Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases or communicable diseases arise from illnesses caused by fungi, viruses, protozoa, bacteria or parasites. These infections can be transmitted through body fluids, airborne inhalation and contaminated foods or objects.

Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Viruses (biological)

When are you most contagious when you have a cold?

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Adults are contagious one or two days before symptoms of the common cold start and approximately a week after. Children can be contagious even longer, as much as two weeks after symptoms have started. You are most contagious earlier in your illness rather than later. Some people can be infected with a common cold virus and have no symptoms, but still spread the virus to others. See the related links section below for a link to more information.
Asked in Health, Conditions and Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Measles

Can you get the measles twice in your life time?

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No,the person who has once caught measles has the antibodies against measles viruses. When a person has caught measles th T type lymphocytes detect the type of virus and then the B type lymphocytes produce antibodies for the viruses of maesles.Antibodies stick with these viruses and destroy them. This person can not get measles again in life because the antibodies against measeles are already produced for prevntion by catching measles once. These antibodies are memory cell for this specific type of viruses.
Asked in Infectious Diseases, Chickenpox

Does chickenpox turn black when it dries?

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On some patients, the lesions can turn black when scabbed due to dried blood.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

Are you contagious if you are not running a fever?

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At the beginning of a viral infection, like the cold and flu, you can be contagious while showing no symptoms at all for a day or even two. However, the rule of thumb is that after having a fever with the flu and then it subsides, once you have gone a full 24 hours after that without a fever (when taking no fever-reducing medicines), you are considered no longer contagious and can go back into public again.
Asked in Infectious Diseases, Body Temperature, Malaria

How does malaria get into the body?

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when female anopheles mosquito take a blood meal from a host with malaria, the mosquitoe took the malaria bacteria's gametes with the blood meal. the gamestes fused together in the mosquitoe's gut forming the infected stage. if the mosquito then bit a non infected human host, the infected stage of the bacteria will enter the bloodstream vai the salivary gland of the mosquito.
Asked in Mycology or Fungi, Infectious Diseases, The Difference Between

What is tinea unguium?

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tinea unguium (infection of the nails) Tinea unguium is the latin name for a fungal infection of the nail. It can be caused by the dermatophytes: Trichophyton Epidermophyton Microsporum
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Infectious Diseases

Identify poor practices that may lead to the spread of infection?

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not washing your hands, not wearing PPE, not storing or cooking foods properly, not cleaning your surroundings, not covering your nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Public Health and Safety

What is an epidemic?

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Medical use of the word: When there is an outbreak of infectious disease which affects a large number of people and/or is spread to many different places, it is called in medicine an epidemic of that disease. Disease spreading among a smaller number of people in a single community or limited location is called an outbreak instead of epidemic. If the number of people and places where the disease has spread is international and/or over a large geographical area (e.g., cross-continental or world-wide) it is called a pandemic ('pan-' means all), as it was with the H1N1/09 pandemic in 2009 and the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918. To break it down, the word Epidemic [epi- (on or in), -demic (people )] means: Something that is spread on or in the people. A pandemic [pan- (All), -demic (people)] is an epidemic that becomes so widespread that it involves multiple continents making it a global problem. Other definitions for epidemic include additional qualifying details such as "an increase or surge in victims of an isolated virus or other biological infectious organism or disease within a widespread area or group all at the same time." However, as indicated above, an epidemic is not restricted to a local community (that is called an Outbreak or Regional Outbreak), but an epidemic is more widespread in geographical area or spread in a specifically large proportion of a demographic group of the population. It is bigger than an outbreak, but a smaller area compared to a pandemic. Pandemics are world-wide or affect entire global regions, hemispheres, multiple countries over a section of the world or multiple continents. A quantifying definition that is often given in classrooms, such as in a graduate course in Public Health, is: "An epidemic exists when the number of cases at any one time exceeds 200 per 100,000 population." The rapidity of onset only means that the 200 mark will be reached sooner rather than later. Non-medical use of the word: Another meaning of the word epidemic that is unrelated to the medical usage is to use the word to describe something as extensive or widespread in other topics of conversation. For example, to describe an epidemic in stock sell out, real estate foreclosures, or job losses. In general medical terms, it is an "outbreak" of a biological/viral nature where an increase or surge in victims of a virus or other biological infectious organism or disease is isolated among a widespread area or group at the same time. An epidemic is not restricted to a local community (that is called an Outbreak or Regional Outbreak), but an epidemic is much more widespread in geographical area or in a specifically large proportion of a demographic group of the population. It is bigger than an outbreak, but a smaller area compared to a pandemic. Pandemics are world-wide or affect entire global regions, hemispheres, multiple countries over a section of the world or multiple continents. Another meaning of the word epidemic that is unrelated to the medical usage is to use the word to describe something as extensive or widespread in other topics of conversation. For example, to describe an epidemic in stock sell out, real estate foreclosures, or job losses. To break it down, the word Epidemic [epi- (on or in), -demic (people )] means: Something that is spread on or in the people. A pandemic [pan- (All), -demic (people)] is an epidemic that becomes so widespread that it involves multiple continents making it a global problem. A definition that is often given in classrooms, such as in a graduate course in Public Health, that quantifies the definition is: "An epidemic exists when the number of cases at any one time exceeds 200 per 100,000 population." The rapidity of onset only means that the 200 mark will be reached sooner rather than later.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

