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No specific treatment is available, but antibiotics can be used to prevent secondary infections.
Vaccines are available (ATCvet codes: for the inactivated vaccine, for the live vaccine; plus various combinations).
Biosecurity protocols including adequate isolation, disinfection are important in controlling the spread of the disease.
The infection is treated with antibiotics. Tetracyclines and chloramphenicol are the drugs of choice for treating patients with psittacosis. Most persons respond to oral therapy doxycycline, tetracycline hydrochloride, or chloramphenicol palmitate. For initial treatment of severely ill patients, doxycycline hyclate may be administered intravenously. Remission of symptoms usually is evident within 48–72 hours. However, relapse can occur, and treatment must continue for at least 10–14 days after fever abates.
Cats can be protected from H5N1 if they are given a vaccination, as mentioned above. However, it was also found that cats can still shed some of the virus but in low numbers.
If a cat is exhibiting symptoms, they should be put into isolation and kept indoors. Then they should be taken to a vet to get tested for the presence of H5N1. If there is a possibility that the cat has Avian Influenza, then there should be extra care when handling the cat. Some of the precautions include avoiding all direct contact with the cat by wearing gloves, masks, and goggles. Whatever surfaces the cat comes in contact with should be disinfected with standard household cleaners.
They have given tigers an antiviral treatment of Oseltamivir with a dose of 75 mg/60 kg two times a day. The specific dosage was extrapolated from human data, but there hasn't been any data to suggest protection. As with many antiviral treatments, the dosage depends on the species.
The antibiotics erythromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin are typically the recommended treatment. Newer macrolides are frequently recommended due to lower rates of side effects. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) may be used in those with allergies to first-line agents or in infants who have a risk of pyloric stenosis from macrolides.
A reasonable guideline is to treat people age >1 year within 3 weeks of cough onset and infants age <1 year and pregnant women within 6 weeks of cough onset. If the person is diagnosed late, antibiotics will not alter the course of the illness, and even without antibiotics, they should no longer be spreading pertussis. Antibiotics when used early decrease the duration of infectiousness, and thus prevent spread. Short-term antibiotics (azithromycin for 3–5 days) are as effective as long-term treatment (erythromycin 10–14 days) in eliminating "B. pertussis" with fewer and less severe side effects.
People with pertussis are infectious from the beginning of the catarrhal stage (a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, symptoms of the common cold) through the third week after the onset of paroxysms (multiple, rapid coughs) or until 5 days after the start of effective antimicrobial treatment.
Effective treatments of the cough associated with this condition have not been developed.
While antibiotics with activity specifically against "M. pneumoniae" are often used (e.g., erythromycin, doxycycline), it is unclear if these result in greater benefit than using antibiotics without specific activity against this organism in those with an infection acquired in the community.
The two classes of antiviral drugs used against influenza are neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) and M2 protein inhibitors (adamantane derivatives).
Overall the benefits of neuraminidase inhibitors in those who are otherwise healthy do not appear to be greater than the risks. There does not appear to be any benefit in those with other health problems. In those believed to have the flu, they decreased the length of time symptoms were present by slightly less than a day but did not appear to affect the risk of complications such as needing hospitalization or pneumonia. Previous to 2013 the benefits were unclear as the manufacturer (Roche) refused to release trial data for independent analysis. Increasingly prevalent resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors has led to researchers to seek alternative antiviral drugs with different mechanisms of action.
Prescribing antibiotics for laryngitis is not suggested practice. The antibiotics penicillin V and erythromycin are not effective for treating acute laryngitis. Erythromycin may improve voice disturbances after one week and cough after two weeks, however any modest subjective benefit is not greater than the adverse effects, cost, and the risk of bacteria developing resistance to the antibiotics. Health authorities have been strongly encouraging physicians to decrease the prescribing of antibiotics to treat common upper respiratory tract infections because antibiotic usage does not significantly reduce recovery time for these viral illnesses. Decreased antibiotic usage could also have prevented drug resistant bacteria. Some have advocated a delayed antibiotic approach to treating URIs which seeks to reduce the consumption of antibiotics while attempting to maintain patient satisfaction. Most studies show no difference in improvement of symptoms between those treated with antibiotics right away and those with delayed prescriptions. Most studies also show no difference in patient satisfaction, patient complications, symptoms between delayed and no antibiotics. A strategy of "no antibiotics" results in even less antibiotic use than a strategy of "delayed antibiotics".
There is no good evidence supporting the effectiveness of over-the-counter cough medications for reducing coughing in adults or children. Children under 2 years old should not be given any type of cough or cold medicine due to the potential for life-threatening side effects. In addition, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of cough medicine to relieve cough symptoms should be avoided in children under 4 years old, and the safety is questioned for children under 6 years old.
