Infectious Diseases – Farrer Park Hospital
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What is Infectious Diseases?
​This is a medical specialty that deals with infections caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that result in human illnesses. These diseases can spread from person to person directly or indirectly by close contact through insects and inanimate objects such as clothing or furniture; or through animals or contact with contaminated surroundings. Infectious diseases cause a wide spectrum of illnesses, many of which can be treated by general practitioners and internists, but complex cases are usually referred to an infectious diseases specialist.
Conditions

Fever of Unknown Origin
This refers to ongoing fever of at least two weeks or more, where no cause is found after extensive investigations. The main causes are infections, neoplasms, collagen vascular diseases or factitious fever

Dengue is caused by virus called an Arbovirus of which there are 4 strains. Each strain is different and does not confer cross protection against other strains. Infection is caused by a the bite from an infected Aedes mosquito. Human to Human transmission is rare and incubation period  is about 3-7 days.
Symptoms of Dengue include fever with muscle aches, headaches, red rash and sometimes bruising and bleeding, eyeball pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, swollen hands and feet, bleeding gums and nose, and rarely vomiting blood. Dengue fever can manifest in three ways:
 
a) Dengue Fever : usually mild with rash and slightly low platelets
b) Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever with more rash, bleeding and lower platelet count as well as fluid leakage into lungs, extremities and abdominal bloating ( capillary leak )
c) Dengue Shock Syndrome which is the most severe form of Dengue infection resulting in shock, bleeding, very low platelets, multi-organ failure and death.
 
Platelet transfusion may be recommended if platelet level is extremely low or if there is significant bleeding.
 
It is a disorder where profound fatigue is experienced, to the extent of not being able to perform daily activities and functioning at lower level than in their normal state. It affects all ages, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic groups, adults and teenagers. Symptoms include prolonged severe chronic fatigue, short term memory impairment and concentration, sorethroat, headache, unrefreshed sleep.
 
Pneumonia is infection of the lung tissue which may be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It is classified into community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) or health care associated pneumonia (HCAP). Symptoms include cough productive of greenish or reddish phlegm, chest pain, high fever, breathlessness, difficulty breathing and reduced effort tolerance.
Treatments

The treatment for fever of unknown origin will depend on the cause of the fever. Empiric treatment may be needed if the investigations do not yield a diagnosis. Antibiotics or anti-TB treatment may be started if indicated.

There is no specific treatment for Dengue. All treatments are supportive and symptomatic eg. Drugs for fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, gastritis or platelet transfusion if bleeding occurs.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. In patients with severe pneumonia and who exhibit worsening condition, intubation and ventilator support may be necessary.

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