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Vaccine academy / Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

What is Infectious Disease?

 

Infectious Diseases is also known as Communicable Diseases. Infectious diseases are diseases that are caused by germs. Germs, or microbes, are found everywhere - in the air, soil, and water. There are also germs on your skin and in your body. Many of them are harmless, and some can even be helpful. But some of them can make you sick.

 

There are four main kinds of germs:

  • Bacteria - one-celled germs that multiply quickly. They may give off toxins, which are harmful chemicals that can make you sick. Figure 1 shows a picture of meningococcal bacteria.
  • Viruses - tiny capsules that contain genetic material. They invade your cells so that they can multiply. This can kill, damage, or change the cells and make you sick. Figure 2 shows a picture of influenza virus.
  • Fungi - primitive plant-like organisms such as mushrooms, mold, mildew, and yeasts. Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection. Figure 3 shows a picture of Aspergillus.
  • Parasites - animals or plants that survive by living on or in other living things. Malaria is an infection caused by a parasite. Figure 4 shows a picture of Tapeworms, which is a species of parasitic flatworms.

 

Infectious diseases can cause many different symptoms. Some are so mild that you may not even notice any symptoms, while others can be life-threatening. There are treatments for some infectious diseases, but for others, such as some viruses, you can only treat your symptoms. You can take steps to prevent many infectious diseases:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wash your hands often
  • Pay attention to food safety
  • Avoid contact with wild animals
  • Practice safe sex
  • Don't share items such as toothbrushes, combs, and straws

 

Reference:

MedlinePlus website. Health Topics. Infectious Diseases. https://medlineplus.gov/infectiousdiseases. Accessed on 28 Jan, 2021.

 

MAT-HK-2100108-1.0-02/2021