By Joyce Shannon
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Additional info for Contagious Diseases Sourcebook (Health Reference Series)
30 Immunodeficiency and Contagious Diseases Treating Infections The first goal of treatment is to clear up any current infection. Doctors can prescribe a wide range of infection-fighting antimicrobials. Some are broad-spectrum antibiotics that combat a range of germs. Others zero in on specific germs. When an infection fails to respond to standard medications, the patient may need to be hospitalized to be treated with antibiotics and other drugs intravenously. For chronic infections, a variety of medicines can help relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
In this way, the person becomes immunized against the microbe. Vaccination remains one of the best ways to prevent infectious diseases, and vaccines have an excellent safety record. Previously devastating diseases such as smallpox, polio, and whooping cough (pertussis) have been greatly controlled or eliminated through worldwide vaccination programs. 24 Chapter 3 Immunodeficiency and Contagious Diseases Most of us are no strangers to infections. Just about everybody has had a cold, cough, infected cut, the flu, or chicken pox.
This can happen even when the blood given is the right blood type. A transfusion is stopped at the first signs of an allergic reaction. The health care team determines how mild or severe the reaction is, what treatments are needed, and if the transfusion can safely be restarted. Viruses and Infectious Diseases Some infectious agents, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), can survive in blood and infect the person receiving the blood transfusion. To keep blood safe, blood banks carefully screen donated blood.