Category: Virus

July 31st, 2016 by LiveMD

African Trypanosomiasis (also known as Sleeping Sickness) is a parasitic disease that is spread by the tsetse fly. It is most common in the Sub-Saharan regions of Africa where over 60 million people are at risk for contracting this disease. The transmission of this disease occurs when an infected tsetse fly bites someone and the parasite that it is carrying is then passed on. Without proper treatment, sleeping sickness can be fatal.

What Are The Symptoms of Sleeping Sickness?

When bitten by the tsetse fly, a  bright red sore will appear at the site of the bite. It may take a few weeks for symptoms to develop after which the infected person will start to experience a fever, headaches, itching, swollen glands, sore muscles and an overall feeling of being unwell along with irritability. These symptoms may come and go with long periods of time in between. If the sleeping sickness is not treated then the disease could progress to the second stage which may take years to develop. In this advanced stage of the disease symptoms are very severe. Someone who is infected may have issues with sleep patterns, seizures, difficulty talking, difficulty walking and confusion. This phase of sleeping sickness affects the central nervous system and is responsible for close to 9,000 deaths per year.

How Is This Disease Diagnosed?

African Trypanosomiasis can be a difficult disease to diagnose. Lab samples must be taken of either the blood, bone marrow or lymphatic fluid to diagnose the early stages and cerebrospinal fluid is needed in the advanced stages. These samples are then examined under a microscope to find evidence of the parasite. This diagnosis is necessary for doctors to properly treat this disease and stop its progression.

How Can I Keep From Getting Infected?

There are currently no vaccinations available to keep from getting infected with this disease. The best course of action to take to prevent sleeping sickness is to avoid areas with high infestations of the tsetse fly. Also, wear insect repellent whenever you are outside, avoid forested areas or areas with long grasses and make sure that as much skin is covered as possible. Taking these precautions will help to prevent a tsetse fly bite.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a tsetse fly it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible. The doctors at LiveMD are available to assist with diagnosis and treatment options and are available all hours of the day, every day of the week. A quick diagnosis is important to prevent the progression of this disease. Don’t hesitate. Visit www.mylivemd.com today.

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Posted in Virus

July 28th, 2016 by LiveMD

Today, LiveMD would like to help spread awareness about this disease and pay tribute to all of those around the world living with it.

World Hepatitis Day is being recognized all around the world today in an effort to bring about awareness of this disease and to help eradicate it. “Elimination” is this year’s theme as the World Health Organization has recently set the goal of completely eliminating this disease worldwide by the year 2030. Through proper education, screening techniques and universal vaccinations, this goal can easily be met.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a virus that affects the liver and causes it to become inflamed. There are 5 different types of Hepatitis known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Depending on the type of this virus, it can either be spread through consumption of unsafe drinking water, contaminated food, sexual transmission or by coming into contact with the blood of an infected person.

Some forms of Hepatitis are less serious, such as Hep A, and result in minor, flu-like symptoms which will usually clear up on their own and have little chance of developing into something more serious. Other forms of this disease, such as Hep C, are much more dangerous. This strain of the virus can lead to severe complications, liver damage and ultimately death. Although recent advancements in medical technology has resulted in successful treatment options for these strains of the virus, they are extremely expensive and not widely available.

How Can I Prevent Hepatitis?

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Avoid unsafe drinking water. This includes eating fresh fruit or vegetables that may have been washed in contaminated water and using ice cubes.
  • Ensure that all foods are cooked to the proper temperature and any water has been boiled.
  • Never share needles
  • Don’t share toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers or scissors with an infected person
  • Practice safe hygiene and sanitation procedures
  • Only get tattoos or piercings from a licensed practitioner
  • Practice safe sex

How Can I Participate?

