Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
Some patients may develop pneumonia, lymphadenopathy, or septic arthritis.
Epiglottitis is typically due to a bacterial infection of the epiglottis. While it historically was most often caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B with immunization this is no longer the case. Bacteria that are now typically involved are "Streptococcus pneumoniae", "Streptococcus pyogenes", or "Staphylococcus aureus".
Other possible causes include burns and trauma to the area. Epiglottitis has been linked to crack cocaine usage. Graft versus host disease and lymphoproliferative disorder can also be a cause.
Many cases of croup have been prevented by immunization for influenza and diphtheria. At one time, croup referred to a diphtherial disease, but with vaccination, diphtheria is now rare in the developed world.
Viral croup is usually a self-limiting disease, with half of cases resolving in a day and 80% of cases in two days. It can very rarely result in death from respiratory failure and/or cardiac arrest. Symptoms usually improve within two days, but may last for up to seven days. Other uncommon complications include bacterial tracheitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema.
Lower respiratory infectious disease is the fifth-leading cause of death and the combined leading infectious cause of death, being responsible for 2·74 million deaths worldwide. This is generally similar to estimates in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.
This total only accounts for "Streptococcus pneumoniae" and "Haemophilus Influenzae" infections and does not account for atypical or nosocomial causes of lower respiratory disease, therefore underestimating total disease burden.
Pneumonia occurs in a variety of situations and treatment must vary according to the situation. It is classified as either community or hospital acquired depending on where the patient contracted the infection. It is life-threatening in the elderly or those who are immunocompromised. The most common treatment is antibiotics and these vary in their adverse effects and their effectiveness. Pneumonia is also the leading cause of death in children less than five years of age in low income countries. The most common cause of pneumonia is pneumococcal bacteria, "Streptococcus pneumoniae" accounts for 2/3 of bacteremic pneumonias. This is a dangerous type of lung infection with a mortality rate of around 25%.
For optimal management of a pneumonia patient, the following must be assessed: pneumonia severity (including treatment location, e.g., home, hospital or intensive care), identification of causative organism, analgesia of chest pain, the need for supplemental oxygen, physiotherapy, hydration, bronchodilators and possible complications of emphysema or lung abscess.
There is low or very-low quality evidence that probiotics may be better than placebo in preventing acute URTIs. Vaccination against influenza viruses, adenoviruses, measles, rubella, "Streptococcus pneumoniae", "Haemophilus influenzae", diphtheria, "Bacillus anthracis", and "Bordetella pertussis" may prevent them from infecting the URT or reduce the severity of the infection.
To help the bronchial tree heal faster and not make bronchitis worse, smokers should quit smoking completely.
Children have 2-9 viral respiratory illnesses per year. In 2013 18.8 billion cases of upper respiratory infections were reported. As of 2014, upper respiratory infections caused about 3,000 deaths down from 4,000 in 1990. In the United States, URIs are the most common infectious illness in the general population. URIs are the leading reasons for people missing work and school.
Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases. About 5% of adults are affected and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year. It occurs more often in the winter.
In infants under one year of age, acute bronchitis was the most common reason for admission to the hospital after an emergency department visit in the US in 2011.
Some cases of pharyngitis are caused by fungal infection such as Candida albicans causing oral thrush.
Chronic bronchitis has a 3.4% to 22% prevalence rate among the general population. Individuals over the age of 45, smokers, those that live in areas with high air pollution and those have asthma have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis. This wide range is due to the different definitions of chronic bronchitis which can be defined based on signs and symptoms or the clinical diagnosis of the disorder. Chronic bronchitis tends to affect men more often than women. While the primary risk factor for chronic bronchitis is smoking, there is still a 4%-22% chance that people with chronic bronchitis were never smokers. This might suggest other risk factors such as the inhalation of fuels, dusts, and fumes. Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk in the onset of chronic bronchitis. In the United States in the year 2014 per 100,000 population the death rate of chronic bronchitis was 0.2%.
Pharyngitis may also be caused by mechanical, chemical or thermal irritation, for example cold air or acid reflux. Some medications may produce pharyngitis such as pramipexole and antipsychotics.
Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases. About 5% of adults are affected and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year. It occurs more often in the winter. More than 10 million people in the United States visit a doctor each year for this condition with about 70% receiving antibiotics which are mostly not needed. There are efforts to decrease the use of antibiotics in acute bronchitis.
As the lungs tend to be vulnerable organs due to their exposure to harmful particles in the air, several things can cause an acute exacerbation of COPD:
- Respiratory infection, being responsible for approximately half of COPD exacerbations. Approximately half of these are due to viral infections and another half appears to be caused by bacterial infections. Common bacterial pathogens of acute exacerbations include "Haemophilus influenzae", "Streptococcus pneumoniae" and "Moraxella catarrhalis". Less common bacterial pathogens include "Chlamydia pneumoniae" and "MRSA". Pathogens seen more frequently in patients with impaired lung function (FEV<35% of predicted) include "Haemophilus parainfluenzae" (after repeated use of antibiotics), "Mycoplasma pneumoniae" and gram-negative, opportunistic pathogens like "Pseudomonas aeruginosa" and "Klebsiella pneumoniae".
- Allergens, e.g., pollens, wood or cigarette smoke, pollution
- Toxins, including a variety of different chemicals
- Air pollution
- Failing to follow a drug therapy program, e.g. improper use of an inhaler
In one-third of all COPD exacerbation cases, the cause cannot be identified.
