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
The two classes of antiviral drugs used against influenza are neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) and M2 protein inhibitors (adamantane derivatives).
People with the flu are advised to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco and, if necessary, take medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) to relieve the fever and muscle aches associated with the flu. Children and teenagers with flu symptoms (particularly fever) should avoid taking aspirin during an influenza infection (especially influenza type B), because doing so can lead to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease of the liver. Since influenza is caused by a virus, antibiotics have no effect on the infection; unless prescribed for secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. Antiviral medication may be effective, if given early, but some strains of influenza can show resistance to the standard antiviral drugs and there is concern about the quality of the research.
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.
Antibiotics are ineffective, as SARS is a viral disease. Treatment of SARS is largely supportive with antipyretics, supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation as needed.
People with SARS must be isolated, preferably in negative pressure rooms, with complete barrier nursing precautions taken for any necessary contact with these patients.
Some of the more serious damage caused by SARS may be due to the body's own immune system reacting in what is known as cytokine storm.
As of 2017, there is no cure or protective vaccine for SARS that has been shown to be both safe and effective in humans. The identification and development of novel vaccines and medicines to treat SARS is a priority for governments and public health agencies around the world. MassBiologics, a non-profit organization engaged in the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologic therapies, is cooperating with researchers at NIH and the CDC developed a monoclonal antibody therapy that demonstrated efficacy in animal models.
There is no vaccine for SARS to date. Isolation and quarantine remain the most effective means to prevent the spread of SARS. Other preventative measures include:
- Disinfection of surfaces for fomites
- Wearing a surgical mask
- Avoiding contact with bodily fluids
- Washing the personal items of someone with SARS in hot, soapy water (eating utensils, dishes, bedding, etc.)
- Keeping children with symptoms home from school
Many public health interventions were taken to help control the spread of the disease; which is mainly spread through respiratory droplets in the air. These interventions included earlier detection of the disease, isolation of people who are infected, droplet and contact precautions, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE); including masks and isolation gowns. A screening process was also put in place at airports to monitor air travel to and from affected countries. Although no cases have been identified since 2004, the CDC is still working to make federal and local rapid response guidelines and recommendations in the event of a reappearance of the virus.
Most infections are mild and require no therapy or only symptomatic treatment. Because there is no virus-specific therapy, serious adenovirus illness can be managed only by treating symptoms and complications of the infection. Deaths are exceedingly rare but have been reported.
ILI occurs in some horses after intramuscular injection of vaccines. For these horses, light exercise speeds resolution of the ILI. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be given with the vaccine.
Safe and effective adenovirus vaccines were developed for adenovirus serotypes 4 and 7, but were available only for preventing ARD among US military recruits, and production stopped in 1996. Strict attention to good infection-control practices is effective for stopping transmission in hospitals of adenovirus-associated disease, such as epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination is necessary for preventing swimming pool-associated outbreaks of adenovirus conjunctivitis.
In June 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved the first canine influenza vaccine. This vaccine must be given twice initially with a two-week break, then annually thereafter.
Prevention and control programs must take into account local understandings of people-poultry relations. In the past, programs that have focused on singular, place-based understandings of disease transmission have been ineffective. In the case of Northern Vietnam, health workers saw poultry as commodities with an environment that was under the control of people. Poultry existed in the context of farms, markets, slaughterhouses, and roads while humans were indirectly the primary transmitters of avian flu, placing the burden of disease control on people. However, farmers saw their free ranging poultry in an environment dominated by nonhuman forces that they could not exert control over. There were a host of nonhuman actors such as wild birds and weather patterns whose relationships with the poultry fostered the disease and absolved farmers of complete responsibility for disease control.
Attempts at singular, place-based controls sought to teach farmers to identify areas where their behavior could change without looking at poultry behaviors. Behavior recommendations by Vietnam's National Steering Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Prevention (NSCAI) were drawn from the FAO Principles of Biosecurity. These included restrictions from entering areas where poultry are kept by erecting barriers to segregate poultry from non-human contact, limits on human movement of poultry and poultry-related products ideally to transporters, and recommendations for farmers to wash hands and footwear before and after contact with poultry. Farmers, pointed to wind and environmental pollution as reasons poultry would get sick. NSCAI recommendations also would disrupt longstanding livestock production practices as gates impede sales by restricting assessment of birds by appearance and offend customers by limiting outside human contact. Instead of incorporating local knowledge into recommendations, cultural barriers were used as scapegoats for failed interventions. Prevention and control methods have been more effective when also considering the social, political, and ecological agents in play.
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.
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.
Most cases are self-limited and resolve themselves in a few weeks.
