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Rickettsiosis

Rickettsiosis is a range of infections that can be caused by rickettsial bacteria. These include typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and trench fever. Symptoms of Rickettsiosis are fever, headache, chills and skin rashes. This kind of infection is transmitted by lice, ticks and mites. Typically antibiotics like Doxycycline are used to treat rickettsial infection.

Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection affecting the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This infection can be caused by either virus, bacteria, fungi or other parasites. There is inflammation in the membranes (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord. Infection starting here can travel to other parts of the body and even enter the central nervous system. Bacterial meningitis can be life threatening if not treated at once. Complications of bacterial meningitis can involve hearing loss, visual impairment, seizures and learning disabilities. Viral meningitis is more common. Viral meningitis is also called aseptic meningitis. Meningitis spreads through person-to-person contact and sharing infected utensils or items.


Symptoms of viral meningitis are flu-like - fever, diarrhea and runny nose. The patient is likely to feel lethargic and irritable. Headaches and stiffness in the neck are not uncommon. There may be sensitivity to light. Meningitis can lead to skin rashes that look like red pin pricks. In rare cases, there may be seizures. To diagnose meningitis, a doctor may resort to throat culture or CT scan of the chest, skull or sinuses. A spinal tap allows analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.


Cases of viral meningitis resolve on their own in a week or so. Pain medications can alleviate fever and body ache. The patient must get sufficient rest and drink plenty of fluids. Antibiotics are suggested in certain cases, even for persons who are in close contact with the patient.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that surfaces as inflammation and damage to various parts of the body and its tissues. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain and kidneys. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus affects the blood vessels and connective tissues of the skin. Since the body turns against itself, the tissues become inflamed and swollen. Most often, SLE manifests itself with a butterfly-rash and pain in the joints. This disease is more pronounced among persons of Afro-Caribbean and Asian origin. Women are more likely to be afflicted by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.


A patient suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus experiences painful swelling in the joints, skin rashes, extreme fatigue, fever and infections due to weakened immune system. Scaly sores on the face (discoid rash) and butterfly-shaped rash on the bridge of the nose (malar rash) are also noticed. SLE also leads to serositis - inflammation in the linings of the hear, lungs and abdomen. There may be weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea. SLE can also cause swollen glands and sensitivity to cold. While symptoms of SLE are often noticed in the years of 15 - 45, it can even occur earlier or later.


This disease tends to appear in periodic flare-ups. Often diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus takes time. Blood tests are conducted for checking for the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Chest x-rays and urine analysis are done. Inflammation levels are checked with sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP). While there is no cure for systemic lupus erythematosus, corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to relieve pain and swelling. Immunosuppresants are also used in the treatment of SLE. Physiotherapy is used to give relief to the patient from pain in the joints.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 24, 2019