A 24-year-old member asked:
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every time i get sick i seem to develop a bacterial infection such as phemonia, bronchitis, strep throat. i'm 24, sick again for 3 days now. cold?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
20 years experience Infectious Disease
Get tested: Repeated infections in a young person suggests a weakness in the immune system. Some immunodeficiencies are genetic & show up in early adulthood. Others may be acquired such as hiv. A specialist needs to sort this out.Other diseases can mimic infection such as autoimmune disease. This requires special testing. Always maximize your general health with proper rest, nutrition & exercise.
Answered on Jan 12, 2016
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7 thanks
Dr. Gary Steven
29 years experience Pediatric Allergy and Asthma
See an allergist: People with allergies have constant inflammation in the nose and sinuses. Nonallergic people can typically handle the inflammation of a viral infection without much trouble; but in an allergic person, adding the viral inflammation on top of the underlying allergic inflammation makes perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. Treating the underlying allergic inflammation usually helps immensely.
Answered on Dec 14, 2014
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2 comments
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6 thanks
Dr. Stevan Cordas
56 years experience Internal Medicine
Also have your physician check for a mild subclass IgG or immune deficiency.
Jan 19, 2012
Dr. Joel Selter
Dr. Joel Selter commented
36 years experience Pediatric Allergy and Asthma
recurrent infections - especially sinus or respiratory- can sometimes be a sign of a immune disorder. Patients usually find that antibiotics work well and then the symptoms return quickly after finishing the antibiotics.
Jan 19, 2012
Dr. Michael Palumbo
22 years experience Allergy and Immunology
Further Inquiry: Recurrently ill can be a sign of immune defiency or allergy. There also can be other factors at play such as ciliary dyskenisia or gastroesophageal reflux. It would be worth discussing with your doctor and considering a referral for allergy testing as well as evaluation of your immune system if these are truly documented bacterial infections.
Answered on Sep 28, 2016
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2 thanks

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Dr. Joel Gallant
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No: You can't tell the difference between a strep throat and a viral sore throat by looking. You have to do the test.
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