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Infectious Diseases: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How Kissing Can Spread Infectious Diseases
Mononucleosis, or nono, is known as the “kissing disease,” but did you know that there are several infectious diseases that can be spread through kissing and saliva?
The 10 Best Ways to Prevent Infectious Diseases
What's the best way to prevent you and your loved ones from getting sick from infectious microbes? Look beyond the obvious and learn some important tips for staying healthy.
Ringworm Fungal Infections of the Skin
Find out more about ringworm fungal infections of the skin. Learn about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
How Do You Know You Have Tuberculosis?
Active Tuberculosis or TB is a deadly disease that is on the rise in the U.S. Find out what causes active TB, what its symptoms are, and what treatment options are available
Can Clostridium Difficile Cause Colitis?
Clostridium difficile bacterial disease is on the rise, causing more and more cases of hospital-borne infection. Find out the symptoms of Clostridium difficile colitis and how to treat and prevent infection. Read more about Toxins A and B of Clostridium difficile and how they contribute to the disease.
What’s the Difference Between Tuberculosi...
Latent tuberculosis or TB is an infection that is not symptomatic or contagious. What causes latent tuberculosis? How do you know if you have it? What precautions should you take if you have it?
Is It Safe to Eat Raw Fish?
What are the infectious disease risks associated with eating sushi? Read about parasites and other microbial infections associated with raw or undercooked fish.
Everything You Need to Know About Strep Throat
Strep throat is a common kids' infection that is more prevalent in the winter and spring months. Find out about its symptoms, treatment options, prevention methods, and complications associated with the diseases.
Do You Get Sick Often? Why You May Be...
Glossary definition of immunocompromised
Is Tuberculosis Still a Worldwide Epidemic?
Tuberculosis, or TB, also known as consumption, is a worldwide epidemic that is on the rise in the U.S. Find out about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention.
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is a common childhood infection associated with outbreaks in child care settings. It is usually caused by Coxsackie virus or Enterovirus 71. Learn about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease
What is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is very common. It can start suddenly with a blotch of red or a patch of hot skin.
Can You Get Sick From Cow's Milk?
It's a staple in most households, but do you know the infectious disease risks associated with milk and other dairy products? Why is pasteurization important? How do you prevent milk-borne diseases?
Everything You Need to Know About a Sore Throat
Sore throats are usually caused by infectious microbes. Find out how sore throats occur and which microbes are commonly implicated in infections that cause sore throats
Are Pickles and Smoked Salmon Really Good for...
Preserving food with salt is an ancient human practice that dates back before written records. Beef jerky, pickles, and smoked salmon are all examples of common foods that are preserved using salt. But are salty foods really safer to eat?
Cold Sores Caused by Herpes Virus
Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1). Find out about symptoms, prevention, and treatment of cold sores and oral herpes infections
Jock Itch Profile
Jock Itch, or ringworm of the groin, is a fungal infection that affects the groin and inner thighs. Find out more about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
How to Choose the Right Antibiotics for...
With so many different kinds of antibiotics available, how does your health care provider know which to prescribe? Find out what your doctor needs to know before choosing the right antibiotic.
Is It Strep Throat or Just a Cold?
How do you know if you have strep throat or just a sore throat from a cold? Find out how to distinguish if it is strep throat and find out what your doctor will look for.
Why Is Mono Nicknamed the Kissing Disease?
Mono or Mononucleosis is sometimes called the Kissing Disease because it is common among young adults and teenagers and spread through saliva. Find out more about symptoms of Mono and how to treat the disease.
E. coli O157:H7
What is E. coli? Are all strains of E. coli dangerous? What are its symptoms? Where do you get it? How do you prevent disease?
Definition of Microbiology
Glossary definition of microbiology
Profile of Typhoid Fever Caused by Salmonella...
Find out symptoms and treatment of Typhoid Fever. Learn how Salmonella Typhi causes Typhoid Fever and how to avoid getting it.
