Communicable Diseases

Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases, also known as infectious diseases, can spread from person to person. These diseases are caused by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

Types of Communicable Diseases

  • Pathogens manifest in different forms, resulting in various types of communicable diseases.
  • Viral diseases are caused by viruses and include diseases like influenza, HIV/AIDS, and the common cold.
  • Bacterial diseases are caused by bacteria and include illnesses such as tuberculosis, cholera, and Lyme disease.
  • Fungal diseases, like athlete’s foot and ringworm, result from fungi.
  • Some pathogens like plasmodium, which causes malaria, are classified as parasitic diseases.

How Communicable Diseases Spread

  • Communicable diseases can spread in several ways, including through direct contact, indirect contact, animal vectors, and through the air.
  • Direct contact involves physical transfer of pathogens from one person to another, such as through touching, kissing, or sexual contact.
  • Indirect contact happens when someone comes into contact with a surface or object that an infected person has contaminated, such as door knobs or utensils.
  • Animal vectors like mosquitoes, ticks or rats carry diseases from host to host.
  • Airborne transmission occurs when pathogens are released into the air through sneezing or coughing.

Prevention of Communicable Diseases

  • The risk of getting and spreading communicable diseases can be minimised by maintaining good personal hygiene, getting vaccinated, ensuring food and water safety, and practising safe sex.
  • Hand hygiene is one of the most fundamental and effective methods of preventing the spread of diseases.
  • Vaccination exposes the body to a harmless form of a pathogen, triggering a defence response that enables the immune system to fight off the real pathogen in future.
  • Ensuring food and water safety can minimise the risk of diseases like cholera and food poisoning.
  • Safe sex practices including the use of condoms can prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Treatment of Communicable Diseases

  • Communicable diseases can be treated by managing symptoms, administering antiviral or antibacterial medication, or in more serious cases, hospitalisation.
  • Symptom management includes measures such as pain relief medication, rest, hydration, fever management and maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Antiviral and antibacterial medications can suppress or destroy the pathogens causing the disease.
  • In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalised to receive intensive care and constant monitoring.

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