Colds & Flu
The common cold is a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract — your nose and throat. A common cold is usually harmless, although it may not feel that way at the time. If it’s not a runny nose, sore throat and cough, it’s the watery eyes, sneezing and congestion — or maybe all of the above. In fact, because any one of more than 100 viruses can cause a common cold, signs and symptoms tend to vary greatly.
Preschool children are at greatest risk of frequent colds, but even healthy adults can expect to have a few colds each year.
Poison ivy grows as vines or low shrubs in most climates. Each leaf on a poison ivy plant has three smaller leaflets. Contact with any part of the poison ivy plant can cause red, swollen skin, blisters and severe itching, sometimes within hours after exposure.
A poison ivy rash usually resolves on its own within a few weeks. In the meantime, soothe irritated skin with an over-the-counter topical treatment, such as calamine lotion. Oatmeal baths and cool compresses also might be helpful. Consult your doctor if you have a severe poison ivy rash or if the rash involves your face or genital area.
All that is required to care for most cuts is to wash them with soap and water and keep them clean and dry. Putting alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and iodine onto cuts can delay healing and should be avoided. Seek medical care early if you think that the cut may need stitches. Any delay can increase the rate of wound infection.
Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.
Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert between 2 and 3 million deaths each year. It is one of the most cost-effective health investments, with proven strategies that make it accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. It has clearly defined target groups; it can be delivered effectively through outreach activities; and vaccination does not require any major lifestyle change.
Meningitis is a relatively rare infection that affects the delicate membranes — called meninges (men-in’-jeez) — that cover the brain and spinal cord. Bacterial meningitis can be deadly and contagious among people in close contact.
Viral meningitis tends to be less severe and most people recover completely without specific therapy.
Fungal meningitis is a rare form of meningitis and generally occurs only in people with weakened immune systems.