AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Anyone of any age, race, sex or sexual orientation can be infected with HIV. By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight off viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause disease. HIV makes you more susceptible to certain types of cancers and to infections your body would normally resist, such as pneumonia and meningitis. The virus and the infection itself are known as HIV. “Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)” is the name given to the later stages of an HIV infection.
Croup, which is marked by a harsh, repetitive cough similar to the noise of a seal barking, can be scary for both children and their parents. After all, attacks of croup may jar your children awake at night and leave them gasping for breath.
The harsh, barking cough of croup is the result of swelling around the vocal cords (larynx) and windpipe (trachea). When the cough reflex forces air through this narrowed passage, the vocal cords vibrate with a barking noise. Because children have small airways to begin with, those younger than age 5 are most susceptible to having more symptoms with croup. Croup is most common in children age 5 and younger — particularly those who were born prematurely. Because of their smaller airways, signs and symptoms are typically most severe in children age 3 and younger.
The classic sign of croup is a loud, harsh, barking cough — which often comes in bursts at night. Your child’s breathing may be labored or noisy. Fever and a hoarse voice are common, too.
Most cases of croup can be treated at home with a few simple self-care measures. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if your child:
Postherpetic neuralgia is a painful condition affecting your nerve fibers and skin. Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, a second outbreak of the varicella-zoster virus, which initially causes chickenpox. During an initial infection of chickenpox, some of the virus remains in your body, lying dormant inside nerve cells. Years later, the virus may reactivate, causing shingles. Once reactivated, the virus travels along nerve fibers, causing pain. When the virus reaches your skin, it produces a rash and blisters. A case of shingles (herpes zoster) usually heals within a month. But some people continue to feel pain long after the rash and blisters heal — a pain called postherpetic neuralgia. A variety of treatments for postherpetic neuralgia exist, although you may not experience complete relief from pain. The symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia are generally limited to the area of your skin where the shingles outbreak first occurred. They may include: Continue reading About Postherpetic neuralgia
Review the vaccines that you’ve had, and talk to your doctor about any additional vaccines that you may need.
Who should have the flu vaccine?
Get the flu vaccine if you:
- Are 50 or older
- Have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart disease or asthma
- Have a weakened immune system Continue reading About vaccines for adults
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common and widespread virus. Most infections happen during childhood, and the majority of adults carry the virus by the time they’re 40. But most people infected with CMV don’t even know it.
So why worry? In most cases there’s no need to. Infected people carry the virus for life, and usually it remains dormant — rarely causing symptoms throughout their lifetime.
But for some people, generally those with compromised immune systems, there’s a greater risk of becoming very ill or of developing permanent disabilities from CMV. If you’re pregnant and have never been exposed to the virus but develop an active infection, the virus can also cause permanent disabilities in your unborn baby.
There’s no cure for CMV, but some antiviral drugs can help people with compromised immune systems and newborns, though side effects may occur. Researchers are studying new medications and vaccines to treat and prevent CMV.
Most people infected with CMV but who are otherwise healthy exhibit few if any symptoms. In fact, many people never know they have the virus. The type and seriousness of a CMV infection usually depends on your overall health.
When first infected (primary CMV), some adults may have symptoms similar to mononucleosis. Signs and symptoms of primary CMV include: Continue reading About Cytomegalovirus