Participation in World Hepatitis Day is easy:

  • Help spread the word about safe needle and injection techniques
  • Talk about Hepatitis with friends and family and help end the stigma associated with it
  • Inform people about the importance of immunizations to protect against this disease and stop the spread of it
  • Hold a fundraiser to both educate the public and raise money for those suffering with this disease
  • Visit www.worldhepatitisday.org for more information and ideas on how to participate today

LiveMD is proud to be a part of World Hepatitis Day. Education and awareness is so important in helping to stop the spread of contagious viral diseases such as this one. We are happy to be able to do our part in helping to inform others and by bringing easily accessible and qualified healthcare options to those in need.

Visit www.mylivemd.com today and speak with one of out fully trained healthcare professionals.

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Posted in Virus

July 6th, 2016 by LiveMD

dengue

This mosquito borne illness is common in many parts of the world and LiveMD wants you to have the facts to identify the symptoms and protect yourself from infection.

What is Dengue Fever?

Dengue Fever is an illness that is common in warm,  tropical regions. It is spread by mosquitos and affects over 390 million people each year, worldwide. There is no preventative vaccine or cure available for this virus and in severe cases it can be fatal.

What are the Symptoms of Dengue Fever?

After being bitten by an infected mosquito it can take anywhere from 3 to 14 days for symptoms to begin to show. The most common symptoms are flu-like in nature that consist of fever, nausea, vomiting and a headache. Some people may also experience a rash, muscle and joint pain and pain behind the eyes. Many people will recover from these symptoms within a few days. In some cases, however, the virus can progress and develop into Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever which is a much more severe infection. Symptoms of this include severe and persistent vomiting, bleeding from the nose and gums, painful abdominal cramping and extreme fatigue. If medical care is not received this severe form of dengue fever may lead to death.

When someone recovers from dengue fever, they will have immunity to the virus for the remainder of their life.

How Can I Keep My Family Safe?

SInce there is no vaccine and no cure available for dengue fever, the best way to keep from getting sick is to prevent getting bitten by mosquitos in the first place. The risk of being bitten is higher at sunrise and at sunset so it is best to stay inside during these times. It is also recommended to stay away from densely forested areas or areas with long grasses, especially during peak mosquito periods.

Mosquitos use standing water as a breeding ground to lay their eggs. Any buckets, containers or puddles should be emptied after every rainfall to avoid attracting more mosquitos and allowing them to reproduce.

If is also important to use mosquito repellent and to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts while outside. Mosquito netting placed around your bed can be helpful in preventing a bite while you are sleeping.

Although there is no cure for this virus, if medical attention is received promptly and the symptoms of dengue fever are properly treated, then a full recovery should be expected.

Visit our website (www.mylivemd.com) today to learn more about dengue fever and how to protect yourself. Our fully qualified staff of trained healthcare professionals can help answer your questions and provide the best treatment options available, for your specific needs.

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Posted in Virus

April 30th, 2016 by LiveMD

hivtesting

Help stop the spread of HIV and AIDs by getting screened and tested.

What is AIDs?

HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that is contracted primarily through sexual contact or contact with bodily fluids and can develop into the AIDs virus. Having unprotected sexual contact, sharing needles or coming into contact with the blood of someone who is infected could spread this disease. Many people are infected and do not even know that they have contracted this disease, that is why screening and testing is so important. There is still no cure for this virus but recent medical advancements have made it possible to treat the symptoms and slow down the progression of AIDs.

What are the Symptoms of HIV and AIDs?

After contracting HIV or AIDs it can take quite some time to develop symptoms. Many people have become infected and do not even know it which is why this disease has managed to spread so rapidly. Early signs are often very flu-like, with symptoms such as sore throat, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache and body aches. Once the virus progresses into AIDs symptoms may include:

  1. Rapid weight loss
  2. Excessive sweating, especially at night
  3. Swollen glands and lymph nodes
  4. Chronic diarrhea
  5. Pneumonia

How Can I be Tested for this Virus?

Because the symptoms for this virus can mimic many other illnesses and due to the fact that many people do not experience symptoms in the early stages, it is very important to get tested for this disease. It is especially necessary if you have or have had numerous sexual partner or have shared needles with others.

