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441 US 130,

East Windsor, NJ 08520

(609) 336-7518

09AM to 05PM EST

What is an Acute Illness?

 Hello, Health Seekers!

We all have been there: one minute, you’re fine. And the next minute, an annoying wave of sneezes and coughing happens.

Yes, we are talking about acute diseases, those surprise visitors that may turn your routine 180 degrees.

But Worry not! Visit a nearby primary care clinic for urgent or short-term care when you get an acute illness.

In this blog article, we’ll learn about acute diseases. We will know what they are and how they affect us. Also, the methods we can use to treat them.

Definition of Acute Illness

An acute illness is like an unexpected visitor to our bodies. Critical conditions are rapid and may make us uncomfortable. However, the good part is that they go away quickly.

Conversely, chronic diseases like diabetes are long-term housemates that stick around for a while. Their scheme of action and treatment also vary from acute illness.

Acute Condition Examples

Unlike chronic conditions such as diabetes, acute diseases are less persistent. They show mild to moderate symptoms in a person.

1. Flu

We usually get acute illnesses at different times of our lives. And flu is at the top of them, as stated by the National Council on Aging. Another name for flu is influenza.

It is an acute medical condition that can cause moderate to severe complications. The flu virus primarily affects the nose, throat, and in some cases, lungs. It spreads by tiny droplets when a person with flu coughs or sneezes.

Remember, the flu and the common cold are distinct acute conditions often linked. However, they have different causative agents and symptoms.

Symptoms of Flu

Flu symptoms can arise spontaneously and may include;

  • Fever
  • Pain in the head
  • Throat discomfort
  • Tiredness
  • Body ache
  • Vomiting
What is an Acute Illness

Prevention of Flu

Identifying What is an Acute Illness makes prevention and treatment of the disease easy. Here are some key strategies to prevent the flu;


It is essential to do vaccination once a year. It will lower the risk of infection spread and severity. Vaccines protect you against the types of flu that get prevalent during flu season.

Keeping Yourself Clean

Performing good hygiene practices also reduce the chance of getting the flu. To protect yourself, you must wash your hands regularly and avoid close contact with an infected person.

Covering while coughing or sneezing

Always keep a tissue with yourself and use it while coughing or sneezing. It will avoid the spread of the disease to others.

2. Broken Bone

Acute illnesses often catch us off guard, and broken bones fit in this category nicely.

A broken bone, also known as a fracture, develops when a specific part of the bone cracks. It can happen as a result of injury, fall, or accident.


The symptoms a broken bone can show involves,

  • Pain in the fractured bone
  •  Change in bone appearance
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling around the affected bone

What is an Acute Illness


Diagnosis and Treatment

X-Rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are widely used techniques to diagnose broken bones.

 The treatment option for broken bones involves;


It helps to keep the bone in place when healing.


It provides support and movement to the broken bone.


Surgery may be essential to stabilize the bone in case of severe fractures. The doctor inserts various pins, screws, and plates in the affected area during surgery. It helps to realign the bone in its actual position.

Physical Activity

When the bone starts to realign, after around 2-3 months, depending on the severity of the fracture, start doing mild exercises like walking. It will help maximize the bone healing process.

3. Sore Throat

Your throat is the passage for food, drinks, and air. The path can become rocky at times due to inflammation. The inflammation can be due to viruses or bacteria. Shouting your heart out at an event may also invite the sore throat gang to hijack your vocal cords.


The primary symptoms a person with a sore throat may encounter includes;

  •  Scratchiness
  •  Pain
  • Swollen glands
  • Harsh voice

What is an Acute Illness


Prevention of Sore Throat

Don’t worry, as there are ways to cope with sore throat;

Stay hydrated

They act as a warm blanket that provides a soothing effect.


They are chewable medications intended to provide relief for sore throats.

Honey magic

A spoonful of honey can help soothe your scratching voice.

Rest your Voice

Avoid straining your throat by speaking too loud. It helps in the speedy recovery of your throat.

4. Pneumonia

Consider pneumonia to be your lungs having a fit. Pneumonia is one example of acute illness. Due to this condition, pus accumulates in the lungs. Essentially, it interferes with the breathing capacity of your lungs.


It is not difficult to detect pneumonia. The symptoms you may experience with pneumonia may include;

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing

What is an Acute Illness


Getting Better and Staying Safe

The bright side is that pneumonia doesn’t have an impenetrable immunity. Based on the cause, the doctor can prescribe antiviral or antibiotic medications. Rest and having fluids can help you recover.

Remember, prevention is always preferable to cure. Practice good hygiene practices like washing hands. In addition, get the vaccination if due.

5. Bronchitis

Bronchitis, an acute illness, is a nuisance in your respiratory system. Mayo Clinic states that it is a severe sickness that causes inflammation in your airways. When inflammation occurs in the airways, they produce excess mucus. As a result, persistent cough occurs.


When acute bronchitis brags in, it brings various symptoms in it, which may involve,

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue

What is an Acute Illness


Tips for Kicking Bronchitis in Curb

Suppose you experience an irritable cough after waking up. Please don’t panic; it’s your body’s method of clearing out the intruders generating all the chaos. Here are a few tips you can opt for to keep yourself away from acute diseases.

Breath in Moist Air

The use of a humidifier is an excellent practice for managing bronchitis. It adds moisture to the air making it pure to breathe.

Cough Responsibly

Although coping with coughing is easy, note that aggressive coughing may wipe away essential mucus from the throat. If your cough drives you insane, try cough pills or tablets to lessen the distress.

Good Hydration is Important

Warm drinks such as tea with herbs, soups, and water can help calm sensitive airways.

Rest Up

To compete with bronchitis, your body requires energy. So, take some rest. This way, the body’s energy reserves may use and boost the immune response against bronchitis.

Over the Counter Medications

Sometimes, over-the-counter medications can provide quick relief. Nonetheless, before commencing any new drug, always consult with your healthcare advisor.

Causes of Acute Illness

What is an Acute illness? Knowing the answer is easy by looking at its risk factors. Acute infections occur suddenly and require medical attention right away.

They happen for various reasons, each with the potential to cause health complications. Let’s look at the primary causes of acute illnesses;

Infectious Agents

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites are the primary causes of acute illness. Influenza and streptococcus bacteria are the most common examples. These microorganisms proliferate and divide rapidly in the body, triggering the immune system. Physical touch or coughing increases the spread of these infectious agents. 


Allergic reactions take place when our immune system overreacts to harmless substances. Allergens like pollen, dust, and certain foods cause mild to moderate acute symptoms.

What is an Acute Illness

Environmental Factors

Using dirty water, food, or air can also cause acute illness. These contaminants cause stomach issues, skin irritations, and breathing difficulties. In addition, high outside temperatures and weather conditions may also result in high temperatures and frostbite.


Another critical source of acute illness is traumatic injury. Broken bones, sports injuries, and physical trauma lead to fractures and sprains. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need a quick healthcare plan.

Key Takeaways

  • What is an Acute Illness? It is a short-term illness that disrupts the body’s normal functioning.
  • Various viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi cause acute diseases.
  • Flu, sore throat, and bronchitis are among the common types of critical illnesses.
  • You can quickly cure acute diseases.
  •  It is best to consult a healthcare advisor in case of any bodily illness.
  • At Prime Health of New Jersey, our healthcare advisors can help you with acute illness. So, book an appointmnt now.

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Our Team

Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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