The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, is a self-limited
contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. More than
200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold. Because so many
different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the
body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent
and recurring problem. In fact, children in preschool and elementary school can have
three to 12 colds per year while adolescents and adults typically have two to four colds
per year. The common cold is the most frequently occurring illness in the world, and it is
a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.
Symptoms of the common cold include nasal stuffiness or drainage, sore or scratchy
throat, sneezing, hoarseness, cough, and perhaps a fever and headache. Many people with
a cold feel tired and achy. These symptoms will typically last anywhere from three to 10
There is no cure for the common cold. Home treatment is directed at alleviating the
symptoms associated with the common cold and allowing this self-limiting illness to run
Rabies is a disease (caused by the rabies virus) primarily of animals, including both wild
and domestic animals and human beings.
Cats, dogs and cattle account for nearly 90 percent of rabies cases in domestic animals,
with horses, mules, sheep, goats and ferrets making up the remaining cases. Among wild
animals, the disease is most often reported in skunks and raccoons.
Symptoms usually develop between 20 and 60 days after exposure. Rabid animals may
become aggressive, combative, and highly sensitive to touch and other kinds of
stimulation. And they can be vicious. This is the "furious" form of rabies, the kind
traditionally associated with mad dogs.
There is also a "dumb" form of the disease in which the animal is lethargic, weak in one
or more limbs, and unable to raise its head or make sounds because its throat and neck
muscles are paralyzed. In both kinds of animal rabies, death occurs a few days after
symptoms appear, usually from respiratory failure.
In humans, the course is similar. After a symptom-free incubation period that ranges from
10 days to a year or longer (the average is 30 to 50 days), the patient complains of
malaise, loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, and fever. Over half of all patients have pain
(sometimes itching) or numbness at the site of exposure. They may complain of insomnia
Two to 10 days later, signs of nervous system damage appear, hyperactivity and
hypersensitivity, disorientation, hallucinations, seizures, and paralysis. Death may be
sudden, due to cardiac or respiratory arrest, or follow a period of coma that can last for
months with the aid of life-support measures.
Because there is no cure and death is almost certain, treatment for rabies involves
supportive care. However, if a person is bitten by a rabid animal and has not yet
experienced symptoms, there is an extremely effective post-exposure treatment, which
includes an injection of rabies immune globulin and several containing rabies vaccine
given over a 28-day period.
Influenza (flu) is a viral infection. People often use the term "flu" to describe any kind of
mild illness, such as a cold or a stomach virus, that has symptoms like the flu. But the
real flu is different. Flu symptoms are usually worse than a cold and last longer. The flu
usually does not cause vomiting or diarrhea.
Most flu outbreaks happen in late fall and winter.
The flu causes a fever, body aches, a headache, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. You
will probably feel tired and less hungry than usual. The symptoms usually are the worst
for the first 3 or 4 days. But it can take 1 to 2 weeks to get completely better.
It usually takes 1 to 4 days to get symptoms of the flu after you have been around
someone who has the virus.
Most people can treat flu symptoms at home. Home treatment includes resting, drinking
plenty of fluids, and taking medicine to lower your fever.
If you think you have the flu, your doctor may be able to give you medicine that can
make the symptoms milder. But you need to start taking it within 2 days of your first
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make you very sick. You may cough, run a fever,
and have a hard time breathing. For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It
often clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. But older adults, babies, and people with other diseases
can become very ill.
Symptoms of pneumonia caused by bacteria usually come on quickly. They may include:
Cough. You will likely cough up mucus (sputum) from your lungs.
Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
Fast breathing and feeling short of breath.
Shaking and "teeth-chattering" chills. You may have this only one time or many times.
Chest pain that often feels worse when you cough or breathe in.
Feeling very tired or feeling very weak.
Nausea and vomiting.
Your doctor will give you medicines called antibiotics. These almost always cure
pneumonia caused by bacteria. You need to take all of your antibiotics so you get well.
Do not stop taking them because you feel better. Take them exactly as your doctor tells
DENGUE( hemorrhagic fever )
DESCRIPTION: : Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are
transmitted by mosquitoes
SYMPTOMS: The disease manifests as a sudden onset of severe headache, muscle and
joint pains (myalgias and arthralgias—severe pain that gives it the nick-name break-bone
fever or bonecrusher disease), fever, and rash. The dengue rash is characteristically
bright red petechiae and usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some
patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be gastritis with some
combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some cases
develop much milder symptoms which can be misdiagnosed as influenza or other viral
infection when no rash is present.
