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Recurrent infections

Blog
07 Jan, 2017

Infection occurs when a disease-causing bacteria, virus or fungus invades the body
An infection that occurs again and again is a recurrent infection. Immunodeficiency is considered to be a prominent cause for recurrent infection. In children, the frequent or recurrent infection is evident as ear infection, sinusitis and pneumonia. Even in adults, recurrent infections occur due to immunodeficiency conditions and evident as poor wound healing, premature loss of adult teeth, chronic diarrhea, and unexplained bronchiectasis.

CAUSES
Infections are caused parasites, fungi, bacteria, prions and viroid’s (plant pathogens). The human, where the organism (germ) colonizes is called host, and the germ or pathogen is the parasitic organism. The fall-out is evident as rise in the infection and fall in the health condition of the host. The types of infections include,

Viral Infections: Viral infections are caused by viruses that spread by inhaling (breathing the virus), bitten by infected insects, and by sexual contact. Viral infections affect different parts of the body viz. Rhinovirus and seasonal influenza affect lungs, nose and throat; Herpes simplex virus (cold sores) and varicella-zoster virus (oozing blisters) affect the skin; Hepatitis A (of liver), Norovirus (of gastrointestinal illness), and rotavirus (stomach virus/diarrhea); Sexually transmitted viruses viz. Human papillomavirus (genital warts), Hepatitis B (of liver) and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Nervous system's virus is Viral meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

Bacterial Infections: Common pathogenic bacteria include Escherichia coli and Salmonella cause food poisoning, Helicobacter pylori cause gastritis and ulcers, and Neisseria gonorrhea causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. Other bacterial infections are Cholera, Diphtheria, Dysentery, Plague, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Typhoid and Typhus.

Fungal Infections: Mycosis, a fungal infection may occur any part of the body. It is of three types - superficial (surface of the skin and hair) evident in young as reddish brown spots, cutaneous (deeper in the skin) evident as ringworm, and subcutaneous (goes deeper into the skin).

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Everyone at one point of time or other is at the risk of an infection. Pregnant women and those undergoing medical treatment are more prone to infections. Primarily, reduced immunity makes people easy targets of infection. The complications of infections are seen as mild to severe health conditions. Common cold, sneezing, skin allergy, diarrhea and other may be milder form of health conditions caused by infection; chronic lung, kidney and liver diseases express the severity of the infection.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
The doctor may ask you about your life style, living conditions and health history. If it is a viral infection, the doctor may advise for antibody test. Blood cultures are used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in the blood.

TREATMENTS
Infection could be caused by exposure to microorganisms. By practicing good occupational and environmental hygiene many of the infections can be prevented. A simple practice like washing hands before having food and after work activity helps in prevention of many types of infections. Importantly, you should foresee the risk of infection based on which you can carry out an assessment and take measures to control the risks.

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