Two to three weeks after exposure to the virus, your body will have built up antibodies and antigens in its system which will show up during a test. These can be measured in the blood or in the saliva and this is how an HIV test can diagnose whether someone has come into contact with this virus. There are at-home tests that can be purchased at your local pharmacy and shipped away to a lab for testing or a blood test can be done at your local doctor’s office, clinic or hospital to test for the disease as well. It is important to abstain from unprotected sexual contact if you suspect that you may be infected and if you receive a positive test result then another test will be ordered to confirm these results.

How can I Protect Myself?

The best way to defend yourself from contracting HIV and developing AIDs is to always protect yourself during intercourse.

  1. Wear a condom
  2. Refrain from having multiple partners
  3. Abstain from sex
  4. Never share needles
  5. Get tested

If you suspect that you have contracted HIV or may be at high risk for infection, speak to one of our healthcare providers today. HIV is a serious condition that can lead to deadly results if not treated early on. The doctors at LiveMD can talk to you with full confidentiality about all of your sexual health concerns. Get the information that you need now on how to protect yourself and others and where to go for testing to stay safe. Visit www.mylivemd.com and help stop the spread of AIDS.

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Posted in Virus

April 25th, 2016 by LiveMD

malariaOn Monday, April 25th, LiveMD, along with the rest of the world, will be celebrating World Malaria Day. This is a day that has been designated to help spread awareness about the disease and bring focus to the countries that are affected most by Malaria.

Malaria Facts

  1. Almost half of the entire world’s population is at risk for contracting malaria
  2. 97 countries across the globe still suffer from malaria outbreaks
  3. Last year there were 214 million reported cases of malaria

  4. In 2015 there were 438,000 deaths resulting from this disease

  5. 89% of reported malaria cases come from Sub-Saharan Africa

  6. The majority of malaria deaths occur in children under the age of 5

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a very dangerous, life threatening disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. These mosquitos are contaminated with a specific parasite that is then transmitted to humans and travels through the bloodstream into the liver where it multiplies and destroys a person’s red blood cells. If the disease is caught in its early stages it can usually be treated fairly easily with a course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, many of the people most affected by malaria do not have access to medical care, which is why this disease is still the cause of so many deaths worldwide.

What Are the Symptoms of Malaria?

Symptoms of malaria usually come in 6 to 10 hour cycles which repeat every second day and include:

  1. Chills
  2. Fever
  3. Nausea
  4. Vomiting
  5. Headaches
  6. Seizures in young children

Advanced cases of malaria may lead to more severe symptoms such as:

  1. Multiple episodes of seizures or convulsions
  2. Loss of, or impaired consciousness
  3. Extreme difficulty breathing
  4. Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  5. Anemia
  6. Abnormal bleeding
  7. Organ dysfunction

How Can Malaria Be Prevented?

The best way to avoid contracting malaria is to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitos. Wear bug repellant when outside and keep your body covered as much as possible. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent mosquitos from entering inside and avoid thickly wooded areas or areas with long grass when outside.

It is also important to keep mosquito breeding to a minimum. Mosquitos will lay their eggs in still water so be sure to dump all buckets and dishes after a rainfall and ensure that there are is no standing water outside of your home.

Since malaria can be treated easily once contracted, it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible once symptoms begin to appear. A visit to your doctor right away could mean the difference between life and death.

Studies are being done on malaria vaccines and it seems that they are getting close to finding the correct vaccination. Once this occurs, malaria will become a disease of the past, but until then, prevention is the best protection.

How Can I Get Involved in World Malaria Day?

Currently close to 5 billion dollars is required every year to treat and prevent malaria. Only half of that funding is available. One of the best ways that you can help is to hold a fundraiser in your local community. By spreading the word about this disease and raising funds to provide care to those who most need it you will be helping to put an end to malaria for good.

LiveMD looks forward to a world that no longer suffers from Malaria. Until then we are proud to be able to offer our services to those all over the world and especially in communities where access to sufficient health care is poor. If you suspect that you or a loved one has become infected with malaria, urgent care is the key to successful treatment. Visit www.mylivemd.com today to speak live with a qualified nurse or doctor to get the care that you deserve, right away.

