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
About 80% of infected dogs with H3N8 show symptoms, usually mild (the other 20% have subclinical infections), and the fatality rate for Greyhounds in early outbreaks was 5 to 8%, although the overall fatality rate in the general pet and shelter population is probably less than 1%. Symptoms of the mild form include a cough that lasts for 10 to 30 days and possibly a greenish nasal discharge. Dogs with the more severe form may have a high fever and pneumonia. Pneumonia in these dogs is not caused by the influenza virus, but by secondary bacterial infections. The fatality rate of dogs that develop pneumonia secondary to canine influenza can reach 50% if not given proper treatment. Necropsies in dogs that die from the disease have revealed severe hemorrhagic pneumonia and evidence of vasculitis.
Approximately 33% of people with influenza are asymptomatic.
Symptoms of influenza can start quite suddenly one to two days after infection. Usually the first symptoms are chills or a chilly sensation, but fever is also common early in the infection, with body temperatures ranging from 38 to 39 °C (approximately 100 to 103 °F). Many people are so ill that they are confined to bed for several days, with aches and pains throughout their bodies, which are worse in their backs and legs. Symptoms of influenza may include:
- Fever and extreme coldness (chills shivering, shaking (rigor))
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Body aches, especially joints and throat
- Irritated, watering eyes
- Reddened eyes, skin (especially face), mouth, throat and nose
- Petechial rash
- In children, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain, (may be severe in children with influenza B)
It can be difficult to distinguish between the common cold and influenza in the early stages of these infections. Influenza is a mixture of symptoms of common cold and pneumonia, body ache, headache, and fatigue. Diarrhea is not normally a symptom of influenza in adults, although it has been seen in some human cases of the H5N1 "bird flu" and can be a symptom in children. The symptoms most reliably seen in influenza are shown in the adjacent table.
Since antiviral drugs are effective in treating influenza if given early (see treatment section, below), it can be important to identify cases early. Of the symptoms listed above, the combinations of fever with cough, sore throat and/or nasal congestion can improve diagnostic accuracy. Two decision analysis studies suggest that "during local outbreaks" of influenza, the prevalence will be over 70%, and thus patients with any of these combinations of symptoms may be treated with neuraminidase inhibitors without testing. Even in the absence of a local outbreak, treatment may be justified in the elderly during the influenza season as long as the prevalence is over 15%.
The available laboratory tests for influenza continue to improve. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains an up-to-date summary of available laboratory tests. According to the CDC, rapid diagnostic tests have a sensitivity of 50–75% and specificity of 90–95% when compared with viral culture. These tests may be especially useful during the influenza season (prevalence=25%) but in the absence of a local outbreak, or peri-influenza season (prevalence=10%).
Occasionally, influenza can cause severe illness including primary viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. The obvious symptom is trouble breathing. In addition, if a child (or presumably an adult) seems to be getting better and then relapses with a high fever, that is a danger sign since this relapse can be bacterial pneumonia.
Direct transmission of a swine flu virus from pigs to humans is occasionally possible (zoonotic swine flu). In all, 50 cases are known to have occurred since the first report in medical literature in 1958, which have resulted in a total of six deaths. Of these six people, one was pregnant, one had leukemia, one had Hodgkin's lymphoma and two were known to be previously healthy. Despite these apparently low numbers of infections, the true rate of infection may be higher, since most cases only cause a very mild disease, and will probably never be reported or diagnosed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in humans the symptoms of the 2009 "swine flu" H1N1 virus are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general. Symptoms include fever; cough, sore throat, watery eyes, body aches, shortness of breath, headache, weight loss, chills, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, dizziness, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and fatigue. The 2009 outbreak has shown an increased percentage of patients reporting diarrhea and vomiting as well. The 2009 H1N1 virus is not zoonotic swine flu, as it is not transmitted from pigs to humans, but from person to person through airborne droplets.
Because these symptoms are not specific to swine flu, a differential diagnosis of "probable" swine flu requires not only symptoms, but also a high likelihood of swine flu due to the person's recent and past medical history. For example, during the 2009 swine flu outbreak in the United States, the CDC advised physicians to "consider swine influenza infection in the differential diagnosis of patients with acute febrile respiratory illness who have either been in contact with persons with confirmed swine flu, or who were in one of the five U.S. states that have reported swine flu cases or in Mexico during the seven days preceding their illness onset." A diagnosis of "confirmed" swine flu requires laboratory testing of a respiratory sample (a simple nose and throat swab).