Treatments that may help with symptoms include simple pain medication and medications for fevers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol). It, however, is not clear if acetaminophen helps with symptoms. It is not known if over the counter cough medications are effective for treating an acute cough. Cough medicines are not recommended for use in children due to a lack of evidence supporting effectiveness and the potential for harm. In 2009, Canada restricted the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medication in children six years and under due to concerns regarding risks and unproven benefits. The misuse of dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter cough medicine) has led to its ban in a number of countries. Intranasal corticosteroids have not been found to be useful.
In adults short term use of nasal decongestants may have a small benefit. Antihistamines may improve symptoms in the first day or two; however, there is no longer-term benefit and they have adverse effects such as drowsiness. Other decongestants such as pseudoephedrine appear effective in adults. Ipratropium nasal spray may reduce the symptoms of a runny nose but has little effect on stuffiness. The safety and effectiveness of nasal decongestant use in children is unclear.
Due to lack of studies, it is not known whether increased fluid intake improves symptoms or shortens respiratory illness, and there is a similar lack of data for the use of heated humidified air. One study has found chest vapor rub to provide some relief of nocturnal cough, congestion, and sleep difficulty.
No medications or herbal remedies have been conclusively demonstrated to shorten the duration of infection. Treatment thus comprises symptomatic relief. Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids to maintain hydration, and gargling with warm salt water are reasonable conservative measures. Much of the benefit from treatment is, however, attributed to the placebo effect.
Some ways to prevent airborne diseases include washing hands, using appropriate hand disinfection, getting regular immunizations against diseases believed to be locally present, wearing a respirator and limiting time spent in the presence of any patient likely to be a source of infection.
Exposure to a patient or animal with an airborne disease does not guarantee receiving the disease. Because of the changes in host immunity and how much the host was exposed to the particles in the air makes a difference to how the disease affects the body.
Antibiotics are not prescribed for patients to control viral infections. They may however be prescribed to a flu patient for instance, to control or prevent bacterial secondary infections. They also may be used in dealing with air-borne bacterial primary infections, such as pneumonic plague.
Additionally the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told consumers about vaccination and following careful hygiene and sanitation protocols for airborne disease prevention. Consumers also have access to preventive measures like UV Air purification devices that FDA and EPA-certified laboratory test data has verified as effective in inactivating a broad array of airborne infectious diseases. Many public health specialists recommend social distancing to reduce the transmission of airborne infections.
The primary method of prevention for pertussis is vaccination. Evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics in those who have been exposed, but are without symptoms. Preventive antibiotics, however, are still frequently used in those who have been exposed and are at high risk of severe disease (such as infants).
If a person becomes sick with swine flu, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within two days of symptoms). Beside antivirals, supportive care at home or in a hospital focuses on controlling fevers, relieving pain and maintaining fluid balance, as well as identifying and treating any secondary infections or other medical problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses; however, the majority of people infected with the virus make a full recovery without requiring medical attention or antiviral drugs. The virus isolated in the 2009 outbreak have been found resistant to amantadine and rimantadine.
In the U.S., on April 27, 2009, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations to make available Relenza and Tamiflu antiviral drugs to treat the swine influenza virus in cases for which they are currently unapproved. The agency issued these EUAs to allow treatment of patients younger than the current approval allows and to allow the widespread distribution of the drugs, including by volunteers.
As swine influenza is rarely fatal to pigs, little treatment beyond rest and supportive care is required. Instead, veterinary efforts are focused on preventing the spread of the virus throughout the farm, or to other farms. Vaccination and animal management techniques are most important in these efforts. Antibiotics are also used to treat this disease, which although they have no effect against the influenza virus, do help prevent bacterial pneumonia and other secondary infections in influenza-weakened herds.
Evidence does not support the general use of antibiotics in acute bronchitis. While some evidence suggests antibiotics speed up resolution of the cough by about 12 hours there is a greater risk of gastrointestinal problems and no change in longer term outcomes. Antibiotics use also leads to the promotion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which increase morbidity and mortality.
Neuraminidase inhibitors may be used to treat viral pneumonia caused by influenza viruses (influenza A and influenza B). No specific antiviral medications are recommended for other types of community acquired viral pneumonias including SARS coronavirus, adenovirus, hantavirus, and parainfluenza virus. Influenza A may be treated with rimantadine or amantadine, while influenza A or B may be treated with oseltamivir, zanamivir or peramivir. These are of most benefit if they are started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Many strains of H5N1 influenza A, also known as avian influenza or "bird flu", have shown resistance to rimantadine and amantadine. The use of antibiotics in viral pneumonia is recommended by some experts, as it is impossible to rule out a complicating bacterial infection. The British Thoracic Society recommends that antibiotics be withheld in those with mild disease. The use of corticosteroids is controversial.
Most cases are self-limited and resolve themselves in a few weeks.