Is a flu shot safe when you are pregnant?

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See also the related question below for the current recommendations from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. My doctor actually recommended I get the flu shot while I was pregnant. I did and everything is still going fine. Here in UK pregnant women are not on the list of people who should receive flu shots, but I was asked this question (I am a midwife) and did some research and in US pregnant women are up there with the elderly, people with heart/lung disease and diabetics as people who should have flu shots. I have copied this over from the CDC website: "Is it safe for pregnant women to receive an influenza vaccine that contains thimerosal? Yes. A study of influenza vaccination examining over 2,000 pregnant women demonstrated no adverse fetal effects associated with influenza vaccine. Case reports and limited studies indicate that pregnancy can increase the risk for serious medical complications of influenza. One study found that out of every 10,000 women in their third trimester of pregnancy during an average flu season, 25 will be hospitalized for flu related complications. The trace amounts of mercury from the thimerosal in vaccinations (a preservative) are about the same amount as you would get from a single meal of fish. The following excerpts from a September 3, 2009 guidance document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are about the H1N1/09 Influenza Vaccine and Pregnant Women: Influenza vaccines have not been shown to cause harm to a pregnant woman or her baby. The seasonal flu shot (injection) is proven as safe and already recommended for pregnant women. The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine will be made using the same processes and facilities that are used to make seasonal influenza vaccines. It is important for a pregnant woman to receive the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine as well as a seasonal influenza vaccine. A pregnant woman who gets any type of flu is at risk for serious complications and hospitalization. Pregnant women who are otherwise healthy have been severely impacted by the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (formerly called "novel H1N1 flu" or "swine flu"). In comparison to the general population, a greater proportion of pregnant women infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus have been hospitalized. In addition, severe illness and death has occurred in pregnant women. Six percent of confirmed fatal 2009 H1N1 flu cases thus far have been in pregnant women while only about 1% of the general population is pregnant. While hand washing, staying away from ill people, and other steps can help to protect pregnant women from influenza, vaccination is the single best way to protect against the flu. There are two types of flu vaccine. Pregnant women should get the "flu shot"- an inactivated vaccine (containing fragments of killed influenza virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in pregnant women. The other type of flu vaccine - nasal-spray flu vaccine (sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine)-is not currently approved for use in pregnant women. This vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu). LAIV (FluMist®) is approved for use in healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. In addition to protecting her from infection, infants less than 6 months old will not be able to be vaccinated so it is recommended that everyone who lives with or provides care for infants less than 6 months of age receive both the seasonal influenza vaccine and 2009 H1N1 influenza monovalent vaccine to provide protection for the infant. One recent study conducted in Bangladesh, assessed the effectiveness of influenza immunization for mothers and their young infants. Inactivated influenza vaccine reduced proven influenza illness by 63% in infants up to 6 months of age. This study confirmed that maternal influenza immunization is a strategy with substantial benefits for both mothers and infants. There is no evidence that thimerosal (used as a preservative in vaccine packaged in multi-dose vials) is harmful to a pregnant woman or a fetus. However, because some women are concerned about exposure to preservatives during pregnancy, manufacturers will produce preservative-free seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines in single dose syringes for pregnant women and small children. CDC recommends that pregnant women may receive influenza vaccine with or without thimerosal. People for whom the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine is recommended should receive it, even if they have had an influenza-like illness previously, unless they can be certain they had 2009 H1N1 influenza based on a laboratory test that can specifically detect 2009 H1N1 viruses. CDC recommends that persons who were tested for 2009 H1N1 influenza discuss this issue with a healthcare provider to see if the test they had was either an RT-PCR or a viral culture that showed 2009 H1N1 influenza. There is no harm in being vaccinated if you had 2009 H1N1 influenza in the past. Pregnant women are encouraged to get vaccinated against the seasonal strains of influenza in addition to the A-H1N1/09 vaccine. That vaccine for seasonal flu is already distributed and available for use. The two kinds of vaccine (seasonal flu and "Swine Flu") must both be taken for complete protection from both kinds of flu in the upcoming flu season. Always check with your obstetrician before taking any medications in pregnancy. Your doctor may also be planning on administering the vaccines to patients. Note about H1N1 vaccines approved for use in the UK: These vaccines are slightly different from the vaccines approved for use in the US for A-H1N1/09, but are still recommended by the NHS for pregnant women. The difference is mostly that they contain adjuvants in the UK. See the related question below about swine flu shot ingredients.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Medication and Drugs, Infectious Diseases, Drug Interactions, Antibiotics, Swine Flu (H1N1/09), Tamiflu