The most common cause of death is respiratory failure. Other causes of death are pneumonia (leading to sepsis), high fever (leading to neurological problems), dehydration (from excessive vomiting and diarrhea), electrolyte imbalance and kidney failure. Fatalities are more likely in young children and the elderly.
In swine, an influenza infection produces fever, lethargy, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing and decreased appetite. In some cases the infection can cause abortion. Although mortality is usually low (around 1–4%), the virus can produce weight loss and poor growth, causing economic loss to farmers. Infected pigs can lose up to 12 pounds of body weight over a three- to four-week period. Swine have receptors to which both avian and mammalian influenza viruses are able to bind to, which leads to the virus being able to evolve and mutate into different forms. Influenza A is responsible for infecting swine, and was first identified in the summer of 1918. Pigs have often been seen as "mixing vessels", which help to change and evolve strains of disease that are then passed on to other mammals, such as humans.
The presence of an upper respiratory tract infection in a dog that has been vaccinated for the other major causes of kennel cough increases suspicion of infection with canine influenza, especially in areas where the disease has been documented. A serum sample from a dog suspected of having canine influenza can be submitted to a laboratory that performs PCR tests for this virus.
Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks. In children, there may be nausea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults. Nausea and vomiting occur more commonly in the unrelated infection gastroenteritis, which is sometimes inaccurately referred to as "stomach flu" or "24-hour flu". Complications of influenza may include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, and worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure.
Three types of influenza viruses affect people, called Type A, Type B, and Type C. Usually, the virus is spread through the air from coughs or sneezes. This is believed to occur mostly over relatively short distances. It can also be spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching the mouth or eyes. A person may be infectious to others both before and during the time they are showing symptoms. The infection may be confirmed by testing the throat, sputum, or nose for the virus. A number of rapid tests are available; however, people may still have the infection if the results are negative. A type of polymerase chain reaction that detects the virus's RNA is more accurate.
Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of viral spread. Wearing a surgical mask is also useful. Yearly vaccinations against influenza are recommended by the World Health Organization for those at high risk. The vaccine is usually effective against three or four types of influenza. It is usually well tolerated. A vaccine made for one year may not be useful in the following year, since the virus evolves rapidly. Antiviral drugs such as the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir, among others, have been used to treat influenza. Their benefits in those who are otherwise healthy do not appear to be greater than their risks. No benefit has been found in those with other health problems.
Influenza spreads around the world in a yearly outbreak, resulting in about three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. In the Northern and Southern parts of the world, outbreaks occur mainly in winter while in areas around the equator outbreaks may occur at any time of the year. Death occurs mostly in the young, the old and those with other health problems. Larger outbreaks known as pandemics are less frequent. In the 20th century, three influenza pandemics occurred: Spanish influenza in 1918 (~50 million deaths), Asian influenza in 1957 (two million deaths), and Hong Kong influenza in 1968 (one million deaths). The World Health Organization declared an outbreak of a new type of influenza A/H1N1 to be a pandemic in June 2009. Influenza may also affect other animals, including pigs, horses and birds.
In dogs, signs of distemper vary widely from no signs, to mild respiratory signs indistinguishable from kennel cough, to severe pneumonia with vomiting, bloody diarrhea and death.
Commonly observed signs are a runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration, excessive salivation, coughing and/or labored breathing, loss of appetite, and weight loss. If neurological signs develop, incontinence may ensue. Central nervous system signs include a localized involuntary twitching of muscles or groups of muscles, seizures with salivation and jaw movements commonly described as "chewing gum fits", or more appropriately as "distemper myoclonus". As the condition progresses, the seizures worsen and advance to grand mal convulsions followed by death of the animal. The animal may also show signs of sensitivity to light, incoordination, circling, increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as pain or touch, and deterioration of motor capabilities. Less commonly, they may lead to blindness and paralysis. The length of the systemic disease may be as short as 10 days, or the start of neurological signs may not come until several weeks or months later. Those few that survive usually have a small tic or twitch of varying levels of severity. With time, this tic will usually diminish somewhat in its severity.
