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Preventing Infectious Diseases

What Are Infectious Diseases? Infectious diseases are diseases that are caused by pathogens in the body. The causes: Bacteria: single-celled organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Viruses: microscopic particles that contain genetic material and a protein coat. Fungi: organisms that feed off other living or dead organisms to absorb nutrients. Protists: organisms that are bigger and more complex than compared to bacteria. Parasites: tiny organisms that feed on other organisms for energy and nutrients.

Alex Hoang 2/27/13 3rd Period


Infectious diseases can spread by many ways including by person to person, animals, food and water, and the environment. Person to person: human contact through sneezing, coughing, kissing, sexual contact, and sharing food and drinks. Animals: Pathogens may lurk in the bodies of animals and diseases, and can be spread by petting animals, mosquito bites, and ticks. Food and Water: Foodborne diseases caused by contaminated food or prepared by an infected person can cause diseases. Additionally, unpurified water that has been in contact with animal wastes or sewage can spread diseases. Environment: Pathogens can live on many objects and surfaces that you may come in contact with daily such as electronics, money, and even soil.

A couple ways you can treat infectious diseases are by antibiotics and medicines. Antibiotic resistance is when a specific antibiotic cannot destroy bacteria anymore. You can prevent antibiotic resistant bacteria by asking your doctor for antibiotics for a viral disease and finishing your prescription.

Tips to stay well: Having a healthy diet Exercising regularly Receiving medical checkups Not sharing personal items Getting enough sleep

Get vaccinated Maintaining good hygiene Not sharing personal items


PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM INFECTIOUS DISEASES How does your body fight diseases? The body fights pathogens by your skin, inflammatory response, and the immune system.Inflammation is when a reaction occurs from an injury or an infection that usually includes pain, redness, and swelling. The immune system fights pathogens by antibodies, a special type of infection-fighting cells. The cells travel through the lymphatic system, a group of vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. White blood cells also play an important part in the process; they defend the body from diseases by creating antibodies that search for and destroy the pathogens.

What actions should you take to prevent the spread of disease?

How are people immune to a disease? To stay healthy and immunized, many people receive vaccinations. Vaccines are substances from weakened pathogens that are either swallowed or injected into the body. What to do when you are sick: Stay home and get plenty of rest Drinks a lot of fluids like water and juice Follow your doctor’s directions and take your medications

Did you know that diseases affect everyone? Pathogens lurk in so many places that is nearly impossible to avoid them. Some common bacterial diseases include strep throat and meningitis. Signs that could indicate strep throat include having sore throat, fever, and yellow or white specks on your tonsils. This disease is transmitted by contact with mucus from an infected person. Meningitis is a condition in which the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are inflamed. Symptoms of meningitis are severe headache, fever, stiff neck, nausea, and sensitivity to light. This disease is spread by contact with saliva or mucus from an infected person. Additionally, many people get sick from viral diseases. Some common viral diseases are the flu, the cold, and hepatitis. Symptoms of the flu include headache, sore muscles, sore throat, fever, vomiting, fatigue, and cough. The flu can be transmitted by contact with saliva or mucus of an infected person

and by personal contact. On the other hand, symptoms of the cold are scratchy, sore throat; sneezing and runny nose; and coughing. The cold can be spread by contact with saliva or mucus of an infected person. Signs of hepatitis are inflammation of the liver, jaundice, fever, and dark urine. Other common infections include fungal infections (athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm), protistan infections (amebic dysentery, African sleeping sickness, and malaria), and parasitic infections (lice, tapeworms, and ticks). Organizations in Nashville that deal with infectious diseases are the Vanderbilt Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and the Tennessee Emerging Infections Program (EIP).

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Wellness Brochure Ch.13  
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