Diseases & Conditions

The human body is a remarkable structure. It's designed to efficiently manage the wear and tear of everyday life and fend off all sorts of threats. Most of us are healthy for most of our lives. But we're also susceptible to hundreds of injuries, diseases, and conditions. Some are quite common, others are extremely rare. Here are some of the most common conditions that affect humans.


Diseases & Conditions Articles

Are varicose veins a health risk?

Varicose veins aren’t typically considered a major health threat, but they are associated with a higher risk of leg swelling, blood clots, skin infections and ulcers. (Locked) More »

Did my partner get her bladder infection from me?

Men do not have to worry about getting bladder infections from their female partners. Women can get urinary tract infections after sex, but this is a result of irritation at the opening of the urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter. (Locked) More »

Top 7 reasons you have a headache

Migraine, tension, and cluster headaches can have many triggers. For example, stress can cause tight muscles in the shoulders and neck, which often leads to tension headaches; hunger can trigger a migraine or tension headache; and something in the environment may trigger a cluster headache. Understanding headache triggers can help people avoid headaches in the future. Keeping a diary to note the day, time, symptoms, and circumstances surrounding a headache may help; so can living a healthy lifestyle. (Locked) More »

Preventing the spread of the coronavirus

You've gotten the basics down: you're washing your hands regularly and keeping your distance from friends and family. But you likely still have questions. Are you washing your hands often enough? How exactly will social distancing help? What's okay to do while social distancing? And how can you strategically stock your pantry and medicine cabinet in order to minimize trips to the grocery store and pharmacy? The following actions help prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as other coronaviruses and influenza: More »

Treatments for COVID-19

Most people who become ill with COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. No specific treatments for COVID-19 exist right now. But some of the same things you do to feel better if you have the flu — getting enough rest, staying well hydrated, and taking medications to relieve fever and aches and pains — also help with COVID-19. In the meantime, scientists are working hard to develop effective treatments. Therapies that are under investigation include drugs that have been used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases; antiviral drugs that were developed for other viruses, and antibodies from people who have recovered from COVID-19. More »

COVID-19 basics

As we continually learn more about coronavirus and COVID-19, it can help to reacquaint yourself with some basic information. For example, understanding how the virus spreads reinforces the importance of social distancing and other health-promoting behaviors. Knowing how long the virus survives on surfaces can guide how you clean your home and handle deliveries. And reviewing the common symptoms of COVID-19 can help you know if it's time to self-isolate. Coronaviruses are an extremely common cause of colds and other upper respiratory infections. More »

If you are at higher risk

If you are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19, you need to be especially careful to avoid infection. You may have questions about your particular condition or treatment, how it impacts your risk of infection and illness, and what you need to do if you become ill. Your doctor is best equipped to provide individual advice, but we provide some general guidelines, below. Older people, especially those with underlying medical problems like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart failure, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. More »

If you've been exposed to the coronavirus

  As the new coronavirus spreads across the globe, the chances that you will be exposed and get sick continue to increase. If you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or begin to experience symptoms of the disease, you may be asked to self-quarantine or self-isolate. What does that entail, and what can you do to prepare yourself for an extended stay at home? How soon after you're infected will you start to be contagious? And what can you do to prevent others in your household from getting sick? More »

Coping with coronavirus

Perhaps you're older, worried that you may become infected and seriously ill. Maybe you're doing your best to keep your family healthy while trying to balance work with caring for your children while schools are closed. Or you're feeling isolated, separated from friends and loved ones during this period of social distancing. Regardless of your specific circumstances, it's likely that you're wondering how to cope with the stress, anxiety, and other feelings that are surfacing. A variety of stress management techniques, which we delve into below, can help. This webinar series was created to support the students and staff of the Harvard Medical School community, yet the lessons will be broadly applicable to all who are feeling the emotional strain of this unprecedented crisis.  More »

Coronavirus outbreak and kids

Children's lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic. Between schools being closed and playdates being cancelled, children's routines are anything but routine. Kids also have questions about coronavirus, and benefit from age-appropriate answers that don't fuel the flame of anxiety. It also helps to discuss — and role model —  things they can control, like hand washing, social distancing, and other health-promoting behaviors. Children, including very young children, can develop COVID-19. However, children tend to experience milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough. Some children have had severe complications, but this has been less common. Children with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe illness. More »