A dog that survives distemper will continue to have both nonlife-threatening and life-threatening signs throughout its lifespan. The most prevalent nonlife-threatening symptom is hard pad disease. This occurs when a dog experiences the thickening of the skin on the pads of its paws as well as on the end of its nose. Another lasting symptom commonly is enamel hypoplasia. Puppies, especially, will have damage to the enamel of teeth that are not completely formed or those that have not yet grown through the gums. This is a result of the virus's killing the cells responsible for manufacturing the tooth enamel. These affected teeth tend to erode quickly.
Life-threatening signs usually include those due to the degeneration of the nervous system. Dogs that have been infected with distemper tend to suffer a progressive deterioration of mental abilities and motor skills. With time, the dog can acquire more severe seizures, paralysis, reduction in sight and incoordination. These dogs are usually humanely euthanized because of the immense pain and suffering they face.
A cat that is infected with a high dose of the virus can show signs of fever, lethargy, and dyspnea. There have even been recorded cases where a cat has neurological symptoms such as circling or ataxia.
In a case in February 2004, a 2-year-old male cat was panting and convulsing on top of having a fever two days prior to death. This cat also had lesions that were identified as renal congestion, pulmonary congestion, edema, and pneumonia. Upon inspection, the cat also had cerebral congestion, conjunctivitis, and hemorrhaging in the serosae of the intestines.
However, a cat that is infected with a low dose of the virus may not necessarily show symptoms. Though they may be asymptomatic, they can still transfer small amounts of the virus.
Avian influenza—known informally as avian flu or bird flu is a variety of influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds. The type with the greatest risk is highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Bird flu is similar to swine flu, dog flu, horse flu and human flu as an illness caused by strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host. Out of the three types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C), influenza A virus is a zoonotic infection with a natural reservoir almost entirely in birds. Avian influenza, for most purposes, refers to the influenza A virus.
Though influenza A is adapted to birds, it can also stably adapt and sustain person-to person transmission. Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish flu virus shows it to have genes adapted from both human and avian strains. Pigs can also be infected with human, avian, and swine influenza viruses, allow for mixtures of genes (reassortment) to create a new virus, which can cause an antigenic shift to a new influenza A virus subtype which most people have little to no immune protection.
Avian influenza strains are divided into two types based on their pathogenicity: high pathogenicity (HP) or low pathogenicity (LP). The most well-known HPAI strain, H5N1, appeared in China in 1996, and also has low pathogenic strains found in North America. Companion birds in captivity are unlikely to contract the virus and there has been no report of a companion bird with avian influenza since 2003. Pigeons do not contract or spread the virus.
Between early 2013 to early 2017, 916 lab-confirmed human cases of H7N9 were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). On 9 January 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China reported to WHO 106 cases of H7N9 which occurred from late November through late December, including 35 deaths, 2 potential cases of human-to-human transmission, and 80 of these 106 persons stating that they have visited live poultry markets. The cases are reported from Jiangsu (52), Zhejiang (21), Anhui (14), Guangdong (14), Shanghai (2), Fujian (2) and Hunan (1). Similar sudden increases in the number of human cases of H7N9 have occurred in previous years during December and January.
Cats with Avian Influenza exhibit symptoms that can result in death. They are one of the few species that can get Avian Influenza. The specific virus that they get is H5N1, which is a subtype of Avian Influenza. In order to get the virus, cats need to be in contact with waterfowl, poultry, or uncooked poultry that are infected. Two of the main organs that the virus affects are the lungs and liver.
The incubation period is 5–7 days (with a range of 3–10). Symptoms can include a harsh, dry cough, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging or vomiting in response to light pressing of the trachea or after excitement or exercise. The presence of a fever varies from case to case.
Although kennel cough is considered to be a multifactorial infection, there are two main forms. The first is more mild and is caused by B. bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus infections, without complications from canine distemper virus (CDV) or canine adenovirus (CAV). This form occurs most regularly in autumn, and can be distinguished by symptoms such as a retching cough and vomiting. The second form has a more complex combination of causative organisms including CDV and CAV. It typically occurs in dogs that have not been vaccinated and it is not seasonal. Symptoms are more severe than the first form, and may include rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and fever in addition to a hacking cough.
Infectious diseases causing ILI include malaria, acute HIV/AIDS infection, herpes, hepatitis C, Lyme disease, rabies, myocarditis, Q fever, dengue fever, poliomyelitis, pneumonia, measles, and many others.
