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Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious and potentially fatal disease that predominantly affects the lungs. While only 10% of people exposed to TB actually advance to the stage of active tuberculosis, the increasing prevalence of HIV and AIDS in recent years has resulted in increased numbers of TB cases. With more people contracting active TB, more people are exposed to the infection.
The common cold is, as the name suggests, very common and easy to catch. Most adults tend to catch a cold about three to four times a year. Unfortunately, children are much more prone to catching colds, as their immune systems are vulnerable and they tend to spread infections more quickly in daycare and school settings.
Shingles, also referred to by the medical term herpes zoster, is a reactivation of a previous viral infection that causes a painful, blistering rash in the specific area served by the nerve root involved. It is caused by the chickenpox (varicella zoster) virus and typically only affects a specific area of the skin.
Scarlet fever is an infectious bacterial illness which most commonly affects children and is caused by the Group A streptococcal virus. While this illness used to be considered a scary and often fatal disease, it is now controlled and easily treated. Children with scarlet fever often first present with a high fever and a distinctive rash.
Rubella, more commonly known as German measles, is an infection caused by the rubella virus. Rubella is highly contagious and primarily affects the skin and lymph nodes. Rubella is usually spread through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. While the symptoms of Rubella are similar to those present in measles, the illnesses are caused by two totally different viruses and Rubella comes with an added danger to pregnant women.
Roseola is a common viral childhood illness that generally affects children between the ages of 6 months and two years. In fact, Roseola is so common that most children contract the illness before reaching kindergarten, after which they develop lasting immunity, making roseola much less common in adults and older children.
Before the introduction of the vaccination, Mumps was a common childhood illness that affected up to 200,000 people in the United States each year. While the prevalence of the illness has drastically decreased, mumps still occurs, especially in third world countries, and tends to come in waves or epidemics where a number of people are affected over a short period of time.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is sometimes also referred to as Rubeola. Symptoms and signs of measles include a hacking cough, fever, watery eyes and runny nose, as well as a rash. A characteristic feature of measles is the development of Koplikâ€™s spots â€“ small red spots with blue-white centers that appear inside the mouth. Sensitivity to bright lights is another common feature in children who have measles.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious, yet common disease caused by the varicellazoster virus. It develops into an itchy rash with an outbreak of blisters that occurs on the scalp, face and torso. It is usually a mild illness which occurs in children but can also cause serious complications in teenagers, adults, pregnant women, newborns and people with weak immune systems.
Cold and flu season is upon us. People all around you may be coughing and sneezing. They may be feverish and achy. Youre concerned about catching whatever it is they have. Youre also hesitant to get an immunization for the flu for whatever reason.