6 Ways to Tell if You Have Strep Throat
What is strep throat? What are its symptoms? How is it diagnosed and treated? Why do I need to take all of the antibiotics if I'm already feeling better? Find out answers to these questions and more.
Can You Get Cholera From Drinking Water?
Find out about symptoms, treatment, and prevention of cholera, caused by the bacteria, Vibrio cholera. Learn about the epidemiology of this common epidemic and tips for travelers on preventing infection.
Evolution of Personal Hygiene
Did you know that people did not always wash their hands before eating or after going to the bathroom? How was the importance of clean water discovered? What kind of impact did invention of the flush toilet make on society? Find out how personal hygiene evolved from the mid-19th century to the daily practices we use today.
What you should know about Bird Flu
There isn't just one type of flu. There are a bunch and some can be more worrisome - like Bird Flu and Swine Flu.
What Can Cytomegalovirus Mean for Your Unborn...
Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is the largest of all viruses and infects most people some time in their life. Most infections are harmless, but transmission of the virus from pregnant women to their fetuses can cause permanent disabilities.
Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staph...
CA-MRSA, or community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, has been a growing concern among athletes, students, and military recruits. Find out some important facts about the MRSA superbug and how you can avoid CA-MRSA infections.
What You Should Know About Ebola
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever, currently spreading in West Africa. It is spread through direct contact with a person (or their body fluids) who is ill with Ebola. Before a patient has symptoms from Ebola, they cannot transmit the infection.
Definition of Pathogen
Glossary definition of pathogen. Infectious Diseases.
Epidemiology 101: Outbreak Investigation
What exactly is an outbreak, and why is it important to investigate it? What do epidemiologists do when investigating an outbreak?
Diarrhea Got You Down In the Dumps? How to...
Diarrheal diseases are a significant cause of sickness and death throughout the world. Read more about the different kinds of diarrhea and the kinds of microbes that cause these infections. Get tips on treatment and prevention of diarrhea.
Mumps
Mumps is a viral disease characterized by “chipmunk cheeks”. It is preventable with the MMR vaccination. Find out more about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Mumps
What Every Parent Should Know About Pertussis
Learn about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Whooping Cough, also known as Pertussis, caused by the bacteria Bordatella pertussis.
What Is Salmonella and How Can You Avoid It?
Salmonella seems to be making its way into the news more and more each year, but is it something we should be worried about? Find out which kinds of diseases are caused by Salmonella and how to avoid getting it.
How E.Coli Causes Disease
E. coli O157:H7 is a common cause of foodborne outbreaks, causing hemorrhagic colitis, characterized by bloody diarrhea.
What is the herd?
The herd is us - when diseases spread person to person. On the news are the words: MMR, Measles, Mumps, Chickenpox, Rubella, HPV. We are the herd for all of these diseases.
Ear Infections – Otitis Media
Ear infections, or otitis media, are a common childhood infection, afflicting most infants and small children. Find out what are ear infections, and their symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention.
How Stress Increases Your Risk of Disease
Can stress really increase your likelihood of getting sick? How does stress impact your immune system? Which infections are you more prone to getting when stressed? What can you do about it?
Disproving the Myths of Milk Pasteurization
Pasteurization of milk is an important process that limits the spread of milk-borne infectious diseases. Learn more about the different processes used for pasteurization. Find out the truth about pasteurized vs. raw milk.
Definition of Protozoa
Glossary definition of protozoa. Infectious Diseases.
Can Infections During Pregnancy Pose a Risk to...
Serious birth defects and even fetal death can occur following some infections in pregnant women. Find out which infectious diseases can lead to long-term defects and whether or not you should be tested for them.
Thrush
Profile of Thrush caused by Candida fungi. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Healthcare-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant...
Hospital-acquired or healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or HA-MRSA, comprises a large proportion of MRSA infections in the US. Find out more about symptoms of MRSA associated with hospital settings, treatment options, and tips for prevention
Alright, What Does Ebola Actually Do?
Ebola has captured headlines. What does it actually do to those it infects?