Pharmaceutical drugs that may cause ILI include many biologics such as interferons and monoclonal antibodies. Chemotherapeutic agents also commonly cause flu-like symptoms. Other drugs associated with a flu-like syndrome include bisphosphonates, caspofungin, and levamisole. A flu-like syndrome can also be caused by an influenza vaccine or other vaccines, and by opioid withdrawal in addicts.
Influenza-like illness (ILI), also known as acute respiratory infection (ARI) and flu-like syndrome/symptoms, is a medical diagnosis of "possible" influenza or other illness causing a set of common symptoms.
Symptoms commonly include fever, shivering, chills, malaise, dry cough, loss of appetite, body aches, and nausea, typically in connection with a sudden onset of illness. In most cases, the symptoms are caused by cytokines released by immune system activation, and are thus relatively non-specific.
Common causes of ILI include the common cold and influenza, which tends to be less common but more severe than the common cold. Less-common causes include side effects of many drugs and manifestations of many other diseases.
Rabies is a viral disease that exists in Haiti and throughout the world. It often causes fatal inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals, such as dogs and mongooses in Haiti. The term "rabies" is derived from a Latin word that means "to rage"; rabid animals sometimes appear to be angry. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure, followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, death is nearly always the outcome. The time period between contracting the disease and showing symptoms is usually one to three months; however, this time period can vary from less than a week to more than a year. The time between contraction and the onset of symptoms is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system.
Haiti is one of five remaining countries in the Americas where canine rabies is still a problem. It has the highest rate of human rabies deaths in the western hemisphere with an estimated two deaths each week. Only about seven deaths are reported to health authorities each year due to poor surveillance, limitations in diagnostic capacity, and lack of awareness and education about the disease among Haitians.
Symptoms of viral pneumonia include fever, non-productive cough, runny nose, and systemic symptoms (e.g. myalgia, headache). Different viruses cause different symptoms.
Viral pneumonia is a pneumonia caused by a virus.
Viruses are one of the two major causes of pneumonia, the other being bacteria; less common causes are fungi and parasites. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children, while in adults bacteria are a more common cause.
Globally, 59,000 people die from rabies each year. This is the equivalent of one person dying every nine minutes, with half of the people who die from rabies being under the age of 15. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Center of foot-and-mouth disease (PANAFTOSA) led a mission to eliminate dog-mediated rabies in the American region by 2015. These organizations are cognizant of the regional control of rabies. The PAHO and PANAFTOSA visited Haiti in early December, 2013, and the objectives of the mission were to assess the status of Haiti’s rabies program as delivered by the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) and the Ministry of Health (MSPP). The mission was to seek opportunities for collaboration between Haiti, Brazil, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Haiti.
Even in 2017, rabies in Haiti is still identified as a national problem, even with PEP proposed.
Cat flu is the common name for a feline upper respiratory tract disease. While feline upper respiratory disease can be caused by several different pathogens, there are few symptoms that they have in common.
While Avian Flu can also infect cats, Cat flu is generally a misnomer, since it usually does not refer to an infection by an influenza virus. Instead, it is a syndrome, a term referring to the fact that patients display a number of symptoms that can be caused by one or more of the following infectious agents (pathogens):
1. Feline herpes virus causing feline viral rhinotracheitis (cat common cold, this is the disease that is closely similar to cat flu)
2. Feline calicivirus—(cat respiratory disease)
3. "Bordetella bronchiseptica"—(cat kennel cough)
4. "Chlamydophila felis"—(chlamydia)
In South Africa the term cat flu is also used to refer to Canine Parvo Virus. This is misleading, as transmission of the Canine Parvo Virus rarely involves cats.
Croup is characterized by a "barking" cough, stridor, hoarseness, and difficulty breathing which usually worsens at night. The "barking" cough is often described as resembling the call of a seal or sea lion. The stridor is worsened by agitation or crying, and if it can be heard at rest, it may indicate critical narrowing of the airways. As croup worsens, stridor may decrease considerably.
Other symptoms include fever, coryza (symptoms typical of the common cold), and indrawing of the chest wall–known as Hoover's sign. Drooling or a very sick appearance indicate other medical conditions, such as epiglottitis.
