The Most Common Infectious Diseases In US

March 31, 2020

Chlamydia (genus of intracellular parasitic bacteria)
This sexually transmitted disease affects both men and women. Most people with it have mild or no symptoms at all, but you may have a discharge or pain when you urinate. Your doctor can diagnose it with a urine test or a genital swab. While antibiotics can easily cure it, this “silent” infection speaks loudly if left untreated. Complications include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and prostate infections in men.

Influenza A and B
Sudden fever and chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, sore throat, congestion. If you have any of these symptoms, you probably have the flu. Between 3% and 11% of people in the United States get it each year. It usually gets better within 2 weeks, but you may be tired for a while. It can be dangerous and even fatal for small children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems. If you are at risk of complications or are very sick, your doctor may give you antiviral medication. The best thing to do is to get a flu shot once a year.

staphylococcus (bacteria)
There are more than 30 types of staphylococci. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common type. They usually live on your skin and sometimes in your nose. But they can enter your body through wounds or sores. This can lead to a serious or life-threatening infection. You can treat most staph infections with antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) does not respond to penicillin drugs. It must be treated with a different type of antibiotic.

E. Escherichia coli
Most strains of E. coli (Escherichia coli) are harmless. They live in your intestines and help you digest food. However, some bacteria can cause urinary tract infections or pneumonia. Others can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. The usual cause is eating contaminated raw vegetables or undercooked meat, especially ground beef. Illness usually begins 1 to 10 days after you come into contact with the bacteria. You will most likely get better on your own in about a week.

Herpes Simplex 1
Herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) causes most oral herpes, also known as fever blisters or cold sores. It’s so common that more than 50% of American adults get it, usually through mouth-to-mouth contact. You can’t cure it, but over-the-counter medications can relieve symptoms and shorten healing time. While herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) is the more common cause of genital herpes, you can transmit HSV-1 to the genital area through oral sex.

herpes simplex 2
Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) causes most genital herpes, but HSV-1 can cause it, too. If you get it, you may have a rash or blisters that may ooze or bleed. But most people either have mild symptoms or none at all. But you can still pass it on to a partner and not know you have it. That’s part of why it’s so common: More than 1 in 6 people ages 14-49 have it. There’s no cure, but drugs can prevent or shorten outbreaks and reduce the chances that you’ll give it to a partner.

shigellosis
Anyone can be infected, but most commonly young children. It is spread through contact with contaminated water, food or the feces of an infected person. Because of this, it can occur in daycare centers or public swimming pools. It can cause fever, stomach pain or diarrhea, and sometimes it can be bloody – or have no symptoms at all. It usually goes away without medication, but diarrhea can lead to dehydration.

syphilis
Syphilis starts as a sore on the genitals, rectum, or mouth. You can treat it quickly with penicillin. If you don’t pay attention to it, it can develop in stages, from a full-body rash to brain damage. A mother can pass it on to her baby through pregnancy or childbirth.

gonorrhoea
Gonorrhea is spread through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Common symptoms include discharge from the vagina or penis. It may also hurt when you urinate. Women may have pain in the pelvis or abdomen. You may also have discharge from your eyes or rectum. Your joints may be swollen and painful. But you may not notice any symptoms. Antibiotics can prevent it from causing infertility and increasing the risk of HIV infection.

norovirus (virus)
There are several causes of food poisoning or “stomach flu”. Norovirus is a major cause. It is highly contagious. It is often spread through contaminated food, water, surfaces or objects. You can also get it if you’re in close contact with someone who has it. It causes gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This can bring on symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. There’s no cure, but it’s usually out of your system in a few days. Try to replace the fluids you lose to prevent dehydration.

salmonella
If you eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or egg products, you’re at risk of contracting salmonella. You may not have symptoms, but if you do, they will feel like the stomach flu. Drink as much water as possible. Diarrhea and vomiting can make you dehydrated. This infection tends to pass before your test results come back.

pneumonia
Your lungs contain hundreds of millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause infections that inflame these air sacs, filling them with fluid or pus. This can be mild or severe. If you are elderly, a child or have a weakened immune system, it can be life-threatening. You may have trouble breathing, chest pain, fatigue, and a severe cough. You may be treated with medication. The tiredness may last for a long time after you are sick.

hepatitis C
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. In the United States, most new infections are type C. You get it through contact with infected blood, such as from used medications or tattoo needles. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). But almost half the people who get it don’t know about it. Antiviral drugs will stop it, but if left untreated, it can lead to liver failure, liver cancer and, in some cases, death.

HIV
HIV attacks the cells that help the body fight infection. This makes it difficult to fight other infections and diseases. You spread it through unprotected sex or contact with infected blood. It can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth. There is no cure, but you can live a healthy life with it through antiretroviral therapy (ART). If you don’t get treatment, late-onset HIV can turn into AIDS.

common cold
The common cold doesn’t sound serious, but it may not feel that way. This viral infection of the nose and throat can lead to a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, congestion, and a general feeling of tiredness. The virus can live in the air and enter your body through your mouth, eyes, or nose. Hand-to-hand contact is another way it can spread. It can also live on objects such as doorknobs and toys. You can treat your symptoms, but there is no cure. You can prevent it from spreading to others by resting, drinking water, and washing your hands.