Definition of Gram Stain
Glossary definition of gram stain
Invasive Candidiasis - Systemic Candida Fungal...
Profile of Invasive Candidiasis that causes a systemic fungal infection. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
The Complete Guide to a Germ-Free Kitchen
Good hygienic cooking and food preparation practices in your kitchen are essential for limiting the possible spread of foodborne infectious diseases.
The Aches and Pains of Chikungunya
Chikungunya has spread in the Caribbean, Central and South America and has now been found in Florida and Texas. The disease can cause joints to be painful for months.
Wait, the Plague is back, really?
The news says: Plague in Colorado. The plague actually never went away. It still infects rodents. We've tamed the bacteria - through pest control and antibiotics, but cases crop up whether in Africa or the US.
What's so bad about measles?
Measles is real. It can be a serious infection in some. It spreads anonymously before any rashes in the air before anyone knows they're infected.
Can you treat Ebola?
Next steps to understanding Ebola. There's only untested treatments for Ebola. The new names in treatment are: ZMapp, Tekmira, Brincidofovir, Favipiravir, and Biocryst.
Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria: Learn the...
We carry probably 10 times more bacteria than human cells in our bodies. We are just beginning to understand the effects of these microorganisms and probiotics.
Anisakiasis
Scared of sushi? The Anisakis worm is a parasite that can cause nasty infections in humans who enjoy eating raw fish.
So You Have a Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are common. Millions will have one each year. Here's what you need to know.
Toxoplasmosis Congenital Disease
Toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, can cause a nasty congenital infection in fetuses. The infection is transmitted from cat or kitten feces to pregnant women to their unborn babies. Find out about the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Toxoplasmosis.
The 15 germs that might give you food poisoning
It's holiday time. This means there are leftovers and foodborne infections for some. Find out what you need to know about the different causes of food poisoning.
Your doctor said you need another Pneumonia...
The CDC is now recommending those over 65 have a second vaccine to prevent streptococcal pneumonia.
What Is Listeriosis?
What is Listeria, and how do I avoid getting it? Who should avoid eating soft cheeses and deli meats? Is my fetus at risk?
Athlete's Foot
Athlete's foot, also known as ringworm of the foot, is a fungal infection that causes itchy, scaly skin between the toes. Learn about its symptoms, treatment, diagnosis, and tips for preventing athlete's foot.
Wow does that itch. What could it be?
Scabies itches. Find out more about the disease, what it looks like in pictures, and how to treat it.
What to know about Neti Pots.
What to know about making sure your water is clean for splashing and neti pots, even diving and slip and slides.
Diagnosis of an Infection: Microbial Cultures
Infectious diseases often require diagnosis using a culture of a sample from the infected site. What is a culture, and how is it used to diagnose an infection?
The MMR Vaccine: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
The MMR vaccine is a combination vaccine made up of three live, attenuated viruses, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. Find out more about the MMR vaccine and who should or should not receive it. Learn about its safety and effectiveness against these three childhood viruses.
Food Poisoning: Staphylococcus aureus in Food
Explosive vomiting and tummy troubles after the school picnic? Sounds like Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning. Find out what foods are commonly contaminated with Staph and whether or not you should be worried.
Antibiotics
What are antibiotics? Where do they come from? How do they work?
Cruises Got You Cruising to the Bathroom?
Commonly associated with cruise ships, Norovirus, also known as Norwalk or Norwalk-like virus, is a major cause of diarrheal disease, commonly referred to as the stomach flu. Find out more about the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of norovirus.
Strep Throat Diagnosis
Strep throat is diagnosed by clinical symptoms, throat cultures, and rapid antigen detection tests. Find out how each of these diagnostic measures are conducted.
What Is Bacteria?
Understanding the definition of bacteria and its role in biology and disease.
Some diseases spread, some don't. How to know...
Some diseases spread like wildfire; some don't. Find out how epidemiologists know one from the other.
How to Recover from Diarrhoea with 3 Simple...
