Most people have experienced routine infections such as colds, the flu, or sinus and ear infections. Just as many have had infected cuts, scrapes and abrasions. Even with more severe infections, such as pneumonia, we expect our bodyʼs immune system, with the help of proper medical treatment, to overcome the infection. The human body can usually rid itself of the infection-causing germs, and work to defend against future infections. There are, however, instances in which the body cannot recover, and some of these apply to individuals with primary immunodeficiency (PI).
Those with primary immunodeficiency are not able to fight infections like someone with a normally functioning immune system. The infections may be in the skin, the sinuses, the throat, the ears, the lungs, the brain or spinal cord, or in the urinary or intestinal tracts, and the increased vulnerability to infection may include repeated infections, infections that wonʼt clear up or unusually severe infections.
You should be suspicious if you have an infection that is…
Severe – requires hospitalization or intravenous antibiotics
Persistent – wonʼt completely clear up or clears very slowly
Unusual – caused by an uncommon organism
Recurrent – keeps coming back or if it
Runs in the Family – others in your family have had a similar susceptibility to infection
Fortunately, with proper medical care, many patients live full and independent lives.
The Board Certified Immunologists at AAIR are experts in the diagnosis and
treatment of primary immunodeficiency diseases. Call us today if you have one or more
of the above warning signs of a problem with your immune system.
Information provided by the Immune Deficiency Foundation. Find more information at
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