Can you take Tamiflu and an antibiotic at the same time?

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Yes. According to the Tamiflu prescription information: TAMIFLU has been shown to have a minimal chance of negatively interacting with other medications. Over-the-counter medications may be prescribed to reduce severity of symptoms while the antiviral action of TAMIFLU takes effect. Antibiotics and Tamiflu should be OK taken together, however, depending on the reason for the antibiotic, you may want to get counseling from the Pharmacist or your doctor before using both.
Asked in Health, Conditions and Diseases, Infectious Diseases

What is another name for infectious diseases?

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immunosuppression the process of preventing the body's immune system from working, for example so that it does not refuse to accept a new organ after a transplant operation
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Vaccinations, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

What is the purpose of vaccines?

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Vaccines, medicines containing a preparation of weakened or dead microbes of the kind that cause a particular disease, are administered to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against that disease. They are used to force the body's white blood cells to develop a response to the specific pathogen and rid the body of the invading microorganisms. Immunization can occur naturally when an untreated microbe in the environment is received by a person who has had no prior exposure to that microbe and, therefore, has no pre-made antibodies for defense. The immune system of an otherwise healthy individual will eventually create antibodies for the microbe, but this is a slow process and, if the microbe is deadly, there may not be enough time for the antibodies to begin being used to inactivate the microbe before serious symptoms or even death can occur. Artificial active immunization (vaccination) was created to boost the immune system's abilities to more quickly respond. In this process, the microbe is introduced into the person before they have been exposed to take it in naturally from the environment or directly from an infected person. Microbes to be used in a vaccine are treated to weaken them (attenuated live vaccines) so that they will not cause disease in the person receiving the vaccination. Depending on the type of microorganism for which immunization is desired, vaccines can be used made from the attenuated pathogen, from entirely inactivated ("dead") microbes, from incomplete particles of the microbe, or treated toxins from the germ. See the related questions below for more information about vaccinations.
Asked in Infectious Diseases

Why do you excrete mucus when you have a runny nose?

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Your body excretes mucus to wash out some of the germs.
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Spanish flu?

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The symptoms of the "Spanish flu" were very similar to the symptoms of all strains of influenza viruses. It would start out with upper respiratory symptoms like runny and stuffy nose, cough, and sneezing. Then muscle and joint aches and fever would usually begin, with fevers often very high, in the area of 104 degrees F., and with marked fatigue. Sometimes, that was the extent of the symptoms, ending in around a week's time. But for many, the respiratory symptoms would progress to pneumonia and the body would increase the defenses, often to the point of a "cytokine storm", which was usually fatal. A cytokine storm is thought to have been the cause of many, if not most, of the 1918 Pandemic deaths from Spanish Flu. It is an over-reaction of the immune system. With a respiratory infection, that causes the body to send massive amounts of fluids, to flush the infection out, along with immune cells. These fluids and cells move to the lungs so quickly they can accumulate and close off the airways. Respiratory failure and death can result, and did, especially among young and healthy infected individuals who had strong immune systems that could make overly strong responses. The "Spanish Flu" is what the pandemic influenza from 1918 has been called because the reports of the flu that many people first heard originated in Spain, so many people assumed that was also the origin of the flu. However, it probably started in other locations, but due to WWI, the news did not get out about it until cases were reported in the still operational newspapers of Spain.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Viruses (biological)

How do you avoid catching a cold or flu?