Dehydration is a main cause of concern when it comes to diarrheal disease in small children. Here's a easy and cheap recipe for oral rehydration therapy.
What's so bad about bats?
Bats sometimes get a bad rap. They help our ecosystem, but they also are tied to some of the deadliest diseases out there - Ebola, Marburg, Rabies, Nipah, Hendra, SARS, MERS, and histoplasmosis.
When Arthritis Is Contagious
Infectious Arthritis is sometimes associated with Bull's Eyes and Lyme Disease. There's more to it.
Can You Get an Infection from a Hospital or...
Glossary definition of nosocomial infection
Common Kids’ Infections (0 to 12 years)
Get quick summaries of common infectious diseases in kids (ages 0 to 12 years) and how to diagnose, treat, and prevent them.
Campylobacter and Campylobacteriosis Foodborne...
Campylobacter jejuni causes a food-borne diarrheal disease after eating contaminated milk or poultry. Find out symptoms of Campylobacter infections and how to limit the risk for disease.
Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is spread through tick bites. Learn about its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
The 5 Biggest Myths About Ebola, Busted
Ebola has spread in West Africa, alarmingly, but it is no more contagious than many other diseases.
Measles
Measles, also known as Rubeola, is a leading cause of death of young children worldwide, despite the availability of an inexpensive and effective MMR vaccine. Find out about symptoms, diagnosis, and prevention of measles.
What is Giardia?
Giardia is a disease that can be found in wells, lakes, puppies, and daycares. It can also cause chronic fatigue and irritable bowel, so it is important to avoid.
What You Need to Know About Enterovirus and...
As parents have learned this common disease can have serious symptoms, especially strain Enterovirus-D68 - EV-D68. Other strains cause the more mild Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.
What is the risk of Meningococcal Meningitis...
It strikes college students and infants suddenly - but rarely. It's a disease of kissing and close contact. What is meningococcal disease?
Definition of Fungi
Glossary definition of fungi. Infectious Diseases.
Are any other viruses like Ebola out there?
Ebola has grabbed the headlines. There are actually other Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. They just happen to be rare - Lassa, Marburg, Yellow Fever, Hantavirus, even Dengue.
So you ate something you shouldn't have. What...
You nibbled on the leftovers left on the counter and now you're feeling sick. What to know about foodborne infections and how to prevent getting sick.
The answer to Ebola is a lot of hard work
Drugs and Vaccines may not reach the thousands affected by Ebola in West Africa. How do we control the epidemic and treat patients without them?
Yeast Infections
Profile of yeast infections caused by candida. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Coccidioidomycosis, disease of dust and drought
Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection that can cause pneumonia and in rare cases more serious illness. The disease can be spread by dust and drought, even earthquakes.
What kind of worms can infect you?
Worms. They're a lot more common than we think.
Why do you need an Influenza Vaccine this year?
There's more to influenza vaccines than we think - multiple vaccines, multiple strains, multiple brands. Find out more:
Don't fall for these 10 Myths about Malaria
There are myths about preventing malaria. This is a disease that deserves respect. It takes over half a million lives a year worldwide
What causes Salmonella to spread?
Apparently Bearded Dragons, Dog Food, hedgehogs, and almond butter have this in common...they've been spreading Salmonella in the US.
Seasonality of Winter Viruses
If seasonal illnesses are caused by viruses and other microbes, how does one explain the phenomena of the cold being associated with getting sick more frequently? It turns out there may be some truth to this old wives' tale after all.
What is Chagas?
Chagas. It's a disease that affects millions throughout Latin America - but also increasingly in the US. It's complications can be delayed and severe.
What is Japanese Encephalitis?
Japanese Encephalitis is becoming a more common risk in parts of India, as cases have risen 5 fold.
Definition of Superbug
Glossary definition of Superbug. Infectious Diseases.
What's the problem with Mumps?
Mumps was once a common disease. Its symptoms were less severe in children. It is now likely to affect a higher percentage of adults, who have more complications.
The Threat of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococ...
Infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as the MRSA superbug, have been increasing over the past decade. Find out what the MRSA superbug is and why it's a problem. Learn about symptoms of different kinds of MRSA, treatment options, and tips for prevention.
An outbreak that's pretty scary for families
Sudden outbreaks of brain swelling infections in children is pretty scary. Such outbreaks have occurred in India without a cause always being found. Chandipura is one of the viruses thought to cause some of these outbreaks.
What is West Nile Virus?
An infection that was a surprise in 1999 has become a part of the summer throughout the US. A mosquito bite makes West Nile an unwanted summertime visitor.
Swine Flu FAQs
FAQs about swine flu from Harvard Medical School
What You Need to Know About Botulism
Botulism, caused by ingestion of Clostridium botulinum or its toxin, can be deadly for its victims. Find out more about symptoms, treatment, and prevention of this disease.
The 5 Biggest Myths About Antibiotics
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Is Ebola Mutating?
Ebola is mutating. The question is, does it matter?
Drug Resistance spreads, now in Shigella
Shigella joins the growing list of infections we can longer treat with our standard antibiotics as drug resistance quickly spread from abroad to high risk populations in the US.
Definition of Congenital Defect
Glossary definition of Congenital Defect
How Infectious Diseases Cause Cancer
Infectious diseases are responsible for up to 30% of all cancers worldwide. Find out how microbes cause cancer.
Superbugs on the Rise
Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to multiple kinds of antibiotics, making treatment a challenge. Find out which strains of bacteria are becoming superbugs and are becoming public health issues.
Bird Flu Infections in Humans
Bird Flu or Avian Influenza has been in recent news. Find out more about what it is, its symptoms, methods of treatment, and how to prevent bird flu.
Rotavirus Diarrheal Disease
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe dehydrating diarrhea in small children both in the United States and worldwide. Read more about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of rotavirus.
The Malaria of Massachusetts
Babesia is a disease spread by the same tick as Lyme Disease - and may become just as common. For most it's a mild disease, for some it's much more serious.
Rotavirus Vaccine Radar
The Rotateq vaccine is a promising new vaccine for rotavirus infection that leads to severe diarrhea in small children. Find out how well it works and how safe it is.
What is Schistosomiasis?
A simple snail is responsible for a disease that affects 200 million people - and may have helped spread HIV and Hepatitis C.
What is Zika?
Zika virus is the new kid on the block in much of the world. It's joining Dengue and Chikungunya, spreading rapidly, apparently reaching Brazil, after causing aches and pains in Africa and the Pacific.
Shigella and Shigellosis Foodborne Disease
Shigella is an infectious food-borne bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea, known as dysentery or Shigellosis. Find out symptoms of Shigella infections and how to treat and prevent disease.
What sort of algae causes fish poisoning?
Some types of fish carry a toxin that causes an unusual form of seafood poisoning.
What is Salmonellosis?
Salmonella is a major cause of food-borne outbreaks in the United States. Find out what it is, how it causes disease and how to prevent and treat it.
How come doctors don't get sick?
Health care professionals take many steps to avoid infections spreading between patients or to themselves in hospitals.
Definition of Lymphatic System
Glossary definition of Lymphatic System
Why We Vaccinate
As doctors we always hope vaccines aren't needed. We hope no one steps on a nail, no one has measles at school. But when vaccines are needed is always at the worst times.
Disease-Free Daycares
Daycare centers don't have to be germ centers. Find out why child care centers and preschools are common sources of infectious diseases. Learn some tips for keeping your child's daycare center free of nasty germs and infections
Definition of Opportunistic Infection
Glossary definition of opportunistic infection
Definition of Virulence
Glossary definition of virulence
Another virus out there, MERS
A virus in the Middle East has been worrying some doctors. This time it's from Camels. Yes, Camels.
How do healthcare workers protect themselves...
Healthcare workers have to follow strict protocols for using PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to avoid accidental exposures.
Rats, Mosquitoes, and Snakes, Oh My!
