Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are illnesses that are caused by organisms like viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. The world is made up of organisms, many of which exist inside our bodies and are completely harmless. However, not all organisms are equal and given the right type and the right conditions, some can pose a great threat to the population. Infectious diseases may be transmitted through contaminated items, animals, or from person to person.

Each disease has its own type of symptoms, infection rates, and mortality rates. Common signs of infection include fatigue and fever. Some infectious diseases can be remedied with rest and relaxation, while some are incredibly dangerous and need hospitalization and stringent containment methods.

Some diseases have effective medications that can be used in case of infection. Others have been managed through the implementation of vaccinations such as the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) vaccine.

Common Symptoms of Infectious Diseases
Of course, all diseases have their own unique symptoms, but in general, a large proportion of diseases have overlapping symptoms such as:
High temperatures
Muscle aches and fatigue

How to Tell if You Need Medical Help
Of course, many of the symptoms above can be contributed to food poisoning or the common cold and do not need urgent medical attention. Indications of a more severe ailment include:
Respiratory problems
Persistent cough
High Fever
Severe headaches
Have been bitten by an animal or insect
Have an unexplained rash or swelling
Notice sudden vision issues

What Causes Infectious Diseases?
There are four main causes of infectious diseases:
Bacteria: Bacteria are one-cell organisms that can multiply rapidly. They cause bacterial infections and diseases such as tuberculosis.
Viruses: Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and are one of the largest causes of infectious diseases. The common cold is caused by a virus, as are more serious diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Fungi: Fungi tend to spread their contagion through spores, which can be hard to remove through standard sanitization methods. Most commonly fungi will cause diseases of the skin or lungs.
Parasites: Parasites tend to be transferred through animal contact be this from a bite or contact with feces. Malaria is an example of a parasitic disease.

Direct Contact vs. Indirect Contact
Infectious diseases can be spread through direct or indirect contact. Direct contact includes person-to-person contact, person-to-animal contact, and contact between a mother and her unborn child.

Indirect contact refers to any type of infection which hasn’t involved your connection with another living thing. This includes contact with contaminated objects, insect bites, and food contamination.

At-Risk Groups
Anyone can contract an infectious disease, however, some groups are more at risk than others such as:
The elderly
Pregnant women
The immunosuppressed
Those with asthma(in the case of respiratory diseases)

How Biohazard Containment Can Help
In times of infectious disease outbreak, biohazard containment can help to reduce exposure to the pathogen causing the disease. Through containing areas which have been exposed to the disease and cleaning up contamination sites such as spilled blood or bodily fluids, the risk of indirect and accidental exposure is greatly reduced.