Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria called, the gonococcus.

Transmission of gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a very common disease that is transmitted during sexual intercourse (whether vaginal or anal) or during oral sex. It is a highly contagious disease, but ejaculation is necessary for its transmission, as it only spread when a healthy person comes in contact with the genital mucosa of an infected person. It occurs in all geographic areas and social classes, but is more prevalent in large urban areas, social classes of low socio-economic status, people with a history of other sexually transmitted diseases, and with people who practice unprotected sex with unknown partners or change partners frequently.

The risk of acquiring gonorrhea is higher for women who have sex with an infected man, than vice versa.

Treatment of gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is easily and effectively treated by penicillin, tetracycline or other antibiotics in adequate doses (most treatments consist of a single dose of the antibiotic in adequate amount). It is important to remember that the treatment has to be applied to all the sexual contacts of the patient.

After applying the treatment, one would need to conduct a few tests, to confirm the cure of the infection.

Prevention of gonorrhea

The risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases is directly related to the number and frequency of changes of sexual partners. Therefore, the first step is to limit changing sexual partners. You must also know your partner’s sexual history to make sure that they do not have any STDs. The risk decreases with stable sex with a single partner.

The use of latex condoms reduces the chances of infection, although it should be taken into account, it will only be effective if used properly, placing it before the onset of sexual intercourse, and holding it until the end of intercourse.

Mono transmission means to be a form of disease which tells that how fast a disease can spread and how we can control it over the strategy. There are many ways of mono transmission.

  • Mononucleosis virus is transmitted from person-to-person contact. Saliva is the primary method of transmitting mono.
  • Infectious mono develops by closely kissing hence it is called “kissing disease” so prevalent form of transmission among teenagers.
  • People who have already been infected with the virus that causes mono — Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) probably won’t get re infected because they develop immunity. Although it is possible for the virus to “reactivate,” it is not because of someone infects all over again. It is because in rare cases the original virus can flare up and cause symptoms a second time.
  • Infected person can also pass the mono by coughing or sneezing, causing small droplets of infected saliva and/or mucus which can be inhaled by others in the air.
  • Mono can also be transmitted from one person to another by sharing food or beverages from the same container or utensil and even things like lip gloss, lipstick, or lip balm since contact with infected saliva may result.
  • Most people have been exposed to the virus as children, and as a result of the exposure, they have developed immunity to the virus. It is of note that most people who are exposed to the EBV don’t ever develop mono. The incubation period for mono, meaning the time from the initial viral infection until the appearance of symptoms, is between four and six weeks. During an infection, a person is likely able to transmit the virus to others for at least a few weeks. Since it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for symptoms to appear an infected person can spread the virus without even knowing it.
  • The people, who have had mono and have recovered, will continue to exude the EBV in their saliva for years due to periodic “reactivations” of the viral infection. Since healthy people without symptoms also secrete the virus during reactivation incidents throughout their lifetime, isolation of people infected with EBV is not necessary. It is currently believed that these healthy people, who nevertheless secrete EBV particles, are the primary reservoir for transmission of EBV among humans.
  • Indications of the mono kissing disease (mono / glandular fever) usually leave within 1 or 2 months. But as a carrier of the EBV (like most of the population) it will take the EBV for the rest of the life (the EBV will remain latent or dormant in the body).

Mono

Mononucleosis or mono is a viral disease that affects certain blood cells. It gets its name “mononucleosis” as it refers to the increase of mononuclear cells (white blood cells). The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) causes mono and it is a member of the herpes virus family. Most cases of mononucleosis occur sporadically.

Transmission of Mono

The virus that causes mononucleosis is spread by

  • Person-to-person contact
  • Through saliva on hands or toys
  • By kissing

Mumps

Mumps is also an infectious disease that causes the salivary glands in the cheeks and under the jaw to swell. The mumps last for about 10 to 12 days. It takes about a week for the swelling to disappear.

However unlike mono, Mumps was a common illness until the mumps vaccine was licensed in 1967. Most children are immunized against mumps at 15 months of age and when they enter kindergarten.