Antibiotics improve outcomes in those with bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotic choice depends initially on the characteristics of the person affected, such as age, underlying health, and the location the infection was acquired. In the UK, treatment before culture results with amoxicillin is recommended as the first line for community-acquired pneumonia, with doxycycline or clarithromycin as alternatives. In North America, where the "atypical" forms of community-acquired pneumonia are more common, macrolides (such as azithromycin or erythromycin), and doxycycline have displaced amoxicillin as first-line outpatient treatment in adults. In children with mild or moderate symptoms, amoxicillin remains the first line. The use of fluoroquinolones in uncomplicated cases is discouraged due to concerns about side-effects and generating resistance in light of there being no greater clinical benefit.
For those who require hospitalization and caught their pneumonia in the community the use of a β-lactam such as cephazolin plus macrolide such as azithromycin or a fluoroquinolones is recommended. The addition of corticosteroids also appears to improve outcomes.
The duration of treatment has traditionally been seven to ten days, but increasing evidence suggests that shorter courses (three to five days) are similarly effective. Recommendations for hospital-acquired pneumonia include third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, carbapenems, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, and vancomycin. These antibiotics are often given intravenously and used in combination. In those treated in hospital, more than 90% improve with the initial antibiotics.
There is no specific treatment for measles. Most people with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment.
Patients who become sicker may be developing medical complications. Some people will develop pneumonia as a consequence of infection with the measles virus. Other complications include ear infections, bronchitis (either viral bronchitis or secondary bacterial bronchitis), and brain inflammation. Brain inflammation from measles has a mortality rate of 15%. While there is no specific treatment for brain inflammation from measles, antibiotics are required for bacterial pneumonia, sinusitis, and bronchitis that can follow measles.
All other treatment addresses symptoms, with ibuprofen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain and, if required, a fast-acting medication to dilate the airways for cough. As for aspirin, some research has suggested a correlation between children who take aspirin and the development of Reye syndrome. Some research has shown aspirin may not be the only medication associated with Reye, and even antiemetics have been implicated. The link between aspirin use in children and Reye syndrome development is weak at best, if not actually nonexistent. Nevertheless, most health authorities still caution against the use of aspirin for any fevers in children under 16.
The use of vitamin A during treatment is recommended by the World Health Organization to decrease the risk of blindness. A systematic review of trials into its use found no significant reduction in overall mortality, but it did reduce mortality in children aged under two years.
It is unclear if zinc supplementation in children with measles affects outcomes.
Normal surgical masks and N95 masks appear equivalent with respect to preventing respiratory infections.
Antibiotics do not help the many lower respiratory infections which are caused by parasites or viruses. While acute bronchitis often does not require antibiotic therapy, antibiotics can be given to patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. The indications for treatment are increased dyspnoea, and an increase in the volume or purulence of the sputum. The treatment of bacterial pneumonia is selected by considering the age of the patient, the severity of the illness and the presence of underlying disease. Amoxicillin and doxycycline are suitable for many of the lower respiratory tract infections seen in general practice.
The most efficient treatment in breeding flocks or laying hens is individual intramuscular injections of a long-acting tetracycline, with the same antibiotic in drinking water, simultaneously. The mortality and clinical signs will stop within one week, but the bacteria might remain present in the flock.
Prevention is by not smoking and avoiding other lung irritants. Frequent hand washing may also be protective. Treatment of acute bronchitis typically involves rest, paracetamol (acetaminophen), and NSAIDs to help with the fever. Cough medicine has little support for its use and is not recommended in children less than six years of age. There is tentative evidence that salbutamol may be useful in those with wheezing; however, it may result in nervousness and tremors. Antibiotics should generally not be used. An exception is when acute bronchitis is due to pertussis. Tentative evidence supports honey and pelargonium to help with symptoms. Getting plenty of rest and fluids is also often recommended.
Infection in otherwise healthy adults tends to be more severe. Treatment with antiviral drugs (e.g. acyclovir or valacyclovir) is generally advised, as long as it is started within 24–48 hours from rash onset. Remedies to ease the symptoms of chickenpox in adults are basically the same as those used for children. Adults are more often prescribed antiviral medication, as it is effective in reducing the severity of the condition and the likelihood of developing complications. Antiviral medicines do not kill the virus but stop it from multiplying. Adults are advised to increase water intake to reduce dehydration and to relieve headaches. Painkillers such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) are recommended, as they are effective in relieving itching and other symptoms such as fever or pains. Antihistamines relieve itching and may be used in cases where the itching prevents sleep, because they also act as a sedative. As with children, antiviral medication is considered more useful for those adults who are more prone to develop complications. These include pregnant women or people who have a weakened immune system.
Sorivudine, a nucleoside analogue, has been reported to be effective in the treatment of primary varicella in healthy adults (case reports only), but large-scale clinical trials are still needed to demonstrate its efficacy.
After recovering from chickenpox, it is recommended by doctors that adults take one injection of VZV immune globulin and one injection of varicella vaccine or herpes zoster vaccine.