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Posted in Virus

February 20th, 2016 by LiveMD

Aedes_aegypti2LiveMD introduces you to the mosquito responsible for the Zika virus.

Aedes Mosquitos

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the scientific names of the mosquitos that are to blame for the spread of the Zika virus. These mosquitos are found primarily in the southern hemisphere in South America and Africa. During the recent outbreak, it seems that these mosquitoes may be moving further north into Central and North America and some regions in Europe. The cause for this northern migration may be due to the warming El Nino effects happening this year and overall climate change as global temperatures increase.

This particular species of mosquitos is the same breed that can also spread dengue fever and chikungunya and although they can bite at night, are usually seen during the day time.

Why is there a current outbreak of this species?

Again, due to the warmer weather that has been felt globally this year, there has also been an increase in rainfall. This type of mosquito typically lay their eggs in standing water. Large puddles, buckets, pots or anything that has collected rainwater is the perfect place for them to lay their eggs. The more precipitation there is, the greater the opportunity for these mosquitos to lay their eggs and multiply.

How can I prevent getting bitten?

One of the best ways to decrease the amount of mosquitos in your area and to help prevent an outbreak is to get rid of any standing water on, or around, your property. Dump all pots, barrels, dishes and buckets immediately after a rainfall and if animals are kept outside, change their water frequently to prevent eggs from being able to hatch.

Also, wear protective, long sleeved clothing or clothes that have been treated with insecticide. Apply bug spray before going outside and use mosquito nets while sleeping. These pests also love to be around humans so keep doors and windows closed to avoid having them follow you inside.

LiveMD wants you to stay informed about the current Zika virus situation. Please visit our other blog post for more information on the Zika virus and its symptoms or visit www.mylivemd.com to speak live, via phone, video or text, with a doctor today.

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Posted in Virus

February 12th, 2016 by LiveMD

mosquito3What’s the Buzz on Mosquito Borne Illnesses?

Mosquitoes are pesky, blood hungry creatures but their incessant buzzing can be more than just an annoying nuisance. Mosquitos can carry and transmit numerous different viruses and infect both humans and animals with just one bite. Some disease are relatively harmless but others can have life threatening complications. LiveMD has all of the information you need about some of the most common mosquito borne illnesses and how to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.

Malaria

Malaria is a very serious, life threatening disease and it is passed to humans from the bites of infected female mosquitoes. These mosquitoes carry a parasite that can cause severe symptoms, sometimes leading to death. A person will usually begin to show symptoms 10-15 days after being bitten . Headache, vomiting, fever and chills are the first signs of this illness and if not treated early on, within the first 24 hours, serious and deadly complications could occur. Although cases of malaria are reported throughout the world, it is most common in Africa.

Dengue Fever

This is an illness that primarily affects tropical areas across the globe. It is spread by mosquitos and can cause debilitating joint and muscle pain. Symptoms will begin to appear 4-6 days after being infected and can last for up to 10 days. An infected person may experience headache, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or skin rashes. There is no cure for Dengue Fever and it will usually resolve on its own. In rare cases, serious complications can occur.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is most commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Western Asia. Close to 80% of the people that become infected with this virus will not show any symptoms of illness at all. Those that do experience signs may develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, tiredness, weakness and swollen glands. These will usually only last a few days however a person who has been infected may feel tired or weaker than usual for upto a few months after the initial illness.

Zika Virus

Africa, the Americas and Asia are the areas that are currently most affected by the Zika Virus. This virus exhibits symptoms much like other mosquito borne illnesses and someone that has been infected may have a fever, chills, headache or joint pain. What is unique and unsettling about this virus is the fact that scientists are now finding evidence that it may be able to be transmitted from one infected person to another through sexual contact, causing this disease to spread much more quickly. There are also studies showing that pregnant mothers who are infected may be at a higher risk of having children with severe birth defects. Visit our Zika Virus post for more detailed information on this illness.

Chikungunya

The Chikungunya virus is most known for its quick onset of symptoms, such as fever and severe joint pain. The countries most commonly affected by this virus are Africa, Asia and India. Most people will fully recover from this disease however joint and muscle pain can last for weeks or even months after being infected.

Yellow Fever

This virus got its name due to the jaundice that it causes in some people. It is a very serious disease that causes death in close to 50% of those that are seriously infected. Once bitten, it may take close to a week to begin to see symptoms. Fever, muscle pain with severe backache, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite is usually present. These symptoms will last a few days and then usually disappear. After this, some people will experience a second phase of the disease where they can experience yellowing of the skin and eyes, severe abdominal pain, bleeding from the eyes, nose and mouth and blood in the vomit and stool. If not treated quickly, approximately half of the people that experience phase 2 will die within 10-14 days.

How to protect yourself from mosquito borne illnesses

The best way to avoid getting sick from mosquito bites is to avoid getting bitten altogether. If possible, avoid entering high risk areas and if you must, make sure that you are well prepared. Apply repellant every time you go outside and reapply it often. Make sure that you wear long sleeved shirts and long pants and look into purchasing clothing that has already been treated with pesticides. Also, avoid letting mosquitoes into the house by keeping windows and doors shut and using air conditioning if possible. The use of mosquito nets around beds at night can help and using pesticide treated nets should increase your protection.

Vaccinations are also important. Some of the common mosquito borne diseases mentioned above can be prevented by getting vaccinated. Malaria and yellow fever both have vaccines available to protect you and your loved ones from contracting the disease and getting sick.

If you have questions about any of these viruses, suspect that you may be sick or would like information on getting vaccinated, visit www.mylivemd.com today to speak with one of our doctors by phone, video, or text.

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Posted in Virus

February 2nd, 2016 by LiveMD

zikaWhat is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus was first discovered in the 1950’s and is also known as Zika fever or Zika disease. It is a virus that is carried by infected mosquitos and is transferred to humans through mosquito bites. Throughout recent years, this virus has been spreading quite rapidly throughout Africa and southern and central American and scientists are warning that it could soon grow to pandemic proportions.

What are the Symptoms of the Zika Virus?

A person who has been infected with the Zika virus could exhibit the following symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Mild Headache
  3. Rash
  4. Joint Pain
  5. Conjunctivitis (inflammation and redness of the eyes)

These symptoms will usually appear 2-7 days after first being bitten and are usually fairly mild. Most symptoms will start to subside after a few days and should be completely clear within a week’s time.

So far there have not been any deaths or long-term complications reported in adults that have contracted this virus.

The Zika Virus and Pregnancy

zika3

Although the Zika virus does not seem to pose a large threat to the majority of the population, there does appear to be an increased risk to pregnant women who contract this virus. Scientists are finding a connection between a birth defect called microcephaly and mothers who became infected while pregnant. Studies are showing a higher incidence of babies being born with this disorder when their mothers were bitten with a Zika infected mosquito while pregnant.

It is recommended that pregnant women or those who are thinking of becoming pregnant, avoid high risk areas and take all necessary precautions to protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitos.

Is there a Cure for the Zika Virus?

Currently there is no cure for this virus. Scientist are working diligently to find a vaccine but until then the best method of protection is prevention. Wear clothing that covers your skin when outside and always use a mosquito repellent. Use mosquito nets when sleeping and try to avoid infected areas if at all possible.

Some studies have also shown that this virus may be able to be spread through sexual contact as well. Make sure that you alway use a condom and abstain from engaging in sexual activities with a person who suspects they have been infected.

If you do contract the Zika virus the best treatment is lots of rest and fluids. An over-the-counter pain medication like paracetamol, acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help with any discomfort that you may experience.

The doctors at LiveMD are trained to assist you with any health care needs that you may have. If you have a question or concern about the Zika virus or any other health related issue we are here to help. Visit www.mylivemd.com today to speak with a physician right away by phone, video, or text.

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Posted in Virus