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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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
What is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is very common. It can start suddenly with a blotch of red or a patch of hot skin.
Ouch! Shingles hurts. What to do about it.
Did you have chickenpox? Then you're at risk for developing shingles. 1 in 3 older adults will. There's a vaccine to prevent herpes zoster (shingles).
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
Profile of Thrush caused by Candida fungi. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
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.
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.
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?
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.
4 Infections Contact Lenses Put You at Risk For
A pair of ghoulish white eyes may seem perfect for a Halloween costume, but contact lenses can lead to a serious eye infection if not used correctly.
What to know about 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
Your doctor said you need another Pneumonia...
The CDC is now recommending those over 65 have a second vaccine to prevent streptococcal pneumonia.
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.
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?
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 Is MRSA?
Infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (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, treatment, and prevention.
Definition of Microbiology
Glossary definition of microbiology
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a disease that affects those most vulnerable, the old and the young.
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
How E.Coli Causes Disease
E. coli O157:H7 is a common cause of foodborne outbreaks, causing hemorrhagic colitis, characterized by bloody diarrhea.
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.
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 do you catch Herpes?
Herpes is more common than you'd think. What you can do to avoid to avoid catching herpes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Invasive Candidiasis - Systemic Candida Fungal...
Profile of Invasive Candidiasis that causes a systemic fungal infection. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
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.
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?
What is Leprosy?
Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, has caused disfigurement and stigma throughout history. It's close
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, Swine Flu, and even Flu in dogs.
What can happen if a rat bites me?
More and more kids have rats as pets. These clever animals may be putting kids at risk for a rare, but deadly, infection.
Legionella is back
A recent outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease has shown how overlooked the important, ever-present, yet potentially deadly Legionella bacteria can be
There's now a vaccine for Ebola
The Ebola vaccine is a game changer.
Oh great another Superbug to worry about, CRE....
There are more and more Superbugs - bacteria like MRSA and VRE that can resist a wide range of antibiotics that used to stop them. Now another Superbug, CRE, is making headlines.
Definition of Pathogen
Glossary definition of pathogen. Infectious Diseases.
What You Need to Know About Enterovirus and...
Enteroviruses strains can be responsible for anything from common illnesses like Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) and the common cold to EV-D68 and deadly polio and encephalitis outbreaks.
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.
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.
Alright, What Does Ebola Actually Do?
Ebola has captured headlines. What does it actually do to those it infects?
Is your Food Antibiotic-free?
Meat these days is not just organic, free range, and heritage. It's antibiotic-free, too.
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.
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.
What do we know about Antibiotics?
What are antibiotics? Where do they come from? How do they work?
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.
Definition of Gram Stain
Glossary definition of gram stain
What Is Bacteria?
Understanding the definition of bacteria and its role in biology and disease.
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.
What is Osteomyelitis?
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. It can come on slowly or without warning. Learn more about what causes it and how to treat it.
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.
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.
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.
A raw fish parasite
Scared of sushi? The Anisakis worm is a parasite that can cause nasty infections in humans who enjoy eating raw fish.
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 to know about the Giardia parasite
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.
Definition of Fungi
Glossary definition of fungi. Infectious Diseases.
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.
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
Definition of Superbug
Glossary definition of Superbug. Infectious Diseases.
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.
How did some TB strains become almost...
Tuberculosis may seem like a thing of the past, but XDR TB developed. We don't have the drugs to treat XDR TB like other forms of TB.
How do healthcare workers protect themselves...
Healthcare workers have to follow strict protocols for using PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to avoid accidental exposures.
How did drug resistant TB come to be?
Tuberculosis was once a disease with no treatment. When full treatment and monitoring isn't available for all, TB that resists treatment spreads. We all risk no treatment when there isn't treatment for all.
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.
What a bright red tongue might mean
Scarlet Fever was once a common disease of childhood. The bacteria that causes strep throat causes the disease, but good hygiene and antibiotics have halted it. It's been creeping back, though.
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?
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.
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.
Is this 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.
How come doctors don't get sick?
Health care professionals take many steps to avoid infections spreading between patients or to themselves in hospitals.
What is a Z pak?
Z-Pac is a commonly prescribed drug - too commonly, in fact. It is often overprescribed for infections not caused by bacteria that it treats.
