Sepsis: Symptoms and Precautions

Sepsis is a life threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection or injury. The chemicals released into the blood to fight the infection trigger widespread inflammation. This can lead to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. Severe sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure or even death.

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Bacteria blood infection (image source)

Sepsis is defined as SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) in response to an infectious process. Sepsis is often associated with infections caused in organs such as lungs, brain, urinary tract and abdominal organs..

Stages of Sepsis

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Stages of sepsis (image source)

 1: Sepsis

Sepsis is stage when the infection reaches the bloodstream and causes inflammation in the body. Early symptoms of sepsis should not be ignored.

2. Severe Sepsis

Severe sepsis is the stage when the infection is severe enough to affect the functioning of the organs such as the heart, brain, and abdominal organs. The symptoms may vary with the organ affected.

3. Sepsis shock

Septic shock is when you experience a significant drop in blood pressure that can lead to multiple organ failure or even death.

Symptoms of Sepsis

Sepsis symptoms:

  • High body temperature ( above 101F/ 38.3C) or low body temperature (below 96.8F/ 36C).
  • High heart rate.
  • High respiratory rate.

Severe sepsis symptoms:

  • chills
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • abdominal pain
  • severe muscle pain
  • slurred speech
  • shivering

Sepsis shock symptoms:

  • Extremely low blood pressure.

Precautions to Prevent Sepsis

Sepsis can occur to anyone, at any time, from any type of infection, and can affect any part of the body. It is necessary to get immediate treatment for proper recovery. Following are the precautions that can be taken to prevent sepsis:

  1. Prevent infections by practicing good hygiene.
  2. Get proper medical attention and vaccinate against flu, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and any other infections that could lead to sepsis.
  3. If you are  feeling worse day by day and not getting better from an infection, ask your doctor about sepsis.
  4. If you have severe infection, look for sepsis signs and symptoms.
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Brucellosis: Symptoms and Precautions

Brucellosis is the disease caused by the bacterial genus brucella. It is known by various names, including Mediterranean fever, Malta fever, Bang’s disease, Crimean fever, Gibraltar fever, gastric remittent fever, rock fever and undulant fever. Brucellosis  is a highly contagious disease spread from animals to humans (Zoonotic disease).

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Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease [Image Source]

How Brucellosis is spread?

Brucellosis has been recognized in animals and humans since the 20th century. Brucellosis in humans is caused by four different species of Brucella bacteria:

  1. Brucella melitensis(goats,sheep, camels)
  2. Brucella abortus (cows, buffalo, yaks)
  3.  Brucella suis (pigs)
  4. Brucella canis (dogs).

Transmission to Humans:

  • Contact with secretions of infected animals
  • Using unpasteurized milk or dairy products made from milk of infected animals.
  • Eating under-cooked meat of infected animals.
  • Contact with the placenta of infected animals  ( blood filled organ formed on the wall of the womb during pregnancy)

Symptoms of Brucellosis

The signs and symptoms of Brucellosis may vary from days to months. The symptoms  can be similar to the symptoms of other diseases and may vary from patients to patients.

The major symptoms include:

  • intermittent high fever
  • shivering
  • body aches
  • joint pain

Other symptoms may include:

  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • irritability,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss
  • cough or breathing problems,
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain

Precautions to prevent Brucellosis

To avoid the risks of getting brucellosis the following precautions can be taken:

  • Avoid using unpasturized milk or milk products.
  • Cook meat thoroughly before consumption.
  • Use gloves, masks or take other safety precautions etc. while handling animals.
  • Vaccinate animals to eliminate brucellosis.

Malaria: Symptoms and Precautions

Malaria is the disease caused by parasitic infection of red blood cells, transmitted to humans by the infected Anopheles species female mosquitoes. There are four types of parasites that cause human malaria. Malaria is a life threatening condition, so it advised you to seek medical advise as early as possible if you have malaria symptoms.

malaria

Anopheles mosquito [image source]

Life Cycle of Malaria

Infected mosquitoes carry Plasmodium parasite and during mosquito bite these parasite is injected to our body. Once inside the body, these parasites multiple rapidly in the liver cells. Later, the liver cells are burst open and release thousands of new parasite to the blood stream and infects the red blood cells.

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Malaria life cycle [image source]

Symptoms of Malaria

The signs and symptoms of malaria typically begin 8-25 days. Malaria begin with flu like symptoms. If it is left untreated, serious problems or even death can happen.

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Symptoms of Malaria

Precautions to prevent Malaria

The less you are bitten by mosquitoes, the less likely you are to get Malaria. The ‘ABCD’ plan is considered as the most effective way to prevent malaria. ABCD stands for:

A: Awareness of risk

Find out whether you are at risk of getting malaria. Measures to avoid mosquito bites should be taken if you are travelling to mosquito prevalent area.

B: Bite avoidance

It is not possible to avoid mosquito bites completely. But we can reduce chances of biting. Mosquito bites can be avoid considerably by following these methods:

  • Use insect repellent.
  • Wear long dresses that cover most of the body.
  • Use insecticide treated mosquito net during sleeping.
  • Use screen windows in doors and windows.
  • Air condition the rooms if possible.

Malaria mosquitoes bite usually at twilight and at night. So it is advised that take more precaution at that time.

C: Chemoprophylaxis (Use of drugs to avoid disease)

If you are living in areas where risk of malaria is higher, it is advised that you use antimalerial medication to avoid risk of getting malaria. The medication you need may vary depending on the type of malaria, medical history of the person and individual preference. The drugs such as Chloroquine and proguanil, Doxycyline and Malarone, Mefloquine are commonly used as antimalerial drugs. Considering the risks of using inappropriate drug, it is advised you to seek medical advise for taking the drug.

D: Diagnosis

Seek medical advise as soon as possible if you have the malaria symptoms. Treatment for the disease is typically provided in a hospitals. The medication is prescribed by the doctor based on the type of malaria parasite that you have. A medical check up is advised to individuals who traveled in areas having malaria risk.