On an average day, you encounter many bacteria, viruses, and fungi, which can make you sick. Infections/ infectious diseases/communicable diseases are caused by pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) that can cause diseases.  

Let’s look at the most common Infections that you should be careful about.   

  1. FLU/INFLUENZA –  
    • In the US, 3 to 11% of people have flu every year (mostly in the fall, winter, and early spring).  
    • It’s a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system – your nose, throat, and lungs. 
    • It can spread through sneezing and coughing, and touching surfaces infected with the virus (doorknobs, tables, pens, etc.)  
    • Symptoms include: 
    • Fever, Chills, and sweats 
    • Headache and Aching muscles 
    • Dry, persistent cough with a runny/stuffy nose 
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Tiredness and weakness 
    • Sore throat 
    • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than in adults). 
    • Children and old people have weaker immune systems so their chances of getting infected are greater. Most of the time it goes away on its own. But sometimes, it can be deadly, (especially for younger kids under 5), so if it persists longer than 2 weeks you should consult your doctor.  
    • Prevention:  
    • Get the yearly flu vaccine shots.  
    • Avoid close contact with the sick.  
    • Always cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing.  
    • Always wash your hands with soap and water. Use sanitizer in case of not have soap or water.  
    • Clean and disinfect all surfaces regularly. 
  1. STAPH-
    • This infectious disease is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria leading to painful rashes, blisters, and fever.  
    • Symptoms may include red bumps on your skin, Rashes, Blisters, Ulcers, and pus discharge. 
    • Prevention 
    • Wash your hands regularly.  
    • Keep your wounds and cuts covered.  
    • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, handkerchiefs, etc., and keep them clean.  
  1. E. COLI
    • E. coli (Escherichia coli) is a group of bacteria that are found in your intestines that help to digest food.  
    • Most of its strains are good for your health. Some of them can cause infections- when you eat something that is contaminated with bacteria (usually ground beef, uncooked food, raw seafood, unpasteurized milk, etc.).  
    • Symptoms:  
    • Stomach cramps 
    • Diarrhea  
    • Nausea & Vomiting 
    • Generally, E. coli symptoms can be treated at home and resolve within a week or so. 
    • Prevention: 
    • Drink a lot of water 
    • Get enough rest 
    • Avoid eating raw, unhygienic food 
    • Wash your hands, counters, chopping boards, and utensils before and after you make food.  
    • Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk, dairy products, and juices. 
    • Don’t swallow water while swimming in lakes, ponds, oceans, etc. 
  1. HERPES
    • This is most common in the US, with more than 50% of people in the US having some form of Herpes virus.  
    • There are two types of Herpes viruses- Herpes Simplex Virus – 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus -2. HSV-1 is transmitted by oral contact and causes sores, but sometimes can lead to genital herpes. HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital herpes.  
    • Symptoms: Mostly, herpes infection doesn’t show any symptoms at all. However, some basic symptoms include: 
    • Fever 
    • Swollen lymph nodes 
    • Body aches  
    • Unusual fatigue 
    • Scabs/Ulcers 
    • There is no cure for herpes. There are antiviral medications that you can take to prevent outbreaks.  
    • Prevention 
    • Always use protection while having sex. 
    • Avoid touching the sores.  
    • Wash your hands with water and soap.  

5.CHLAMYDIA 

    • It is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis 
    • Symptoms: 
    •  Pain while peeing 
    • Vaginal discharge (in women) 
    • Discharge from the penis  
    • Pain during sex  
    • It can transmit from a pregnant woman to the baby at the time of delivery, causing infection to the eyes or pneumonia. 
    • Treatment: It can be easily treated by antibiotics.  
    • Prevention 
    • Practice safe sex. 
  1. Hepatitis C
    • Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause liver inflammation and damage. It is a blood-borne virus. 
    • It spreads by-sharing injections, contact with blood or infected needles at work (examples-tattoos or body piercings),  being  born to a mother with hepatitis C, having had more than one sexual partner in the last 6 months or having a history of sexually transmitted disease 
    • Symptoms may include 
    • dark yellow urine 
    • yellowish eyes and skin ( jaundice) 
    • Fever and tiredness 
    • joint pain 
    • loss of appetite 
    • Nausea and Vomiting 
    • There is no vaccine available for prevention of Hepatitis C.  
    • The best way to prevent HCV infection is to avoid contact with contaminated blood and avoid high-risk behaviors including intravenous drug use and unprotected sex.  

Infectious Diseases Care at Doral Health & Wellness 

Learn more about infectious diseases @ 718-DORAL-55 and stay up-to-date on current health topics and new research, on recent infectious diseases like COVID-19.