Infectious Disease Resource Group


Kim's Desk
Angela & Miranda's Desk

Health Information

So you may have an infection of some kind. What do you do now? Our doctors are very good at giving educational information and material to help explain what is ailing you. They take time to answer all of your questions. We make sure the doctors have plenty of time to visit with you so you don’t feel rushed when you come in our clinic.


Infections:


Fever of Unknown origin (FUO)

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More information can be found at Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)

A fever of Unknown origin (FUO) is a fever of at least 102℉ (38.3℃) that lasts for more than three weeks or occurs frequently without explanation. Even when a doctor can’t determine the cause of the fever at first, a diagnosis is a step toward treating it.

Classic FUO affects previously healthy people. It’s defined as an unexplained fever that lasts for three (3) weeks. Infection or neoplasms, such as leukemia, may cause classic FUO. Other disorders, such as diseases that affect connective tissue, can also be the cause.

People with nosocomial FUO appear to get a fever as result of hospitalization. They’re admitted for something other than fever and then begin to run the unexplained fever. Common causes include but are not limited to:

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Enterocolitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Septic thrombophlebitis, a type of inflammation that affects the veins

Symptoms:

FUO may be accompanied by other symptoms that can help doctors determine the underlying cause.

Typical symptoms of a fever include:

  • A temperature that exceeds 102℉
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Headaches

Other symptoms that typically accompany fever include:

  • Body or joint aches
  • Weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Rash
  • Sinus congestion

Cellulitis

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More information can be found at Mayo Clinic

Cellulitis is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Cellulitis appears as a swollen, red area of skin that feels hot and tender. It can spread rapidly to other parts of the body. Cellulitis isn’t usually spread from person to person.

Skin on lower legs is most commonly affected, though cellulitis can occur anywhere on your body or face. Cellulitis might affect only your skin’s surface. Or it might also affect tissues underlying your skin and can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream.

Left untreated, the spreading infection can rapidly turn life-threatening. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if cellulitis symptoms occur.

Possible signs and symptoms of cellulitis, which usually occurs on one side of the body include:

  • Red area of skin that tends to expand
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Fever
  • Red spots
  • Blisters
  • Skin dimpling

MRSA

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More information can be found at Mayo Clinic

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a type of staph bacteria that becomes resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.

MRSA can begin as a painful skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as swollen, painful red bumps that might resemble pimples or spider bites. The affected area might be:

  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever

These can quickly turn in to deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining. Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joint, surgical wounds the bloodstream heart valves and lungs.

Osteomyelitis

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More information can be found at Mayo Clinic

Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. Infections can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue. Infections can also begin in the bone itself in an injury exposes the bone to germs.

Signs and symptoms of osteomyelitis include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in the area of the infection
  • Swelling, warmth and redness over the area of the infection

Sometimes osteomyelitis causes no signs and symptoms or has signs and symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from other problems.

See your doctor if you experience worsening bone pain along with fever. If you’re at risk of infection because of a medical condition or recent surgery or injury, see your doctor right away if you notice signs and symptoms of an infection. Most cases of osteomyelitis are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, types of germs commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals.

Hepatitis C

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More information can be found at Healthline

Viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that 2.7 to 3.9 million persons are infected with the Hepatitis C virus in the United States alone. An enormous public health danger lies in the fact that many infected patients are unaware of their diseased state. Hepatitis C’s slow disease progression can lead to liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma, which ultimately requires transplantation or causes death.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

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More information can be found at Aids.gov

HIV left untreated can lead to the disease AIDS.

Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIVE, you have it for life.

HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells. (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. If left untreated HIV reduces the number of CD$ cells in the body, making the person more likely to get infection s or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and diseases. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that he person has AIDS, the last state of HIV infection.

No effective cure for HIV currently exists, but the proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken in the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people with HIV keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of transmitting the virus to others. Today, a person who is diagnosed with HIV, treated before the disease is far advanced, and stays on treatment can live a nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can ask your healthcare provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers and hospitals offer them too. You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.

PrEP

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Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once daily medication for HIV negative individuals (mend or women), who are at a high risk for contracting HIV.

PrEP has been found to decrease the risk of contracting HIV by >90% if taken every day. PrEP does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases, so it is recommended to use additional protective measures such as condoms.

In order to receive PrEP, the recipient must agree to the follow up with the prescriber every 3 months for screening and refills.