“The risk of acquiring a infection is related to the mode of transmission of the infectious agent, the type of  infection prevention control, treatment when feeling an infection or common cold coming on and the underlying patient’s host defenses (Ex. white blood cell count to fight off infection, your immunity strength…).”

The department of health



Bacterial versus Viral Infections.

As you might think, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, and viral infections are caused by viruses. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses.


Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that thrive in many different types of environments. Some varieties live in extremes of cold or heat. Others make their home in people’s intestines, where they help digest food. Most bacteria cause no harm to people, but there are exceptions.

Infections caused by bacteria include:

  • Strep throat
  • Tuberculosis
  • Urinary tract infections

Inappropriate use of antibiotics has helped create bacterial diseases that are resistant to treatment with different types of antibiotic medications.


Viruses are even smaller than bacteria and require living hosts — such as people, plants or animals — to multiply. Otherwise, they can’t survive. When a virus enters your body, it invades some of your cells and takes over the cell machinery, redirecting it to produce the virus.

Diseases caused by viruses include:

  • Chickenpox
  • AIDS
  • Common colds

In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether a bacterium or a virus is causing your symptoms. Many ailments — such as pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhea — can be caused by either bacteria or viruses.

Bacterial and viral infections have many things in common. Both types of infections are caused by microbes — bacteria and viruses, respectively — and spread by things such as:

  • Coughing and sneezing.
  • Contact with infected people, especially through kissing and sex.
  • Contact with contaminated surfaces, food, and water.
  • Contact with infected creatures, including pets, livestock, and insects such as fleas and ticks.

Microbes can also cause:

  • Acute infections, which are short-lived.
  • Chronic infections, which can last for weeks, months, or a lifetime.
  • Latent infections, which may not cause symptoms at first but can reactivate over a period of months and years.

Most importantly, bacterial and viral infections, can cause mild, moderate, and severe diseases.

Throughout history, millions of people have died of diseases such as bubonic plague or the Black Death, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria, and smallpox, which is caused by the variola virus. In recent times, viral infections have been responsible for two major pandemics: the 1918-1919 “Spanish flu” epidemic that killed 20-40 million people, and the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic that killed an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide in 2013 alone.Bacterial and viral infections can cause similar symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, fever, inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and cramping — all of which are ways the immune system tries to rid the body of infectious organisms. But bacterial and viral infections are dissimilar in many other important respects, most of them due to the organisms’ structural differences and the way they respond to medications.

The Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses

Although bacteria and viruses are both too small to be seen without a microscope, they’re as different as giraffes and goldfish.Bacteria are relatively complex, single-celled creatures with a rigid wall and a thin, rubbery membrane surrounding the fluid inside the cell. They can reproduce on their own. Fossilized records show that bacteria have existed for about 3.5 billion years, and bacteria can survive in different environments, including extreme heat and cold, radioactive waste, and the human body.

Most bacteria are harmless, and some actually help by digesting food, destroying disease-causing microbes, fighting cancer cells, and providing essential nutrients. Fewer than 1% of bacteria cause diseases in people.

Viruses are tinier: the largest of them are smaller than the smallest bacteria. All they have is a protein coat and a core of genetic material, either RNA or DNA. Unlike bacteria, viruses can’t survive without a host. They can only reproduce by attaching themselves to cells. In most cases, they reprogram the cells to make new viruses until the cells burst and die. In other cases, they turn normal cells into malignant or cancerous cells.

Also unlike bacteria, most viruses do cause disease, and they’re quite specific about the cells they attack. For example, certain viruses attack cells in the liver, respiratory system, or blood. In some cases, viruses target bacteria.

Diagnosis of Bacterial and Viral Infections

You should consult your doctor if you think you have a bacterial or viral infection. Exceptions include the common cold, which is usually not life-threatening.

In some cases, it’s difficult to determine the origin of an infection because many ailments — including pneumonia, meningitis, and diarrhea — can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. But your doctor often can pinpoint the cause by listening to your medical history and doing a physical exam.

If necessary, he or she also can order a blood or urine test to help confirm a diagnosis, or a “culture test” of tissue to identify bacteria or viruses. Occasionally, a biopsy of affected tissue may be required.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of people develop the common cold each year in the United States alone. On average, adults get two or three colds a year, and children have even more.

Many viruses can cause the common cold. Rhinoviruses are the most common cause and are responsible for more than half of all colds and cold-like illnesses.

Rhinovirus infections typically result in mild cold-like symptoms. However, rhinoviruses can also cause more severe illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, in people with weakened immune systems.

Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. Each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the common cold.

How it gets in the body:

The rhinovirus enters into a humans body through the mouth, nose
or eyes.  This often occurs when someone ingests particles of
the virus that are floating in the air or touches a surface with the
virus on it and then touches his/her face. Particles enter the air through a sick person’s sneeze or cough which is why people are encouraged to
cover their mouths when carrying out these bodily functions.

Most people get colds in the winter and spring, but it is possible to get a cold any time of the year.

