycin is usually added to treat meningitis. Steroids like corticosteroids such as dexamethasone are also used for treating meningitis.

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Lung Infection

A lung infection is also known as bronchial pneumonia, pneumonia or lobar pneumonia. Oxygen is needed by our body in order for the cells to survive. When the air is inhaled, it travels through the mouth or nose into the lungs via the air canal systems called as bronchi. The left and right lungs are located below the ribcage on both sides of the chest cavity. The lungs are spongy organs. In pneumonia, inflammation or infection of the lungs causes the pus or fluid to fill a particular section (Lobar pneumonia) or patches are formed on the lungs (bronchial pneumonia). These two interferes oxygen uptake.

Symptoms

· Bacterial Pneumonia

Lung InfectionSymptoms include fever more than 38.3 degrees Celsius, sudden onset of chills, dry cough, productive cough with rusty sputum with blood stains, sharp chest pain especially during inhalation, rapid shallow breathing, and shortness of breath with activity, nausea and vomiting, headache, diarrhea, weakness, abdominal pain and fatigue.

· Viral Pneumonia

Viral pneumonia starts with symptoms involving the upper respiratory tract such as low grade fever and dry cough, nasal congestion, headache, sore throat with muscle and joint pains, dry cough with or without sputum, chest pain upon inhalation, chills, shortness of breath during activity, nausea and vomiting and diarrhea.

Causes

Pneumonia is a common cause of lung infection. Bacteria such as streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus aureus, Chlamydia, Klebsiella, Moraxella catarrhalis, Legionella, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are all causative agents of lung infection.

Another cause of lung infection is aspiration when the stomach contents goes up to the lungs. Aspiration happens when the normal swallowing mechanism is impaired or because of vomiting and acid reflux.

Pneumocystis carinii is a fungus that causes pneumonia in AIDS patients and decreases the body’s defences.

Tuberculosis with Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the causative agent infects the lungs and other organs such as kidney, brain and spine.

Parasites like ascaris or round worms may invade the lungs especially if they have multiplied successfully in the body.

Diagnosis

Different tests are done depending on the type of lung infection but clinical history and physical exam are routine measures done by doctors in assessing a patient.

Tests:

· Sputum analysis and culture are sent to the laboratory to identify the bacteria and to determine the type of antibiotic to be used. Sputum culture takes 48 hours and weeks for diagnosing Tuberculosis.

· Viral Cultures

· Blood specimen to be screened for bacteria, oxygen levels, sodium levels, proteins and other studies needed in the blood.

· Bronchoscopy for taking samples in the lung and sent to lab for biopsy.

· Thoracentesis is done to remove the fluid in the lungs for analysis and for therapeutic purposes.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the type of lung infection. General antibiotics such as erythromycin may be given first until culture results are not released. Antiviral medications such as Amantadine, Ribavirin and Ganciclovir are given to patients whose causative agents are identified. Oxygen levels are given in low concentrations. Antibiotics are given intravenously if admitted in the hospital. Respiratory support such as mechanical ventilation is provided if a patient is unable to breath.

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