Acute Diseases

What is an Acute Disease?

It's happened to everyone - you child wakes up with a nasty cough and runny nose. You assume that they are probably dealing with the common cold, so you immediately turn to your family physician for help.

Acute diseases, such as the influenza virus, gastroenteritis (the "stomach bug"), and the common cold, come on suddenly but usually go away in a day or two. These diseases can produce innocuous symptoms, such as a runny nose, or they may cause more serious, life-threatening issues.

When Should I See My Family Physician?

When symptoms of an infection come on suddenly, especially in babies, children and those with weakened immune systems, it's important to turn to your family doctor for care. While not all infections will be severe or require medication, it's important to have a medical expert provide a proper diagnosis so you know exactly what you need to do to treat it. Some conditions may require the sick family member to take prescription medication to eradicate the infection. Since some acute diseases can also be contagious, it's important to treat the infected person before their illness spreads to other members of the family.

Symptoms of typical acute diseases include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Malaise
  • Nausea

Emergency care is required if you or a loved one are confused, having speech problems or focal weakness, having severe shortness of breath, having chest pain, severe headache or abdominal pain, or having a rapidly spreading infection or another emergency condition. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room rather than waiting to see your family physician.

Nothing is more important than your health, and your family physician is here to make sure that all your loved ones get the care they need!

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