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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Canine influenza (dog flu) is influenza occurring in canine animals. Canine influenza is caused by varieties of influenzavirus A, such as equine influenza virus H3N8, which in 2004 was discovered to cause disease in dogs. Because of the lack of previous exposure to this virus, dogs have no natural immunity to it. Therefore, the disease is rapidly transmitted between individual dogs. Canine influenza may be endemic in some regional dog populations of the United States. It is a disease with a high morbidity (incidence of symptoms) but a low incidence of death.
A newer form was identified in Asia during the 2000s and has since caused outbreaks in the US as well. It is a mutation of H3N2 that adapted from its avian influenza origins. Vaccines have been developed for both strains.
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.
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.
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.
Rickettsialpox is treated with tetracyclines (doxycycline is the drug of choice). Chloramphenicol is a suitable alternative.
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.
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.
No human vaccine is available for ehrlichiosis. Tick control is the main preventive measure against the disease. However, in late 2012 a breakthrough in the prevention of CME (canine monocytic ehrlichiosis) was announced when a vaccine was accidentally discovered by Prof. Shimon Harrus, Dean of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Koret School of Veterinary Medicine.
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.
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.
There is no cure or vaccine for HPS. Treatment involves supportive therapy, including mechanical ventilation with supplemental oxygen during the critical respiratory-failure stage of the illness. Early recognition of HPS and admission to an intensive care setting offers the best prognosis.
Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary prevention strategy, as well as eliminating contact with rodents in the workplace and campsite. Closed storage sheds and cabins are often ideal sites for rodent infestations. Airing out of such spaces prior to use is recommended. Avoid direct contact with rodent droppings and wear a mask to avoid inhalation of aerosolized rodent secretions.
Prevention of aspergillosis involves a reduction of mold exposure via environmental infection-control. Anti-fungal prophylaxis can be given to high-risk patients. Posaconazole is often given as prophylaxis in severely immunocompromised patients.
The current medical treatments for aggressive invasive aspergillosis include voriconazole and liposomal amphotericin B in combination with surgical debridement.
For the less aggressive allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis findings suggest the use of oral steroids for a prolonged period of time, preferably for 6–9 months in allergic aspergillosis of the lungs. Itraconazole is given with the steroids, as it is considered to have a "steroid sparing" effect, causing the steroids to be more effective, allowing a lower dose.,
Other drugs used, such as amphotericin B, caspofungin (in combination therapy only), flucytosine (in combination therapy only), or itraconazole,
are used to treat this fungal infection. However, a growing proportion of infections are resistant to the triazoles. "A. fumigatus", the most commonly infecting species, is intrinsically resistant to fluconazole.