Culling is used in order to decrease the threat of avian influenza transmission by killing potentially infected birds. The FAO manual on HPAI control recommends a zoning strategy which begins with the identification of an infected area (IA) where sick or dead birds have tested positive. All poultry in this zone are culled while the area 1 to 5 km from the outer boundary of the IA is considered the restricted area (RA) placed under strict surveillance. 2 to 10 km from the RA is the control area (CA) that serves as a buffer zone in case of spread. Culling is not recommended beyond the IA unless there is evidence of spread. The manual, however, also provides examples of how control was carried out between 2004 and 2005 to contain H5N1 where all poultry was to be stamped out in a 3 km radius beyond the infected point and beyond that a 5 km radius where all fowl was to be vaccinated. This culling method was indiscriminate as a large proportion of the poultry inside these areas were small backyard flocks which did not travel great enough distances to carry infection to adjacent villages without human effort and may have not been infected at all. Between 2004 and 2005, over 100 million chickens were culled in Asia to contain H5N1.
The risk of mass culling of birds and the resulting economic impact led farmers who were reluctant to report sick poultry. The culls often preempted actual lab testing for H5N1 as avian flu policy justified sacrificing poultry as a safeguard against HPAI spread. In response to these policies, farmers in Vietnam between 2003 and 2004 became more and more unwilling to surrender apparently healthy birds to authorities and stole poultry destined for culls as it stripped poultry of their biosocial and economic worth. By the end of 2005, the government implemented a new policy that targeted high-risk flock in the immediate vicinity of infected farms and instituted voluntary culling with compensation in the case of a local outbreak.
Not only did culling result in severe economic impacts especially for small scale farmers, culling itself may be an ineffective preventative measure. In the short-term, mass culling achieves its goals of limiting the immediate spread of HPAI, it has been found to impede the evolution of host resistance which is important for the long-term success of HPAI control. Mass culling also selects for elevated influenza virulence and results in the greater mortality of birds overall. Effective culling strategies must be selective as well as considerate of economic impacts to optimize epidemiological control and minimize economic and agricultural destruction.
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.
Antiviral drugs, that target infections with RRV. Patients are usually managed with simple analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anti-pyretics and rest while the illness runs its course.
Post-viral cough can be resistant to treatment. Post-viral cough usually goes away on its own; however, cough suppressants containing codeine may be prescribed. A study has claimed theobromine in dark chocolate is more effective.
There is currently no vaccine available. The primary method of disease prevention is minimizing mosquito bites, as the disease is only transmitted by mosquitoes. Typical advice includes use of mosquito repellent and mosquito screens, wearing light coloured clothing, and minimising standing water around homes (e.g. removing Bromeliads, plant pots, garden ponds). Staying indoors during dusk/dawn hours when mosquitos are most active may also be effective. Bush camping is a common precipitant of infection so particular care is required.
Rickettsialpox is treated with tetracyclines (doxycycline is the drug of choice). Chloramphenicol is a suitable alternative.
The majority of cases of throat irritation usually go away without any treatment. There is no real treatment for throat irritation from a virus. If you have difficulty swallowing then one should drink liquids, suck on lozenges, ice chips or mix salt with warm water to gargle. Bacterial infections generally require antibiotics.
Home remedies for throat irritation include gargling with warm water twice a day, sipping honey and lemon mixture or sucking on medicated lozenges. If the cause is dry air, then one should humidify the home. Since smoke irritates the throat, stop smoking and avoid all fumes from chemicals, paints and volatile liquids.
Rest your voice if you have been screaming or singing. If you have pharyngitis, avoid infecting others by covering your mouth when coughing and wear a mask.
It is currently recommended that HIV-infected individuals with TB receive combined treatment for both diseases, irrespective of CD4+ cell count. ART (Anti Retroviral Therapy) along with ATT (Anti Tuberculosis Treatment) is the only available treatment in present time. Though the timing of starting ART is the debatable question due to the risk of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). The advantages of early ART include reduction in early mortality, reduction in relapses, preventing drug resistance to ATT and reduction in occurrence of HIV-associated infections other than TB. The disadvantages include cumulative toxicity of ART and ATT, drug interactions leading to inflammatory reactions are the limiting factors for choosing the combination of ATT and ART.
A systematic review investigated the optimal timing of starting antiretroviral therapy in adults with newly diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis. The review authors included eight trials, that were generally well-conducted, with over 4500 patients in total. The early provision of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected adults with newly diagnosed tuberculosis improved survival in patients who had a low CD4 count (less than 0.050 x 109 cells/L). However, such therapy doubled the risk for IRIS. Regarding patients with higher CD4 counts (more than 0.050 x 109 cells/L), the evidence is not sufficient to make a conclusion about benefits or risks of early antiretroviral therapy.
There is no cure or vaccine for HFRS. Treatment involves supportive therapy including renal dialysis. Treatment with ribavirin in China and Korea, administered within 7 days of onset of fever, resulted in a reduced mortality as well as shortened course of illness.
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.
Doxycycline and minocycline are the medications of choice. For people allergic to antibiotics of the tetracycline class, rifampin is an alternative. Early clinical experience suggested that chloramphenicol may also be effective, however, in vitro susceptibility testing revealed resistance.