Did you know that many infectious diseases are common in the US? If you’re not familiar with them, it’s essential to learn about them. Doctor Evan James Leonard of Belmont, NC, will discuss the US’s six most common infectious diseases in this blog post. These diseases can cause serious health problems if they are not appropriately treated. So, what do you need to know about them? Keep reading to find out!

Influenza

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection that can cause severe respiratory illness. The flu is highly contagious and is typically spread through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva or mucus, from an infected person. Symptoms of the flu include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and fatigue.

In some cases, the flu can also lead to more severe complications, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. While the flu can affect people of all ages, it is hazardous for young children, older adults, and people with underlying health conditions.

There are many ways to avoid the flu, including vaccination, hand-washing, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals. If you develop the flu, it is vital to see a doctor as soon as possible to receive treatment.

Common Cold

Dr. Evan James Leonard says the common cold is caused by a virus that can result in mild respiratory illness. It is typically spread through contact with respiratory secretions, such as saliva, mucus, or blood. The common cold can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as doorknobs or countertops.

Symptoms of the common cold include runny nose, sneezing, and cough. Most people recover from the common cold without any complications. However, it is vital to see a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a few days.

Norovirus

Norovirus is a virus that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. It is highly contagious and is typically spread through contaminated food or water. This virus is commonly associated with cruise line food poisoning. Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In some cases, norovirus can also lead to dehydration. While most people recover from norovirus without any complications, it is essential to seek medical attention if you experience severe vomiting or diarrhea. This is particularly true if you have not been able to keep any fluids down in a 24-hour period.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are still predominate in the United States. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are among the most common STIs in the US. STIs are spread through sexual contact with an infected individual. They can also be spread through contact with contaminated blood or bodily fluids.

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Symptoms of STIs vary depending on the infection, but they can include fever, rash, sore throat, and some sort of genital lesion or discharge. STIs can lead to more severe health problems, such as infertility or organ damage, if left untreated. Syphilis left untreated can result in neurological symptoms and eventually death. It is important to see a doctor if you think you may have an STI.

HPV

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a virus that can affect both men and women. There are over 100 different types of HPV, and while some types can cause warts or other harmless growths, others can lead to more severe conditions such as cancer. HPV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, so it’s essential to practice safe sex and get tested regularly.

There is no cure for HPV, says Dr. Evan James Leonard, but there are treatments available for the conditions it can cause. In some cases, the virus will go away on its own. There is, however, vaccines available to help prevent the most common forms of HPV. To avoid HPV, it’s essential to use condoms during sex and get vaccinated if you’re eligible. If you do have HPV, talk to your doctor about your treatment.

HIV/AIDS

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV is typically spread through sexual contact or contact with contaminated blood. Symptoms of HIV include fever, fatigue, and weight loss. These vague symptoms can make knowing you have HIV difficult, so it is important to be screened often. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection and can be fatal. If you think you may have HIV, it is crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes simplex virus, or HSV, is a viral infection that can cause sores and blisters around the lips, mouth, and nose. It is a highly contagious virus spread through close contact with an infected person, typically through kissing or sharing utensils.

HSV is most commonly applied during periods of an active virus when sores are present. However, the virus can also be spread when there are no visible symptoms.

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There are two types of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is typically spread through contaminated saliva which typically results in the classic cold sore, while HSV-2 is generally spread through sexual contact. Both types of HSV can cause genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection. There is no cure for HSV but there is a treatment to shorten the infections duration.

Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, is a very common type of bacteria that can cause various infections. It is most commonly spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors. This bacteria typically enters through a break in the skin, such as a cut or abrasion. Staph can cause skin infections, food poisoning, and other serious conditions. If you think you may have a staph infection, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

MRSA

MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. It can cause various infections, including skin infections, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections. MRSA is usually spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors.

The best way to prevent the spread of MRSA is to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and keeping cuts and scrapes clean. If you develop a MRSA infection, Dr. Evan James Leonard says it is important to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible to be treated with the appropriate antibiotics.

MRSA can cause serious complications, such as sepsis, which can be life-threatening in some cases. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of MRSA and to see a doctor if you think you may have an infection. A doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you have an infection and will prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Final Thoughts

Infectious diseases are still a significant problem in the United States. While there are many different types of infections, these are some of the most common. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors for each type of infection so that you can seek treatment if necessary. If you think you may have an infection, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can often help prevent more serious health problems down the road. Thanks for reading! I hope this was informative.