Symptoms usually include:

  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • headaches
  • body aches

When to See a Doctor:

You should call your doctor if you or your child has one or more of these conditions:

  • symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • symptoms that are severe or unusual
  • if your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a fever or is lethargic

You should also call your doctor right away if you are at high risk for serious flu complications and get flu symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle or body aches. People at high risk for flu complications include young children (younger than 5 years old), adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

Your doctor can determine if you or your child has a cold or the flu and can recommend treatment to help with symptoms.

Causes of the Common Cold:

Many different respiratory viruses can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common. Rhinoviruses can also trigger asthma attacks and have been linked to sinus and ear infections. Other viruses that can cause colds include respiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza viruses, adenovirus, human coronaviruses, and human metapneumovirus.


Most people recover within about 7-10 days. However, people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or respiratory conditions may develop serious illness, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

There is no cure for a cold. To feel better, you should get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Over-the-counter medicines may help ease symptoms but will not make your cold go away any faster. Always read the label and use medications as directed. Talk to your doctor before giving your child nonprescription cold medicines, since some medicines contain ingredients that are not recommended for children. Learn more about symptom relief of upper respiratory infections, including colds.

Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold caused by a respiratory virus. They do not work against viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily.


“Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body, often by way of the lymph system or bloodstream. A metastatic cancer, or metastatic tumor, is one that has spread from the primary site of origin, or where it started, into different areas of the body.  The liver, lungs, lymph nodes and bones are common areas of metastasis.”

Cancer Treatments of America

What is metastatic breast cancer?

What is metastatic breast cancer?Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, liver, lungs, and brain. It is still called breast cancer, even after it has spread. Metastatic breast cancer is not curable, but it is treatable.

Many patients continue to live well for a number of months or years with metastatic breast cancer.How can I cope with metastatic breast cancer?A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer often comes as a shock. People describe a range of emotions such as fear, anger, or sadness that may change day to day or over time. You may have concerns about how this diagnosis will affect many different aspects of your life, such as your relationships, work or career, family and social roles, and finances. You may be worried about suffering or having your life shortened by this disease. It is important to remember that you are not alone.

Key parts of the coping process involve becoming informed about your specific diagnosis and working with your health care team to find professionals who can support you and your family, offer guidance about your treatment options, and identify services to address the needs of your caregivers. Talk openly with your doctors and health care team to express your feelings, preferences, and concerns. They are there to help, and many team members have special skills, experience, and knowledge to support patients and their families.

How is metastatic breast cancer treated?The primary goals of treatment for metastatic breast cancer are to extend or prolong life and to relieve the symptoms caused by the cancer. Treatment aimed at reducing symptoms and improving quality of life is often referred to as palliative or supportive care. It is often given along with treatment to slow or stop the growth of cancer.

Treatment options for women with metastatic breast cancer vary based on several factors, such as whether the tumor is ER-positive, PR-positive, or HER2-positive, where in the body the cancer has spread, the presence of specific symptoms, and previous cancer treatments. For women with ER- and PR-positive cancers, treatment with hormonal therapy is effective and can be used to control breast cancer for an extended period of time.

Other common treatments for metastatic breast cancer include chemotherapy, HER2-targeted therapy, and other types of targeted therapy. Because it is not unusual for metastatic breast cancer to become resistant (stop responding) to these drugs, you may need to change treatments fairly often.

Other possible treatments include radiation therapy or bone-modifying drugs to treat bone metastases and surgery to remove a tumor that is causing discomfort. You may receive additional treatment to make sure you are physically comfortable and free from pain. When making treatment decisions, you may also consider a clinical trial. Talk with your doctor often about all treatment options and the goals of each treatment


“This week, we honor and remember the heroic firefighters and first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice to save and protect our citizens, homes, and communities. n 2017, more than 1.3 million fires killed 3,400 people and injured 14,000 more, while causing an estimated $23 billion in direct property loss. Sadly, the number of fire-related deaths continues to rise, even though the number of fires is falling.”

White House (whitehouse.gov)


FIre Prevention Week

In a typical home fire, residents may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help them make the most of the time they have, giving everyone enough time to get out.

Plan and Practice your Escape ™Fire Prevention Week / October 6-12, 2019 Not every hero wears a cape.Why is it important to have a family escape plan?

Fire is FAST!In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill your home. Fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only a short time to escape.

Fire is HOT!  Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. If you inhale this super-hot air, it will scorch your lungs.

Fire is DARK!Fire starts bright, but quickly makes black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around your home.

Fire is DEADLY!Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Fire Prevention Month is the prefect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarm for hassle-free protection, and escape planning.
  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan

Are You Fully Protected?

Having functioning alarms installed throughout your home is the first line of defense for fire prevention. They work around the clock to give your family an early alert in the event of an emergency, allowing you time to safely escape. Smoke and CO alarms should be placed on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as inside and outside each bedroom. Fire alarms should also be placed on every level of the home, especially in the kitchen and garage.

Take this opportunity to discuss fire safety with your family!


“Many germs, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause pneumonia. Understanding the cause of pneumonia is important because pneumonia treatment depends on its cause.”

American Lung Association

Know the statistics of Pneumonia & that weather hot and cold temps can prone you to it!