Transmission of Mumps

Mumps is transmitted through inhaling infected droplets such as from a sneeze or cough.

Now let us discuss the symptoms of the two diseases.

Symptoms of Mono

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Nausea
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Headache
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore muscles
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing

Symptoms of Mumps

  • Headache,
  • Fever,
  • Ear ache,
  • Problems swallowing,
  • Pain when chewing,
  • Swelling of the glands in front of the ear and under the lines of the jaw

Complication of Mono

  • Dehydration
  • Blood disorders
  • Neurological and psychological problems
  • Rupture of the spleen

Complications of Mumps

  • Deafness,
  • Meningitis
  • Swelling of the testicles or ovaries (if mumps occurs after puberty) will occur

To conclude both these diseases are caused due to viral infections but are mostly non fatal and rest is the best treatment for them.

Streptococcus Pneumoniae is responsible for causing pneumonia in vast majority of the population. This notorious bacterium not only infects the upper respiratory tract but also spread to the other organs of the body such as blood, lungs, or nervous system.

Pneumonia caused by Streptococcus Pneumoniae is known as Pneumococcal Pneumonia.

Risk Factors of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

There are certain individuals who are at high risk for Pneumococcal Pneumonia.

                    Children younger than 5 years

                    Old and adults above 65 years of age

                    Individuals with associated medical conditions like chronic heart, lung, or liver diseases

                    Individuals with sickle cell anaemia

                    People with HIV/AIDS

                    Individuals with organ transplants

                    Individuals who take immune-compromising medications

Causes of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The Pneumococcal Pneumonia is caused by wide range of infectious agents including viruses, bacteria, and even fungi.

                    Streptococcus pneumoniae

Transmission of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

You should be aware of various ways by which Pneumococcal Pneumonia can be transmitted.

                    By getting in touch with sick people

                    By individuals who carry bacteria in their throat

                    By respiratory droplets from the nose/mouth of infected person

                    From children who carry bacteria in their throats

Symptoms of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The onset of the symptoms of Pneumococcal pneumonia is immediate when the patient experiences severe shaking chill followed by common symptoms of Pneumonia.

                    High fever

                    Pain in the chest

                    Breathe Shortness

                    Cough

                    Rapid breathing

Other symptoms includes Nausea, Muscle aches, Headache, Tiredness and Vomiting.

Diagnosis of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The diagnostic tests for Pneumococcal Pneumonia include the following.

                    Physical exam

                    Laboratory  tests

                    Chest x-ray

                    Blood Test

                    Saliva Test

                    Lung fluid Test

Treatment of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia is done by using antibiotics and patients can get symptomatic improvement within 12 to 36 hours after taking medicine.

                    Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.

                    Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems

                    Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus

                    Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.

                    Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.

Complications of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The complications of Pneumococcal Pneumonia lead to the following severe conditions.

                    Bacteraemia

                    Lung problems

                    Heart problems

Prevention of Pneumococcal Pneumonia

The prevention of Pneumococcal Pneumonia can be done by taking care of following points.

                    Practice a healthy lifestyle

                    Avoid smoking

                    Avoid contact with infected people

                    Maintain good hygiene

                    Avoid contact with people infected with measles or chickenpox

                    Vaccinations

Children are vulnerable to pneumonia infection caused by wide range of infectious agents. Bacteria are the most common infectious agent and one such bacterium that causes pneumonia in children is Chlamydia Pneumoniae.

Role of Chlamydial organisms in Pneumonia

Chlamydial organisms are gram-negative and obligate intracellular organisms. There are basically three species of chlamydial organisms that cause pneumonia in humans.

                    Chlamydophila pneumonia is responsible for causing bronchitis or mild pneumonia in children and young adults. When they infect older adults, they cause more severe form of pneumonia.

                    Chlamydophila psittaci is transmitted by the birds and patient gets ornithosis on exposure to infected birds. The symptoms of the C psittaci infection vary from fulminant toxic syndrome to asymptomatic infection. Patients infected with ornithosis usually have developed pneumonia or pyrexia of unknown origin.

