The Difference Between Bacterial and Viral Infections

Bacterial and viral infections can present with similar symptoms, but they are caused by two distinct types of microbes (single-celled germs that can cause disease) and are treated differently. Both bacterial and viral infections can be minor (like sore throat), moderate (like chickenpox), or severe (like meningitis). The symptoms of both types of infection are similar.

The WHO Declares Smallpox Eradicated

In September 11, 1978, in Birmingham, England, a woman named Janet Parker died from a disease she had apparently caught at work. She was a photographer at the University of Birmingham who worked directly above the university’s microbiology lab where the smallpox virus was being studied. Janet would turn out to be the last person ever to die from that virus.

What You Need to Know About Acute Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air tubes in the lungs, called bronchioles. The inflammation causes the bronchioles to produce too much mucus. It causes shortness of breath and a cough that can last for weeks. Acute bronchitis is often referred to as a chest cold.

Depression in Older Adults

Depression is a sometimes-debilitating condition that affects more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older. (1) Unfortunately, when it occurs in the older population, depression is often undiagnosed or even misdiagnosed. One reason for this is that many people believe that depressive symptoms are a normal part of aging. The truth is that depression is not part of the natural aging process. Certain events that tend to occur later in life—such as retirement, death of a spouse, or serious illness—can cause depressive periods.

Urgent Care or Emergency Room? Understanding the Difference

Urgent care facilities seem to be popping up all over these days. The urgent care trend began in the 1970s as a way to decrease trips to emergency rooms, which are much more costly for patients and insurance companies. Sounds great, right? But it’s not always easy to tell the difference between an urgent situation and an emergency. We’ll help you sort it out.

The History of X-rays

Have you ever wondered, “How did they ever think of that?” The truth is, most scientific breakthroughs are made only after extensive experimentation with gradual gains, with each researcher building on the work of those who came before. But many of the world’s greatest inventions were based on discoveries made by accident. But many of the world’s greatest inventions were based on discoveries made by accident. Penicillin, microwaves, Coca-Cola, and Super Glue are just a few examples. But few accidental discoveries (with the possible exception of penicillin) have had the impact on humanity that the X-ray has.

Acute Kidney Injury: What You Need to Know

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a disease that will take the lives of two million people worldwide this year. (1) It’s a disease that has no cure. One in three adults in the United States (2) and 50% of intensive care unit (ICU) patients (3) are at risk for getting kidney disease. Unfortunately, acute kidney injury is often not diagnosed until permanent kidney damage has already been done. By the time a patient experiences symptoms, the damage can be irreversible. Because adults over 60 are at higher risk for kidney disease, it’s important to know the symptoms of acute kidney injury and steps you can take to prevent it.

Pneumonia: What You Need to Know

Pneumonia is a common lung infection caused by germs like bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It can also be a complication of the flu. It causes air sacs in your lungs to inflame and fill with mucus or other liquid, which causes fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing. While most people recover from pneumonia in anywhere from a week to a month, certain groups are at higher risk for catching it and at higher risk of having complications.

Understanding Macular Degeneration and How to Cope With It

Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss in Americans over 50. It’s commonly called age-related macular degeneration (ARMD, or AMD) in this age group. How Common is Age-related Macular Degeneration? Eleven million people in the United States have some form of macular degeneration. It is the leading cause of legal blindness (defined as visual acuity of 20/200) for adults over 40.