Articles on infection

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At least 5,000 Australians die each year as a result of sepsis, more commonly known as blood poisoning. From shutterstock.com

What is sepsis and how can it be treated?

With an ageing population, and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, now is the time to be worried about sepsis.
These bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Melissa Brower/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP

An ambitious plan to stop the rise of superbugs

Many articles describe the rise of superbugs - bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic drugs - as inevitable. But society has the knowledge to stop the spread of these microbes.
Drips and other medical devices were potential sources of infection. But no-one expected to find hospital-acquired pneumonia and urinary tract infections. from www.shutterstock.com

1 in 10 patients are infected in hospital, and it’s not always with what you think

A surprising number of people are catching pneumonia or urinary tract infections in hospital, a new Australian study shows for the first time.
A new body of research suggests that infections in childhood, along with antibiotic use, could impact the bacteria in our intestines and raise risks of mental health challenges in later life. (Shutterstock)

How childhood infections requiring antibiotics may increase risks of mental illness

Research using massive databases -- such as the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register -- is enabling a whole new understanding of the links between life history, the gut and mental health.
Ebola is a dreadful disease and is one of the deadliest infections known to medical science. Shutterstock

Why Ebola is proving hard to beat in the DRC

Instability in the DRC and Ebola's deadly properties is making it hard to contain the virus.
Antibiotics are only useful for treating infections caused by bacteria, not viruses or fungi. from shutterstock.com

Health Check: I’m taking antibiotics – when will they start working?

It's hard to predict how long it will take to feel better after you start taking antibiotics. But if you start feeling worse one to two days after starting the therapy, you must see your doctor.
Once a respiratory virus like influenza has entered your home or workplace, it is wise to treat the space like a hospital and practice infection prevention and control. (Shutterstock)

How to eradicate the flu virus from your home

From face-touching to virus-contaminated electronic devices, a scientist offers some tips on eradicating the flu virus from your home.
The usual culprit is the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, better known as “golden staph”. Shutterstock

What are school sores and how do you get rid of them?

School sores usually clear up within a few weeks, without any scarring. Here's what to do if you suspect your child has them.
Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. Scientists believe flight may influence their immune responses to coronoviruses, which cause fatal diseases such as SARS and MERS in humans. (Shutterstock)

Can bats help humans survive the next pandemic?

Scientific studies show that bats may carry "coronoviruses" causing SARS and MERS - without showing symptoms of disease. Could the bat immune system be key to human survival in future pandemics?
People mainly think of GPs over-prescribing antibiotics, but ubiquitous use in farming and other areas also contributes to resistance in bacteria. Reuters/Brian Snyder

When the drugs don’t work: how we can turn the tide of antimicrobial resistance

We need a concentrated and coordinated effort by government and scientists if we're to stave off the threat of antimicrobial resistant bacteria.

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