Leptospiral infection in humans causes a range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis is a biphasic disease that begins suddenly with fever accompanied by chills, intense headache, severe myalgia (muscle ache), abdominal pain, conjunctival suffusion (red eye), and occasionally a skin rash. The symptoms appear after an incubation period of 7–12 days. The first phase (acute or septic phase) ends after 3–7 days of illness. The disappearance of symptoms coincides with the appearance of antibodies against "Leptospira" and the disappearance of all the bacteria from the bloodstream. The patient is asymptomatic for 3–4 days until the second phase begins with another episode of fever. The hallmark of the second phase is meningitis (inflammation of the membranes covering the brain).
Ninety percent of cases of the disease are mild leptospirosis. The rest experience severe disease, which develops during the second stage or occurs as a single progressive illness. The classic form of severe leptospirosis is known as Weil's disease, which is characterized by liver damage (causing jaundice), kidney failure, and bleeding. Additionally, the heart and brain can be affected, meningitis of the outer layer of the brain, encephalitis of brain tissue with same signs and symptoms; and lung affected as the most serious and life-threatening of all leptospirosis complications. The infection is often incorrectly diagnosed due to the nonspecific symptoms.
Other severe manifestations include extreme fatigue, hearing loss, respiratory distress, and azotemia.
Croup, also known as laryngotracheobronchitis, is a type of respiratory infection that is usually caused by a virus. The infection leads to swelling inside the trachea, which interferes with normal breathing and produces the classic symptoms of "barking" cough, stridor, and a hoarse voice. Fever and runny nose may also be present. These symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe. Often it starts or is worse at night. It normally lasts one to two days.
Croup can be caused by a number of viruses including parainfluenza and influenza virus. Rarely is it due to a bacterial infection. Croup is typically diagnosed based on signs and symptoms after potentially more severe causes, such as epiglottitis or an airway foreign body, have been ruled out. Further investigations—such as blood tests, X-rays, and cultures—are usually not needed.
Many cases of croup are preventable by immunization for influenza and diphtheria. Croup is usually treated with a single dose of steroids by mouth. In more severe cases inhaled epinephrine may also be used. Hospitalization is required in one to five percent of cases.
Croup is a relatively common condition that affects about 15% of children at some point. It most commonly occurs between 6 months and 5 years of age but may rarely be seen in children as old as fifteen. It is slightly more common in males than females. It occurs most often in autumn. Before vaccination, croup was frequently caused by diphtheria and was often fatal. This cause is now very rare in the Western world due to the success of the diphtheria vaccine.
Zoonoses are infectious diseases of animals (usually vertebrates) that can naturally be transmitted to humans.
Major modern diseases such as Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis are zoonoses. HIV was a zoonotic disease transmitted to humans in the early part of the 20th century, though it has now evolved to a separate human-only disease. Most strains of influenza that infect humans are human diseases, although many strains of swine and bird flu are zoonoses; these viruses occasionally recombine with human strains of the flu and can cause pandemics such as the 1918 Spanish flu or the 2009 swine flu. "Taenia solium" infection is one of the neglected tropical diseases with public health and veterinary concern in endemic regions. Zoonoses can be caused by a range of disease pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites; of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% were zoonotic. Most human diseases originated in animals; however, only diseases that routinely involve animal to human transmission, like rabies, are considered direct zoonosis.
Zoonoses have different modes of transmission. In direct zoonosis the disease is directly transmitted from animals to humans through media such as air (influenza) or through bites and saliva (rabies). In contrast, transmission can also occur via an intermediate species (referred to as a vector), which carry the disease pathogen without getting infected. When humans infect animals, it is called reverse zoonosis or anthroponosis. The term is from Greek: ζῷον "zoon" "animal" and νόσος "nosos" "sickness".
In virology, defective interfering particles (DIPs), also known as defective interfering viruses, are spontaneously generated virus mutants in which a critical portion of the particle's genome has been lost due to defective replication. DIPs are derived from and associated with their parent virus, and particles are classed as DIPs if they are rendered non-infectious due to at least one essential gene of the virus being lost or severely damaged as a result of the defection. A DIP can usually still penetrate host cells, but requires another fully functional virus particle (the 'helper' virus) to co-infect a cell with it, in order to provide the lost factors. The existence of DIPs has been known about for decades, and they can occur within nearly every class of both DNA and RNA viruses.