Infectious Disease

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Infectious Disease

Understanding Infectious Diseases

An infectious disease is a disorder caused by a micro-organism, like bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. While there are many organisms that live on or in the human bodies, which are harmless for the most part, under certain conditions, some of these organisms can cause a disease. Many infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. While some can be transmitted via bites from either animals or insects, others can come via ingesting contaminated food or water, or being exposed to organisms that are present in the environment. 

Let’s look at these conditions in a little more detail.

Symptoms of Infectious Diseases

Signs indicating an infectious disease will vary basis of the organism that is causing the infection. For the most part, though, common symptoms include excessive fatigue and fever. Other signs also include: 

  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle aches
  • Coughing

Causes of Infectious Diseases 

Most infectious diseases are caused by: 

  • Bacteria - These one-cell organisms are, for the most part, the cause for illnesses like strep throat, urinary tract infections and tuberculosis.
  • Viruses – Micro-organisms that are even smaller than bacteria, viruses cause a multitude of diseases, which can range from the common cold to AIDS.
  • Fungi -  Many skin diseases, like ringworm or athlete's foot, are a result of fungi. Other types of fungi can infect your lungs or nervous system.
  • Parasites - Malaria is caused by a tiny parasite that is transmitted by a mosquito bite. Other parasites may be transmitted to humans from animal faeces.

Let’s look at the ways in which infectious diseases spread. 

Direct contact: The easiest way in which most infectious diseases spread is by direct contact with a person or animal who has an infection. There are three ways in which infectious diseases spread through direct contact. This includes: 

  • From person to person. Direct transfer of infectious diseases can occur when an affected individual touches, kisses, or coughs or sneezes on someone who isn't infected. These germs can also spread through the exchange of body fluids from sexual contact. The person who passes the germ may have no symptoms of the disease, but may simply be a carrier.
  • Animal to person. People who are either bitten or scratched by an infected animal can catch an infectious disease. In addition, handling animal waste can also be a hazard in terms of infection. 
  • Mother to unborn child. In many instances, a pregnant woman can pass germs that cause infectious diseases to her unborn baby. 

Indirect Contact: Many disease-causing organisms can also be acquired through indirect contact. For example, many germs can be found on inanimate objects like table tops, doorknob or even a faucet handle.

Insect bites: Many infectious diseases require the aid of insect carriers like mosquitoes, fleas, lice or ticks. 

Food contamination: Contaminated food and water is another common way in which infectious diseases can spread. 

Treatment of Infectious Diseases: 

Being able to understand which kind of germ is the underlying cause of the disease is essential for your doctor, while deciding the right kind of treatment. By and large, the following treatment protocols are followed for different kinds of infectious diseases. 

Antibiotics: Antibiotics are usually reserved for bacterial infections. 
Antivirals: Drugs can help to treat certain infectious diseases caused by viruses. 
Antifungals: Topical antifungal medications can be used to treat skin or nail infections caused by fungi. Other fungal infections, such as those affecting the lungs or the mucous membranes, can be treated with an oral antifungal. 
Anti-parasitics: Certain diseases like malaria are caused by tiny parasites. While there are drugs to treat these diseases, some varieties of parasites have developed resistance to the drugs.

The Apollo Clinic Experience

An infectious disease can have a massive impact on your health and lifestyle. At Apollo Clinic, our team of specialists are trained to accurately diagnose your medical condition, and begin prompt treatment to minimize the impact on our patients. 

Our diagnostic process for infectious diseases is holistic, and our centres are full equipped to manage all forms of tests, ranging from laboratory tests, including blood tests, urine tests, throat swabs and stool samples, as well as imaging scans like X-Rays, CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging. Thus, no matter what the cause, our experts are trained and experienced in helping you get the best treatment. Get in touch with one of our specialists today. 

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