Long-term antibiotics, while they decrease rates of infection during treatment, have an unknown effect on long-term outcomes such as hearing loss. This method of prevention has been associated with emergence of antibiotic-resistant otitic bacteria. They are thus not recommended.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in early infancy, decreases the risk of acute otitis media in healthy infants. PCV is recommended for all children, and, if implemented broadly, PCV would have a significant public health benefit. Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for all children. PCV does not appear to decrease the risk of otitis media when given to high-risk infants or for older children who have previously experienced otitis media.
Risk factors such as season, allergy predisposition and presence of older siblings are known to be determinants of recurrent otitis media and persistent middle-ear effusions (MEE). History of recurrence, environmental exposure to tobacco smoke, use of daycare, and lack of breastfeeding have all been associated with increased risk of development, recurrence, and persistent MEE. Thus, cessation of smoking in the home should be encouraged, daycare attendance should be avoided or daycare facilities with the fewest attendees should be recommended, and breastfeeding should be promoted.
There is some evidence that breastfeeding for the first year of life is associated with a reduction in the number and duration of OM infections. Pacifier use, on the other hand, has been associated with more frequent episodes of AOM.
Evidence does not support zinc supplementation as an effort to reduce otitis rates except maybe in those with severe malnutrition such as marasmus.
Acute exacerbations can be partially prevented. Some infections can be prevented by vaccination against pathogens such as influenza and "Streptococcus pneumoniae". Regular medication use can prevent some COPD exacerbations; long acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists (LABAs), long-acting anticholinergics, inhaled corticosteroids and low-dose theophylline have all been shown to reduce the frequency of COPD exacerbations. Other methods of prevention include:
- Smoking cessation and avoiding dust, passive smoking, and other inhaled irritants
- Yearly influenza and 5-year pneumococcal vaccinations
- Regular exercise, appropriate rest, and healthy nutrition
- Avoiding people currently infected with e.g. cold and influenza
- Maintaining good fluid intake and humidifying the home, in order to help reduce the formation of thick sputum and chest congestion.
Adhesive otitis media occurs when a thin retracted ear drum becomes sucked into the middle-ear space and stuck (i.e., adherent) to the ossicles and other bones of the middle ear.
This affliction is a common cause of throat irritation. Normally the stomach produces acid in the stomach which is neutralized in the small intestine. To prevent acid from flowing backwards, the lower part of the swallowing tube (esophagus) has a valve which closes after food passes through. In some individuals, this valve becomes incompetent and acid goes up into the esophagus. Reflux episodes often occur at night and one may develop a bitter taste in the mouth. The throat can be severely irritated when acid touches the vocal cords and can lead to spasms of coughing. To prevent throat irritation from reflux, one should lose weight, stop smoking, avoid coffee beverages and sleep with the head elevated.
Laryngitis that continues for more than three weeks is considered chronic. If laryngeal symptoms last for more than three weeks, a referral should be made for further examination, including direct laryngoscopy. The prognosis for chronic laryngitis varies depending on the cause of the laryngitis.
Viruses are common causes of the common cold. Less often, bacteria may also cause pharyngitis. Both of these organisms enter the body via the nose or mouth as aerosolized particles when someone sneezes or coughs. Because many germs are contagious, one can even acquire them from touching utensils, toys, personal care products or door knobs. The most common viruses that causes throat irritation include the common cold virus, influenza, infectious mononucleosis, measles and croup. Most bacteria and viruses usually induce throat irritation during the winter or autumn.
Treatment is often supportive in nature, and depends on the severity and type of laryngitis (acute or chronic). General measures to relieve symptoms of laryngitis include behaviour modification, hydration and humidification.
Vocal hygiene (care of the voice) is very important to relieve symptoms of laryngitis. Vocal hygiene involves measures such as
- Resting the voice
- Drinking sufficient amounts of water
- Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake
- Stopping smoking
- Limiting throat clearing
Voice hygiene programs are given by speech-language pathologists. These programs typically include the following components:
- Addressing amount and type of voice use
- Reducing behaviours that are damaging to the vocal folds
- Increasing hydration
- Adjusting lifestyle (for example, limiting caffeine and managing medical conditions)
Most strains of "H. influenzae" are opportunistic pathogens; that is, they usually live in their host without causing disease, but cause problems only when other factors (such as a viral infection, reduced immune function or chronically inflamed tissues, e.g. from allergies) create an opportunity. They infect the host by sticking to the host cell using trimeric autotransporter adhesins.
Naturally acquired disease caused by "H. influenzae" seems to occur in humans only. In infants and young children, "H. influenzae" type b (Hib) causes bacteremia, pneumonia, epiglottitis and acute bacterial meningitis. On occasion, it causes cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and infectious arthritis. It is one cause of neonatal infection.
Due to routine use of the Hib conjugate vaccine in the U.S. since 1990, the incidence of invasive Hib disease has decreased to 1.3/100,000 in children. However, Hib remains a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children in developing countries where the vaccine is not widely used. Unencapsulated "H. influenzae" strains are unaffected by the Hib vaccine and cause ear infections (otitis media), eye infections (conjunctivitis), and sinusitis in children, and are associated with pneumonia.
The serious complications of HiB are brain damage, hearing loss, and even death.
Before the development of modern cardiovascular surgery, cases of acute mediastinitis usually arose from either perforation of the esophagus or from contiguous spread of odontogenic or retropharyngeal infections. However, in modern practice, most cases of acute mediastinitis result from complications of cardiovascular or endoscopic surgical procedures.
Treatment usually involves aggressive intravenous antibiotic therapy and hydration. If discrete fluid collections or grossly infected tissue have formed (such as abscesses), they may have to be surgically drained or debrided.