Infectious Diseases

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Overview

Infectious diseases are caused by infectious organisms. Typically, these are bacteria, viruses, fungi, or worms/ helminths. Under normal circumstances, when the immune system of the host is fully functional, disease symptoms may not develop. If the host immune system is compromised, or the infectious agent overwhelms the immune system, an infectious disease ensues. Most infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa, helminths, rickettsia, and fungi. The consequences of infectious disease vary depending on the infectious agent and can range from mild inflammation to life-threatening illness. There are many drugs used for the treatment of infectious diseases. The general classes include antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals. 

Infectious diseases or ID, also known as infectiology, is a medical specialty dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of infections. Because symptoms and severity often vary, infectious diseases can be challenging to diagnose and treat. Infectious disease doctors are experts that specialize in identifying and treating a wide range of these conditions.  Infectious disease doctors are involved in diagnosing, investigating and treating patients with infections. They deal with infectious microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi that includes bloodstream infections and complex or rare conditions caused by emerging infectious diseases and multidrug-resistant microbes. Successful treatment starts with an accurate diagnosis. This speciality combines both clinical and laboratory practice. Infectious disease doctors have the expertise to treat people with an antibiotic-resistant infection - an increasingly common issue that can complicate recovery. 

 If you are exposed to pathogens found in microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites, there is a chance you may have contracted infectious diseases. Many patients are confused about what to expect at infectious disease doctor, however, their major responsibility is to determine the nature and severity of your infection and then provide treatment based on the symptoms.

 

Influenza / Flu (H3N2) – All you need to know 

Recently we have seen surge in the cases of Influenza popularly known as flu.

There are 4 variants of Influenza - A, B, C and D.

  • Influenza A and B circulate widely and cause seasonal epidemic of the disease.
  • Influenza A virus further subdivided on the basis of their surface protein hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Main subtypes are H1N1 and H3N2.
  • Influenza B virus don’t have subtypes but can have different lineages. Currently circulating influenza B virus belongs to either B/Yamagata or B/Victoria lineage.
  • Influenza C and D virus are detected less frequently and cause mild infection thus is of not much public significance.

 

Currently we are seeing lot of cases of H3N2 subtype. Common symptoms of this strain are high grade fever which may last for 5-7 days and sometimes it becomes difficult to bring down the temperature and many of the time patients lands in hospital due to high grade fever.  Apart from fever severe throat pain, cough, cold, body ache and weakness remains major symptoms. Few people also have gastrointestinal symptoms in the form of vomiting and diarrhoea. Mostly infection settles down in one week time in most of the cases with supportive therapy but few times cough and weakness can persist for few weeks to few months.

Detection of this virus can be done by doing throat swab test which will identify the subtypes of influenza. More than 99% patients do recover over a period of time without any long term damage but very few requires hospitalisation.

Prevention is mainly FLU appropriate behaviour like masking your face all the time when outdoors or in public areas, maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene. Good hydration is the key for fast recovery along with supportive treatment.

 

We have  the best infectious disease doctors who treat all kinds of infectious conditions like bacterial, viral, fungal and protozoal. Common infections are such as infection with high fever, illness after travel, fever of unknown origin, multi drug resistant infections, infectious diarrhoeas, complicated covid infection, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and much other type of infections which don’t get diagnosed or treated appropriately.

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