TREATMENT: The mainstay of treatment is timely supportive therapy to tackle shock
due to hemoconcentration and bleeding. Close monitoring of vital signs in critical period
(between day 2 to day 7 of fever) is critical. Increased oral fluid intake is recommended
to prevent dehydration. Supplementation with intravenous fluids may be necessary to
prevent dehydration and significant concentration of the blood if the patient is unable to
maintain oral intake. A platelet transfusion is indicated in rare cases if the platelet level
drops significantly (below 20,000) or if there is significant bleeding.
DESCRIPTION: “Sore eyes" is a common term for an inflammation of the thin covering of
the eyeball and the inner eyelid brought about by a viral infection which may be highly
1. Redness of the eye
2. Eye discomfort describing as burning or gritty but not sharp
3. Vision is usually normal although smearing particular in waking, maybe common.
4. Pain on the eye on exposure to light
5. Water-like discharge commonly seen but later eyes maybe difficult to open in the
morning, glued together
6. Runny nose and sore throat maybe present
TREATMENT: Sore eyes which is of viral origin is self-limiting. Anti-inflammatory
and antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be used upon the advice of a health
professional. To relieve the discomfort, warm compress may be applied to the eye 5 to 10
minutes three times a day.
DESCRIPTIION: Hepatitis (plural hepatitides) implies injury to the liver characterized
by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ
SYMPTOMS: Majority of patients will remain asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic,
abnormal blood tests being the only manifestation. Features may be related to the extent
of liver damage or the cause of hepatitis. Many experience return of symptoms related to
acute hepatitis. Jaundice can be a late feature and may indicate extensive damage. Other
features include abdominal fullness from enlarged liver or spleen, low grade fever and
fluid retention (ascites). Extensive damage and scarring of liver (i.e., cirrhosis) leads to
weight loss, easy bruising and bleeding tendencies. Acne, abnormal menstruation, lung
scarring, inflammation of the thyroid gland and kidneys may be present in women with
TREATMENT: There are only a few specific remedies for most types of hepatitis. The
conventional approach in each case is to treat the disease with rest and proper diet and to
make efforts to contain its spread
DESCRIPTION: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by
the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
• Coughing and shortness of breath
• Seizures and lack of coordination
• Difficult or painful swallowing
• Mental symptoms, such as confusion and forgetfulness
• Severe and persistent diarrhea
• Vision loss
• Nausea, abdominal (stomach) cramps, and vomiting
• Weight loss and extreme fatigue
• Severe headaches
TREATMENT: There is currently no publicly available vaccine for HIV or cure for
HIV or AIDS. The only known methods of prevention are based on avoiding exposure to
the virus or, failing that, an antiretroviral treatment directly after a highly significant
exposure, called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP has a very demanding four week
schedule of dosage. It also has very unpleasant side effects including diarrhea, malaise,
nausea and fatigue.
DESCRIPTION: Chickenpox or chicken pox, also known as varicella, is a highly
contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It
usually starts with vesicular skin rash appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the
body and head rather than the hands and becoming itchy raw pockmarks, small open
sores which heal without scarring for the most part.
•A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) to 103°F (39.4°C).
•Feeling sick, tired, and sluggish.
•Little or no appetite.
•Headache and sore throat.
•Red or swollen spots or bumps appear and turn into pimplelike blisters filled with clear
or cloudy fluid.
•The blisters break open, often leaking fluid.
•A dry crust forms over the broken blisters as they heal.
TREATMENTS: The major problem in dealing with chicken pox is control of the
intense itching and reduction of the fever. Warm baths containing baking soda can help;
sometimes cool compresses or cool baths will calm itching.
Aspirin should not be used for children or adolescents with chicken pox because of the
associated risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition. Fever can be
treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofren.
DESCRIPTION: Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection caused by a germ called
Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also
damage other parts of the body. TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the
lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks. If you have been exposed, you should go to your
doctor for tests. You are more likely to get TB if you have a weak immune system.
• A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
• Weight loss
• Coughing up blood or mucus
• Weakness or fatigue
• Fever and chills
• Night sweats
TREATMENTS: Today, doctors treat most people with TB outside the hospital.
Gone are the days of going to the mountains for long periods of bed rest. Doctors seldom
use surgery. Doctors will prescribe several special medications that you must take for
six to nine months. Standard therapy for active TB consists of a six-month regimen: