If a mole looks suspicious, a physician will want to take a biopsy. The whole mole may be removed or, if it is too large, a sample is removed. Trained physicians (pathologist and/or dermatologist) examine the biopsy under a microscope and, if it is cancer, the melanoma is staged (a “grade” of how much it has progressed). Continue reading “Diagnosis”
Those who should get the vaccine, according to the CDC, are:
people who might be affected during an outbreak of certain types of meningococcal disease
anyone traveling to, or living in, a part of the world where meningococcal disease is common, such as West Africa Continue reading “Health Alert for Back-to-School. Part 4”
Viruses can also cause meningitis, in which case bacterial cultures of the cerebrospinal fluid will be negative.
Meningococcal disease can be treated with a number of different antibiotics. It is important to treat early in the course of the disease. Continue reading “Health Alert for Back-to-School. Part 3”
Some people carry the bacteria in their upper respiratory passages. The bacteria can invade their bodies to cause meningococcal disease or can spread to other people via infectious respiratory secretions.
There are different groups of these bacteria — called serogroups — that cause infection. For example, from 1994 to 1998, approximately two-thirds of cases of meningococcal disease in people ages 18 to 23 were caused by three serogroups: C, Y and W135. This is important because the meningococcal vaccine protects against these three serogroups plus one other — serogroup A.
Signs and symptoms of the types of meningococcal infection include:
Bacteremia — fever; malaise; muscle aches; headache
Meningococcemia — fever; rash; overwhelming infection with multiple organs affected
Meningitis — fever; headache; stiff neck; nausea; vomiting; photophobia (sensitivity to light); confusion; sleepiness; seizures
In newborns and infants, the classic symptoms of fever, headache and stiff neck may be absent or difficult to detect.
If your child has any of these symptoms, he or she should see a doctor immediately, since untreated meningococcal infections can rapidly worsen and lead to shock and death within hours.
For adolescents or college students who don t relish seeing doctors, you as a parent need to impress upon your son or daughter the importance of not ignoring these symptoms.
The diagnosis of meningococcal infection is made in a laboratory by growing the bacteria from the affected site — the blood in bacteremia and meningococcemia and the cerebrospinal fluid in meningitis.
Cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord, is obtained through a procedure called a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap. This procedure is routinely done when meningitis is suspected. During a spinal tap, a special needle is inserted into an area in the lower back, where fluid in the spinal canal is readily accessible.
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Have you ever worried that your child had meningitis? That headache, fever and stiff neck — could they be the real thing?
Sure you’ve worried — that’s your job. It’s also your job to know about the vaccines that help protect your child against this dreaded disease. Continue reading “Health Alert for Back-to-School. Part 1”
By definition, specialists are doctors who have studied a specific area of expertise in their medical training, and who have completed residency in that specialty. Board-certified physicians have additional, rigorous training, and commit to continuing education to stay on the cutting edge of techniques and knowledge in their field of practice. Continue reading “Which Specialist Treats which Medical Problems?”
Water exercise can include swimming, aerobics, jogging or toning. It is great alternative, which enables people to improve muscle tone and cardiovascular conditioning without trauma to the bones and joints while still offering resistance. Continue reading “The Benefits of Water Exercise”
Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump blood efficiently, leading to fatigue and fluid retention. Because chronic heart failure patients often feel fatigued, it is usually difficult for them to participate in physical activity, which deconditions the body further and makes heart failure symptoms worsen. Continue reading “Heart Failure Patients Benefit from Exercise”
When grieving, a person may go through a myriad of emotions never felt before. Read further for the answers to the questions that these emotions might raise. Continue reading “Grief and Bereavement – How Long is Too Long?”