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To Avoid Catching a Cold or Flu 1. The number one best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. 2. Keep your mucous membranes (nostrils, mouth, eyes) moist with proper hydration. 3. Clean your hands. When soap and warm water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) may be used. 4. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth. 5. Drink plenty of fluids. Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates you. (How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more fluids.) 6. Get fresh air. A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather when central heating dries you out. (Also, during cold weather more people stay indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms.) 7. Some foods might also help. Fruits and vegetables have natural chemicals that help your body use their vitamins. Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease. 8. Avoiding cigarette smoke is also good. Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones. Even being around smoke profoundly weakens your immune system. Smoke dries out your mucous membranes. 9. Avoid people who are sick. 10. Some people recommend that you take 1/4 tsp of Diamond V - XPC Yeast Culture every day, which is the powder they give to race horses to keep them from catching colds. See the related link below.
Asked in Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Bacteria

What bacteria or fungi will alcohol kill?

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Answer Alcohol (of at least a 60% solution) will kill all fungi, 99.9% of bacteria and many viruses, but does not kill spores. ANSWER: It doesn't kill as well as you would think it should on skin. It will however sweep it from one place on the skin to another. When you go to give blood, the nurse starts with an alcohol prep pad and makes a circle with it going outwards. This is because alcohol is not a sterilizer. Use Betadine on the skin or bleach on other surfaces to kill bacteria most effectively. If an item is immersed in alcohol, then it will kill most bacteria.
Asked in Infectious Diseases, Integumentary System (skin)

How does skin protect you?

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The skin protects the skin from pathogens, which are known as bacteria, viruses and such. It also keeps your whole body in place, working together with the muscles and bones. But the skin is prone to damage from the sun. Keratin in the skin protects underlying tissues from microbes, abrasion, heat and chemicals. Lipids released by lamellar granules inhibit evaporation of water from the skin surface, thus protecting the body from dehydration. oily sebum prevents hairs from drying out and contains bactericidal chemicals that kill surface bacteria. The acidic pH of perspiration retards the growth of some microbes. Melanin provides some protection against the damage effects of UV light. Skin is the major organ in our body.it helps the body in many ways. PROTECTION;it protects the body from external environment such as chemicals,physical agents such as harmful sun i.e is ultraviolet rays and biological agents such as microbes. IT protects the internal organs and also forms water proof layer by depositing melanin on upper layers of cells. upper surface of skin contains specialised phagocytic cells such as langerhans which attack foreign substances and present them to lymph system. it also contains hairs. it also kills various microbes present on skin with their special secreations and kills them by which it produces special characteristic odor for each type of person it protects from harmful rays coming from skin by producing a special pigment called melanin. it also helps in secretion of some waste materials in form of sweat. it protects our body by maintaining HOMEOSTASIS that is by regulating body temperature.it controls temperature by excreting sweat during increased temperature conditions and also by contraction and dilation of blood vessels producing a cooling effect.
Asked in Health, Infectious Diseases, Malaria

How is malaria related to herpes simplex?

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Malaria is not related to herpes simplex.
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Cat Health, Swine Flu (H1N1/09), Viruses (biological)

Can cats get the flu from humans?

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Cats can, and do get the flu. However, they cannot catch the flu from humans because that particular viral strain doesn't cause the severe immune system response that causes the symptoms you and me feel as the "flu" and thus, the virus cannot propagate in felines. Like most mammals, there is a particular strain of the flu virus called "feline influenza" which does cause severe flu symptoms in all types of cats. We cannot catch the flu from cats and they cannot give it to us. Most cats get vaccinated at their first vet visit. Humane societies do it on-site usually along with a number of other vaccines.
Asked in Infectious Diseases, Chickenpox, Shingles (infection)

Can you get shingles from someone if you had chickenpox?

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No, you can't catch shingles from someone if you've had chicken pox. However, the chicken pox virus remains dormant for years and re-emerges as shingles. It often strikes people over 50, but does occur in younger people.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

How long do flu symptoms last?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Uncomplicated influenza illness typically resolves after 3-7 days for the majority of persons, although cough and malaise can persist for >2 weeks. However, influenza virus infections can cause primary influenza viral pneumonia; exacerbate underlying medical conditions (e.g., pulmonary or cardiac disease); lead to secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinusitis, or otitis media; or contribute to coinfections with other viral or bacterial pathogens." These complications and secondary conditions and their severity will vary as to how much time they add to the illness from person to person.
Asked in Infectious Diseases

Can viruses live in bacteria?

