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Thursday, October 1, 2020

What you need to know about infectious diseases

 

What you need to know about infectious diseases

What you need to know about infectious diseases

Infections occur when microorganisms invade the human body and causes harm.


Microorganisms use the human body to maintain, reproduce, and colonize. These microscopic infectious microorganisms are known as pathogens and can grow rapidly. Examples of pathogens are:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  •  Fungi

These can spread in a variety of ways, including:

  • Contact with the skin
  • Transmission of body fluid
  • Contact with faeces
  •  Ingestion of contaminated food or water
  • Inhale suspended particles or droplets
  • Touching an object touched by a person infested by the pathogen.

This article describes what you need to know about infectious diseases. Different types of infections, how you can reduce the risk of infections and the symptoms they cause.


Types of Infectious Disease

Common cold is a type of viral infection.

The spread of infection and its effects on the human body depend on the type of pathogen.


The immune system is an effective barrier to infectious agents. However, pathogens can overwhelm the immune system's ability to repel them. At this point the infection is harmful.


Some pathogens have little effect. Others produce toxins and inflammatory substances that can cause negative reactions to your body. This variation means that some infections are mild and barely noticeable, while others can be serious and potentially fatal. Some pathogens can tolerate treatment.


Infections can spread in various ways.

Bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are various types of pathogens. They differ in several aspects, including:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Function
  • Genetic Content
  • How they react to the body

Example, viruses are smaller than bacteria. They enter the host and control the cells, but the bacteria can survive without the host.


Treatment depends on the cause of the infection. This article describes the most common and deadly types of infections, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and prions.


Virus Infection

Virus infections occur as a result of being infected with a virus. There may be millions of different viruses, but researchers have so far only identified about 5,000. The virus contains a small genetic code and a layer of protein and lipid (fat) molecules protects the virus.


The virus invades the host and attaches itself to the cells. When they enter the cell, they release the genetic material. This substance causes cells to replicate the virus, which causes the virus to multiply. When a cell dies, a new virus is released which infects the new cell.


However, not all viruses destroy host cells. Some of them alter the function of the cell. Some viruses, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and Epsteinver virus (EBV), can cause cancer by causing uncontrolled cell replication.


Virus also affects some age groups, such as infants.

Virus can remain dormant after some time until it spreads again. The infected person appears to have fully recovered, but once the virus is reactivated, they can become ill again.


Viral Infections Include:

  • Cold, mainly caused by rhinovirus, coronavirus, adenovirus.
  • Enterovirus and simple herpesvirus (HSV), as well as encephalitis and meningitis due to West Nile virus.
  • Ibo and skin infections caused by HPV and HSV.
  • Gastroenteritis due to norovirus.
  • COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus infection that is currently causing pandemics around the world.

Other viral diseases include:

  • Zika virus
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • Polio
  • Including influenza (flu), H1N1 swine flu
  • Dengue fever
  • Ebora
  • Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)

Antiviral drugs help relieve the symptoms of some viruses during the duration of the disease. They prevent the virus from multiplying and stimulate the host's immune system to counteract the effects of the virus.


Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. These drugs do not block the virus, and using it increases the risk of antibiotic resistance.


Most treatments focus on relieving symptoms, but the immune system fights the virus without drugs. Check out my next blog post for more info on What you need to know about infectious diseases.

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