                    Chlamydia trachomatis is known for causing STD (sexually transmitted disease) in human beings including pelvic inflammatory disease, trachoma and cervicitis. However, C trachomatis is also responsible for causing pneumonia in infants, young children, and immunocompromised adults.

How Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infections are transmitted?

The modes of transmission of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infections are similar to the ways, other respiratory diseases are transmitted.

                    Transmitted directly from person to person via coughing or sneezing

                    Transmitted indirectly from germs on hands or other objects

                    School going Children between 5 and 15 years of age are more susceptible to get infection

Symptoms of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection develop gradually over a period of time. An infected patient may experience sore throat in the beginning which later develops into cough.

Common Symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection

                    Prolonged cough that may last for 2 to 6 weeks

                    Bronchitis

                    Pneumonia

                    Sore throat

                    Laryngitis

                    Ear infections

                    Sinusitis

The symptoms usually range from mild symptoms to no symptoms in some infected children. There are chances that symptoms may develop into bronchitis or a mild case of pneumonia.

Diagnosis of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The doctor will ask various questions to the patient to study signs and symptoms of Pneumonia. He/she may suggest various diagnostic tests for detecting the Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection in patients.

Physical Exam

The doctor will use the stethoscope for performing the physical exam of the lungs.

The individuals infected with pneumonia will produce crackling, wheezing and rumbling sounds in the lungs during inhalation. The absence of regular sounds in cheat areas may point to the infection caused by pneumonia.

Laboratory Tests

After the physical examination, the doctor may ask the patient to conduct certain laboratory tests. These are done for confirming the presence of pneumonia infection.

                    Blood tests for detecting presence of antibodies to the bacteria. It takes at least a week before such antibodies show up in the blood.

                    Swab specimens are taken either from nose or throat for evaluation

Treatment of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The treatment of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection takes time and patient may takes weeks for complete recovery.

Treatment therapy for Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection involves the following.

                    Intravenous antibiotics like erythromycin or tetracycline for severe cases.

                    Patients with uncomplicated pneumonia require only 2 or 3 days of intravenous antibiotics. They are shifted to oral therapy afterwards

                    Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.

                    Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems

                    Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus

                    Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.

                    Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.

Prevention of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection in children can be prevented by maintaining cleanliness and infection free environment.

                    Practicing good hygiene

                    Frequent hand washing

                    Avoiding contact with infected people

 

Pneumonia is the inflammation in the lungs that is primarily caused by infections due to micro organisms like bacteria, virus and fungi. Additionally, the pneumonia can be caused by parasites and idiopathic reasons.

The bacteria and viruses are the most common infectious agent followed by fungi and parasites. In some cases, the mixed infections involving both viruses and bacteria may occur.

How infectious agents are transmitted to body?

The infectious agents of Pneumonia such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc; are transmitted to human body through various ways.

                    There is presence of Bacteria and viruses in our nose, sinuses, and mouth and these can get spread to the lungs in certain circumstances.

                    The germs are present in the air and these can get through the immune system present in our respiratory system to reach directly into the lungs during inhalation.

                    The germs can also be transferred through food or fluids from the mouth into the lungs.

Let’s discuss briefly about common infectious agents of Pneumonia.

Bacteria

Bacteria are the most common cause of Pneumonia. They normally affect the adult population.

The different strains of bacteria are associated with various risk factors.

                    Alcoholism: Streptococcus pneumoniae, anaerobic organisms, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

                    Smoking: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Legionella pneumophila

                    Exposure to birds: Chlamydia psittaci

                    Exposure to farm animals: Coxiella burnetti

                    Aspiration of stomach contents: Anaerobes

                    Cystic fibrosis: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus

Viruses

After Bacteria, Viruses account for majority of the cases of Pneumonia especially in adults. As per the estimates, viruses are responsible for one third of Pneumonia cases.

Common Viruses that cause Pneumonia are as follows:

                    Rhinoviruses, Coronaviruses, Influenza virus

                    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Adenovirus

                    Parainfluenza, Herpes simplex virus (causes Pneumonia in newborns)

                    Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (Causes Pneumonia in patients with weakened immune systems)

Fungi

The pneumonia caused by fungi may occur in persons that have weakened immune systems. The fungal pneumonia has similar pathophysiology as that of bacterial pneumonia.