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:
4 Things to know about XDR Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis can be scary. Infectious Diseases.
What kind of worms can infect you?
Worms. They're a lot more common than we think.
The 8 ways to get rid of MRSA
You can protect yourself from getting MRSA - the drug resistant Staph Aureus.
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.
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.
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.
The 10 basics about Meningitis in College...
It strikes college students and infants suddenly - but rarely. It's a disease of kissing and close contact. What is meningococcal disease?
7 Things you didn't know about HPV
Take charge of your health. HPV is an infection most of us get. It's about much more than just Pap smears. Find out more.
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.
The name says it all: Fecal Transplant
There are heart transplants, lung transplants, kidney transplants, but Stool Transplants? Yes, stool transplants. They treat infections like C Diff (Clostridium difficile).
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.
When Arthritis Is Contagious
Infectious Arthritis is sometimes associated with Bull's Eyes and Lyme Disease. There's more to it.
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?
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.
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.
6 Terrifying Parasites that Humans Can Get
There are ghoulish, creepie-crawlies and then there are real ones. Medicine has its own: Loa Loa eye worms, Cutaneous Larva Migrans under our skin, and Myiasis larvae.
What is Blastomycosis?
Blastomycosis is a fungus that's found in the soil of some wooded areas. It's rare, but in some places it's hard to avoid.
Swine Flu FAQs
FAQs about swine flu from Harvard Medical School
How Infectious Diseases Cause Cancer
Infectious diseases are responsible for up to 30% of all cancers worldwide. Find out how microbes cause cancer.
Is Listeria a problem in pregnancy?
What is Listeria, and how do I avoid getting it? Who should avoid eating soft cheeses and deli meats? Is my baby or fetus at risk?
Can You Get an Infection from a Hospital or...
Glossary definition of nosocomial infection
5 questions answered about Tetanus
The bacteria that causes Tetanus is found in soil worldwide. A rusty nail is all it takes to create an infection. It's vaccination that has kept it in check.
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.
Shigella is an infectious food-borne illness. It can cause severe diarrhea or Shigellosis. Find out the symptoms of Shigella infections and how to treat and prevent disease.
What infections can you catch from a blood...
Blood Transfusions can be scary. Find out more about the infections we prevent in blood transfusions.
8 things you need to know about Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea. It's a disease that's been around for a long time, but there's a lot most of us don't know about it.
Can mold make me sick?
What can mold do? Most mold causes no problems, but sometimes Aspergillus does
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
Definition of Zoonotic Disease
Glossary Definition of zoonotic disease
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 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.
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.
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.
Ever wonder what inspired the movie Contagion?
The movie Contagion showed the havoc a virus could spread. This virus was based on a real virus - which does not spread as easily as in the movie, but is as deadly.
Definition of Virulence
Glossary definition of virulence
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.
Ever wonder about the risks of Adventure Racing?
Leptospirosis is a disease that strikes athletes of adventure sports and those living crowded, flooded areas. It is found around the world, but is often not diagnosed.
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.
Can Ebola lead to Measles?
One disease can lead to another. One outbreak can disrupt prevention of another. As Ebola recedes in West Africa, we are entering measles transmission season with lower vaccination rates than before the Ebola outbreak.
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.
What is the story behind Anthrax?
Anthrax has made it back in the news again. It's a disease that's found naturally but the worry remains that one day it will be used as a weapon.
Can you treat Ebola?
Next steps to understanding Ebola. There's only untested treatments for Ebola. The new names in treatment are: ZMapp, Tekmira, Favipiravir, and Biocryst.
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 you treat TB?
Tuberculosis is a disease we know how to treat and cure. There are medications - Isoniazid, Rifampin, Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol - used in combination to treat it.
The doctors say she has sepsis.
Sepsis sends over 1 million to the hospital each year. Severe sepsis is a scary diagnosis - and one of the costliest for the healthcare system.
The 10 vaccines your doctor may want you to...
These are the vaccines you may want to talk to your doctor about before you head off on any far away vacations.
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 5 Biggest Myths About Antibiotics
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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.
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.
What to know about Influenza B
There are lots of types of the flu.
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.
Definition of Lymphatic System
Glossary definition of Lymphatic System
Our troops might have one more battle to face:...
What you need to know about the chronic infections Veterans sometimes bring home from military service.

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