Colds and Infections + Original Articles

All About Lyme Disease

Approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme are reported in the U.S. each year. Here are six questions and answers about the infection. Virtually unknown a few decades ago, today Lyme disease is a cause for concern for many, especially for those who live near wooded areas. Spread by the bite of the deer tick, this bacterial infection causes flu-like symptoms in its early stage, often accompanied by a bullseye-shaped red rash.

The Dangerous Parasite Lurking in Cat Litter

It's called Toxoplasmosis and it can cause severe problems during fetal development if a woman contracts it immediately before or during pregnancy. If you or someone you love were pregnant in the last several decades, you probably were warned to avoid changing the cat litter tray. That's because cat feces often contain the tiny Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which can cause severe problems in fetuses if a woman contracts it during or just before pregnancy.

Zika: What You Need to Know

Seven questions and answers about this scary illness. Although the Zika virus was discovered in 1947, a recent epidemic centered in Brazil has raised the profile of this microbe. As cases in the South American country have surged due to the spread of infection by the Aedes mosquito, the medical community has realized a link between the mosquito-borne cause of disease and the sharp increase in babies born with microcephaly, a condition in which the head is abnormally small, often because the brain fails to fully develop.

7 Diseases You Can Get at the Salon

Tips for avoiding everything from burns to bacterial infections. Ah, a relaxing day at the salon, where you can luxuriate in beauty treatments and emerge with beautifully coiffed hair, radiant skin, and nails to die for. Most of the time, this is what you can expect when you pay a visit to a spa or salon. But you can also wind up going home with any number of unpleasant conditions, from burns to bacterial infections.

5 Hardest Foods to Digest

Plus simple advice to better digest any food you eat. Indigestion by any other name—gas, bellyache, heartburn, upset stomach, bloating—is still indigestion, or the inability to digest food properly. Whatever you call it, a digestive problem can be inconvenient at best, and often downright painful. ...

7 Contagious Skin Conditions

The symptoms may sound scary, but most of these conditions can be successfully treated with simple medications. Ouch! The skin you’re in can be plagued by a variety of conditions that itch, ooze, sting, and burn. To help keep your skin healthy, it’s important to take good care of it. "The skin is designed to be your wall against the outside environment," say Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

All About Pneumonia

Roughly a million people in the U.S. are hospitalized for pneumonia each year. Here's what you need to know about this very serious, and potentially fatal, lung infection. “Come inside or you’ll get pneumonia!” your mother may have yelled to you as you played outdoors on a cold or rainy day as a kid. While inclement weather itself doesn’t cause pneumonia, it is linked with respiratory infections, which are a major factor in the development of pneumonia, an infection that can affect one or both of the lungs.

4 Questions and Answers About Kampo Medicine

Introducing traditional Japanese medicine. Have your heard of Kampo? This Japanese integrative medicine relies on a variety of herbs to restore the body’s balance and treat a multitude of troublesome conditions. In this, it resembles traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), from which it originates.

5 Issues That Can Harm Your Immune System

Are these common problems hurting your health? Do you seem to always be fighting a cold or other ailment? Your immune system may not be up to par. This collection of cells, tissues, and proteins teams up against a daily onslaught of bacteria and viruses to stave off infection and keep you healthy.

The Four Worst Infectious Diseases In The U.S.

These common illnesses can have devastating effects. Learn how to protect yourself from them. Every country in the world is vulnerable to transmissible diseases, and the United States is no exception. Here's a look at a few of the most dangerous infections currently making the rounds in America—and information on how to protect yourself from them: 1.