The immune system of the individuals might get weak due to various reasons including immunosuppressive drugs, AIDS or any other medical diseases. Thus, they become susceptible to fungal infection leading to Pneumonia.

Common Fungi that cause Pneumonia are as follows:

                    Histoplasma capsulatum, blastomyces

                    Cryptococcus neoformans

                    Pneumocystis jiroveci

                    Coccidioides immitis

Parasites

The parasites infect the human body through the skin or the mouth. They reach the lungs via bloodstream; cause cell damage and triggers immune response leading to pneumonia. The response of eosinophils to the parasite infection in the lungs results in eosinophilic pneumonia.

Common parasites that cause Pneumonia are as follows:

                    Toxoplasma gondii

                    Strongyloides stercoralis

                    Ascariasis

Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia

Apart from infectious pneumonia causes by Bacteria, Fungi, Virus and Parasites; there are certain causes of pneumonia that are idiopathic in nature and belongs to diffuse lung diseases.

Common lung diseases that cause Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia are as follows:

                    diffuse alveolar damage, lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia

                    organizing pneumonia, desquamative interstitial pneumonia

                    nonspecific interstitial pneumonia, interstitial pneumonia

                    respiratory bronchiolitis interstitial lung disease

Why Adenovirus is called as killer cold virus? Let’s find out more about this deadly virus.

Adenoviruses refer to a group of viruses that cause infection in the membranes of the respiratory tract, the intestines, the eyes and the urinary tract.

They are responsible for high prevalence of deaths and hospitalizations of patients affected by it and hence called as “killer cold virus”.         

How Adenovirus is transmitted

The adenoviruses are usually transmitted via aerial route similarly to common cold.

                    Adenoviruses are transmitted from one infected person to other via coughing or sneezing.

                    Individuals may touch any area infected by adenoviruses and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.

                    Infected person may sneezes or coughs on various items that may be later touched by other people.

 

Diagnosis of Adenovirus

The initial diagnosis of adenovirus is done by following ways.

                    Medical History of patient

                    Physical exam

                    X-ray of the infected region

                    Association with Ad14-diagnosed patients

 

The confirmative diagnosis is done by isolating the virus the infected patient and carrying the following tests.

                    Antigen detection

                    Polymerase chain reaction assay

                    Virus isolation and serology

                    Adenovirus typing

                    Fluids and PCR tests

 

Symptoms of Adenovirus Infection

The symptoms of adenovirus infection may comprise of following respiratory tract symptoms.

                    Common cold syndrome such as cough, runny nose, mild fever

                    Symptoms of Pneumonia

                    Symptoms of Croup

                    Symptoms of Bronchitis

 

The symptoms are usually present only for three to five days; however in severe cases like Pneumonia patients may require hospitalisation. Also, apart from respiratory tract illness,

Adenoviruses may develop symptoms related to eye, bladder, and GI problems.

Treatment of Adenovirus Infection

The treatment of Adenovirus infection in most of the cases does not require antibiotics or other medications. The patients can get rid of the virus infection over few days. The efforts are made for keeping the patient comfortable during the time the infection lasts.

                    There is no such virus-specific treatment therapy of adenovirus infections.

                    Most of the infections are mild in nature and require only symptomatic treatment.

                    The serious adenovirus illnesses are managed only by treating symptoms of the infection.

                    Treatment may include supportive care, taking proper rest, plenty of fluids.

                    Patients may be given drugs like acetaminophen for reducing fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    For respiratory tract diseases, a cool-mist humidifier assists in loosening mucus and helps in breathing comfortably.

                    For children under the age of six months, a bulb syringe can be applied for clearing the nose.

                    Severe cases need intensive care and respiratory assistance such as mechanical breathing support.

                    Symptoms of conjunctivitis can be relieved by using warm compresses and a topical eye ointment drops.

 

Prevention

                    Maintaining the good hygiene goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection

                    Effective infection-control practices is needed for preventing adenovirus-associated diseases

                    Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination in swimming pool prevents adenovirus conjunctivitis.