Hurricane Ike devastated the city of Galveston, Texas on the morning of September 13th, 2008. In its aftermath, returning residents to Galveston are finding themselves amidst swarms of rotting herd animals, mosquitoes, rats, and snakes. To top it off, there is limited drinking water, electricity, and medical care. What are the infectious disease risks associated with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, and what can the residents of Galveston do about it? How can we help?
Swine Flu Infections in Humans
Swine Influenza has been in recent news. Find out more about what it is, its symptoms, methods of treatment, and how to prevent swineflu.
Can a cat scratch be dangerous?
Cats can be cute - but they bring home more than mice. Scratches and bites can cause infections, from cat-scratch disease to MRSA bacteria to rabies.
The Truth About Daycares
Find out the truth about daycare-associated infections and what causes them. Did you know there are even some health-related benefits for children who attend daycare centers and preschools? Keep reading to find out more!
Even the thought of this bacteria escaping made...
There was concern that a deadly bacteria had escaped from a lab in Louisiana. It turns out all is fine, but what is this bacteria that was so worrisome?
What is a PPD TB test?
There's a test for latent Tuberculosis (TB). It's called a PPD or TST test. Each year thousands of school kids are tested. Find out what it means.
7 questions to ask yourself before your next...
Nail Salons should be a place to relax and return with your nails looking nice, not bring home fungus under your nails. To avoid bringing home any infections, here are 7 tips.
Wait, bunny rabbits can be dangerous?
Rabbits can be dangerous? Only rarely. There's a disease called Tularemia, or Rabbit Fever.
Definition of Zoonotic Disease
Glossary Definition of zoonotic disease
Chicken-what? The spread of Chikungunya worldwide
Chikungunya is a viral infection causing joint pain and fevers spread by mosquitoes. A bite by a mosquito in Florida or Texas could possibly spread the disease.
Dengue, there's a reason it's called Break-bone...
Dengue Fever has spread into new areas and reached the US. The mosquitoes that could potentially carry dengue are found as north as Chicago and New York.
Common Travel-Related Infections
See below for quick summaries of some common travel-related infections and tips on how to diagnose, treat, and avoid them.
9 Tips for Preventing Infection in the Hospital
We can prevent infections in the hospital. With a few simple tips to cut back on nosocomial infections like C Diff (Clostridium difficile) and antibiotic resistant infections like MRSA.
Definition of Pandemic
Glossary definition of pandemic. Infectious Diseases.
Getting Rid of Superbugs
The emergence of superbugs is a huge public health issue, but can potentially be solved with proper use of antibiotics. Find out how we can help fix the super bug problem
Swine Flu FAQs, Part 2
More swine flu FAQs from Harvard Medical School. Page 2.
Warm temperatures and seashores bring Vibrio...
It's a disease that often makes news headlines. Vibrio Vulnificus. It is described as causing Flesh-Eating Infections after a walk on the beach. Fortunately, it is quite rare.
Hepatitis A, B, C, D....and E?
Hepatitis E is a disease we rarely hear about. It's more common than we think, even in the US. It can cause severe disease in pregnant women in some parts of the world.
What is German Measles?
Rubella - also called German Measles - is often confused with Measles - also called Rubeola. The diseases though are different. Rubella can cause problems at birth for children of affected mothers.
7 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling
Getting sick while traveling is a huge inconvenience, especially since you lack the comforts of home. Get tips on how to stay healthy when traveling
Another Reason to Avoid Ticks
There's always something new in infectious diseases. This time, it's a new virus in Kansas - and another reason to avoid ticks this summer.
Penny-Pinching Pills and Prevention Tips
Economic woes got you down? Times of financial stress can make you more prone to infections. Find out some quick and easy ways you can save money and stay free of infections.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a disease that affects those most vulnerable, the old and the young.
Can a kitten be dangerous?
Cats are awfully cute, but sometimes they spread human infections - anything from ringworm to salmonella to toxoplasmosis to latent tuberculosis (TB). Luckily, this is rare.

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