Final Important facts to know about pneumonia via The American Thoracic Society (https://www.thoracic.org):


  1. Pneumonia is an infection of the lung.The lungs fill with fluid and make breathing difficult. Pneumonia disproportionately affects the young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. It preys on weakness and vulnerability.


  1. Pneumonia is the world’s leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age, accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old.There are 120 million episodes of pneumonia per year in children under 5, over 10% of which (14 million) progress to severe episodes. There was an estimated 935,000 deaths from pneumonia in children under the age of five in 2013.


  1. In the US, pneumonia is less often fatal for children, but it is still a big problem.  Pneumonia is the #1 most common reason for US children to be hospitalized.


  1. For US adults, pneumonia is the most common cause of hospital admissions other than women giving birth. About 1 million adults in the US are hospitalized with pneumonia every year, and about 50,000 die from this disease.


  1. While young healthy adults have less risk of pneumonia than the age extremes, it is always a threat.  Half of all non-immunocompromised adults hospitalized for severe pneumonia in the US are younger adults (18-57 years of age). Half the deaths from bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia occur in people ages 18-64.


  1. Older people have higher risk of getting pneumonia, and are more likely to die from it. For most geriatrics it harder for their body to fight infection overall and pneumonia terribly weakens the person’s overall system with many geriatrics already immune compromised in someway.

For US seniors, hospitalization for pneumonia has a greater risk of death compared to any of the other top reasons for hospitalization.


  1. Pneumonia is the most common cause of sepsis and septic shock, causing 50% of all episodes. Sepsis is so common today in acute hospitals that is has gone national to have what we call s “septic code” like how a cardiac arrest in hospitals is either “blue code” or still in some a “red code” (since most hospitals have a “red code” for fires in the hospital. This is how much sepsis is common.  Sepsis is hard to fight which can lead to SARS which in short is all systems in the body failing.  To give you some tangibility in how high let us go to a great resource, The World Health Organization (WHO).  They estimated that today the overall fatality rate for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) patients at 14% to 15%, significantly higher than previous estimates. The agency estimated the rate for people older than 64 years to be more than 50%.  That is how serious the diagnosis sepsis/SARS can be, especially for geriatrics!                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  2. Pneumonia can develop in patients already in the hospital for other reasons. Hospital-acquired pneumonia has a higher mortality rate than any other hospital-acquired infection.


  1. Pneumonia can be caused by lots of different types of microbes, and no single one is responsible for as many as 10% of pneumonia cases. For most pneumonia patients, the microbe causing the infection is never identified.
  2. Vaccines are available for some but not many causes of pneumonia. The influenza vaccine is effective for those strains circulating that year, so it should be taken again every year. The pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines are recommended for those in higher risk groups (children, immunocompromised individuals, and seniors).                                                                             
  3. In the US and the rest of the world, viral pneumonias arethe leading cause of hospitalization of infants.  The World Health Organization has set a high priority on developing new vaccines and new therapeutic drugs to tackle these viral pneumonias that largely have no currently available vaccines or treatments. A.)Antibiotics can be effective for many of the bacteria that cause pneumonia.For viral causes of pneumonia, antibiotics are ineffective and should not be used.  There are a few or no treatments for most viral causes of pneumonia.  MD finds out by doing a culture. B.)Antibiotic resistance is growing amongst the bacteria that cause pneumonia.This often arises from the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in and out of the hospital. New and more effective antibiotics are urgently needed.


  1. Being on a ventilator raises especially high risk for serious pneumonia.Ventilator-associated pneumonia is more likely to be caused by antibiotic-resistant microbes and can require the highest antibiotic use in the critically ill population.


  1. Our changing interactions with the microbial world mean constantly developing new pneumonia risks.Emerging infections can lead to epidemics or pandemics, such as from avian influenza viruses (bird flu), severe acute respiratory system (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, and more. Environmental reservoirs or sources can cause clusters of infection, such as Legionella pneumonia. Bioweapons can cause pneumonia such as from anthrax. Vigilance is needed to prevent pneumonia from becoming an even worse problem than it already is.


  1. Patients with pneumonia may need to be hospitalized or even go to the intensive care unit (ICU).After developing pneumonia, it often takes 6-8 weeks until a patient returns to their normal level of functioning and wellbeing.


  1. While successful pneumonia treatment often leads to full recovery, it can have longer term consequences.Children who survive pneumonia have increased risk for chronic lung diseases. Adults who survive pneumonia may have worsened exercise ability, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and quality of life for months or years.


  1. Pneumonia is a huge burden on our healthcare systems.In the US, pneumonia was one of the top ten most expensive conditions seen during inpatient hospitalizations.  In 2011, pneumonia had an aggregate cost of nearly $10.6 billion for 1.1 million hospital stays.


  1. The death rate from pneumonia in the US has had little or no improvement since antibiotics became widespread more than half a century ago.We are not yet winning the battle against pneumonia.


  1. Pneumonia does not have effective advocacy.It is not the subject of fund-raising walks or runs. It does not have a ribbon or other symbol around which people rally. It does not get the attention it needs from biomedical scientists or from research funders. More effort is needed now.