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Remember that every kind of virus can attack only certain kinds of cells, and therefore it can attack only certain kinds of animals and plants. Usually, though not always, a virus that will attack one kind of animal will not check any very different kind of animal. Usually, though still not always, a virus that attacks a plant will not attack an animal. Because there are so many kinds of viral diseases, you can tell that there are many many kinds of viruses, and that most of us do not harm humans at all. Now, having got that clear, you will not be surprised to hear that, because bacteria are made of cells (one cells for each bacterium) they certainly are viruses that attack bacteria, and in fact some of them are quite amazing. The best-known viruses that attack bacteria, in fact they often are called bacterial viruses, are the ones we call the phages, or bacteriophages. They look a little like tadpoles or perhaps spaceships. At one end there is a big hollow crystal-like block in which the phage carries its genetic material, the recipe from which copies of the phage are to be made. From one end of the block there is a thick hollow tube with special clutching, clawlike protein molecules at the end. When the molecules bump into a bacterium with the right kind of outer skin, they hook on, pierce through the bacterial wall, and the whole phage pools together and squirts all the genetic material inside the block into the bacterium. There all the genetic machinery of the bacterium gets fooled into working on the genetic material of the phage instead of the bacterium. Several things can happen at this point, but the usual thing that happens is that the bacterium goes on producing phages inside itself until it bursts and the new phages get out and those that are lucky enough to bump into more bacteria will go through the whole process again. Bacteriophages of such types are extremely important in fighting many kinds of disease germs. There are many kinds of them, including some kinds that differ from other bacteriophages as much as say, foxes differ from lions. Apart from bacteriophages, there are many other kinds viruses that infect bacteria. One interesting kind travels through the pili, tubes that bacteria use to attach themselves to other bacteria to swap genetic material; almost a sort of sexual process if you like. These viruses actually pass from bacterium to bacterium through the pili. That is by no means the end of the list, but as you can see, yes viruses can live in bacteria, but bear in mind that only certain kinds of viruses only in certain bacteria.
Asked in Pregnancy, Pregnancy Health and Safety (Prenatal Care), Labor and Birth, Infectious Diseases

How dangerous is Group B Strep for a baby during labor?

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Group B Streptococcus (GBS or Strep B) is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies - however, most of these horrible infections can be prevented. Many western countries test women for GBS late in pregnancy, and then offer those found to carry GBS intravenous antibiotics in labour. This is hugely effective at stopping GBS infections in newborn babies. Here are a few excellent websites I have found you can check out for yourself: http://www.gbss.org.uk/ http://www.groupbstrep.org/ http://www.medicinenet.com/group_b_strep/article.htm http://www.dhpe.org/infect/strepb.html http://www.angelfire.com/ca/gbstrep/index.html Most hospitals have a protocol for treating women whose babies are at higher risk of developing GBS infection with intravenous antibiotics in labour which will make sure the risk to your baby is tiny so your baby is born healthy. For this reason it is really important that you go to the hospital at the first sign of labor. My mom had GBS when she was pregnant with me back in 1987. According to her, they didn't check for it back then, and it was passed onto me. It caused me to get pneumonia, and if it wasn't for ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), I would have died. Thankfully, they have gotten smarter since then and check for this ahead of time. They are also a lot more experienced to deal with babies who do get GBS. That doesn't mean its bad. yes it can get the baby sick but that is why they check it. Its just a bacteria that some girls grow in their vagina( i know sounds gross but its true) if you have it they will put you on an IV so it gets treated when you are delivering your baby and he/she does not get sick from it.
Asked in Cold and Flu, Health, Infectious Diseases, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

How does Swine Flu kill you?

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The novel swine flu attacks the lungs and respiratory system. The most common cause of death from this lung involvement is viral pneumonia (the lungs fill with fluids, but not blood as suggested in some rumors) with resulting Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Rough estimates are that 50% of those who end up with ARDS, even though treated in a hospital ICU, will die. A second cause of death is secondary bacterial pneumonia, a third cause is a severe worsening of underlying medical conditions, like heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, asthma, diabetes, pregnancy, etc. Some of the secondary critical conditions from each of these causes seen in swine flu, or any flu, are dehydration and electrolyte imbalances (changes in the blood chemistry); sepsis; and toxic shock syndrome, making treatment and recovery even more difficult. Early in the Swine Flu 2009 epidemic it was investigated if cytokine storm could be the explanation for the younger age group of those who have died from swine flu. A cytokine storm is an over reaction of the immune system to an invading infection which makes the immune system go haywire and cause more harm than good in the response to the infection. Sometimes this can be a flooding of the lungs to try to remove the virus that results in pneumonia. However, this has not been proven to be the case with swine flu, it is now believed that it actually attacks the tissue of the alveoli of the lungs directly, contributing to the ARDS and respiratory failure. More studies are on-going.