What are infectious diseases? Symptoms and methods of treatment


Infectious diseases; These are diseases caused by small organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites that enter the body. There are many different types of infectious diseases and ways of transmission. While some infectious diseases such as the common cold pass by themselves, some may require hospitalization and long-term treatment.

What do infectious diseases mean?

Infectious diseases are diseases caused by very small organisms called microorganisms. Some of these creatures, although normally found in certain organs in the body, such as the intestine, can cause disease when transmitted to different organs and tissues. Some microorganisms cause disease if they are found in soil or other sources and infect humans.

Infectious diseases have many transmission methods. Some infectious diseases pass from person to person. Some diseases are transmitted by insects or other animals. In addition, spoiled food or contaminated water sources can cause infectious diseases.

What are the symptoms of infectious diseases?

Each infectious disease has its own signs and symptoms. But there are general signs and symptoms common to many infectious diseases. These can be listed as follows:

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What causes infectious diseases?

Infectious diseases can be caused by different microorganisms. Below are the types of microorganisms and the different diseases they cause:

Bacteria: These unicellular organisms are responsible for diseases such as throat, urinary tract infections and tuberculosis.
Viruses: They are much smaller creatures than bacteria. Viruses cause a large number of diseases, from the common cold to AIDS.
Fungi: Many skin diseases such as ringworm and athlete's foot are caused by fungi. Fungi can also affect the genital area. Different types of fungi can infect the lung or nervous system, causing disease.
Parasites: Parasites can be transmitted from animal feces or an insect bite, such as a mosquito bite. Malaria is one of the most known diseases caused by parasites.
What are the methods of transmission of infectious diseases?
Infectious diseases can be transmitted through direct or indirect contact, as well as through virus or bacterial insect bites or foods.

The easiest way to catch most infectious diseases is to directly contact a sick person or animal. Direct contact types can be listed as follows.

From person to person: Infectious (infectious) diseases usually spread by transferring bacteria, viruses or other microbes directly from one person to another. Bacteria & virus can be transported if a person carrying bacteria or viruses touches, hugs, sneezes or coughs to a healthy person. Also, germs can be transmitted through actions that result in changes in body fluids, such as sexual intercourse. Sometimes, although the virus or bacteria is not observed in the person, it can be a carrier and make others sick.
Animal to human: Being bitten or scratched by an infected animal, including pets, can cause disease. Some infectious diseases, such as rabies or tetanus, can be fatal if left untreated. Contact with animal waste is another way to catch infectious diseases. For example, you may get toxoplasma infection during cat litter replacement.
From mother to baby in the womb: A pregnant woman can pass the germs that cause infectious diseases to her unborn baby. Some microbes can pass through the placenta or breast milk. Microbes in the vagina can be transmitted to the baby during childbirth.
You can also catch infectious diseases without direct contact. Many microbes can survive for a long time in an inanimate object such as a table top, doorknob or faucet handle.

For example, when you touch a door knocker used by a person with the flu or cold, the germs left here can get into your hands. If you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose before washing your hands, the virus will settle in you.

Some microbes are carried by carriers such as mosquitoes, fleas, lice or ticks. Mosquitoes can carry malaria parasites or West Nile virus. Deer ticks can carry bacteria that cause Lyme disease. In addition, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever is also caused by a dangerous virus carried by ticks.


Disease-causing microbes can also enter your body through foods. These types of infections usually result in microbes getting sick from a single source and many people at the same time.

Who is at increased risk of developing infectious diseases?

Anyone can catch infectious diseases, but those whose immune system is not working properly are at higher risk. These people can be listed as follows:

Those who use drugs that suppress the immune system to prevent organ rejection after transplantation
HIV positive individuals
those with cancer types or other diseases that affect the immune system
implant users
babies Who are at higher risk of infectious diseases?
Anyone can catch infectious diseases, but those whose immune system is not working properly are at higher risk. These people can be listed as follows:

Those who use drugs that suppress the immune system to prevent organ rejection after transplantation
HIV positive individuals
those with cancer types or other diseases that affect the immune system
implant users

What are infectious diseases and ways of prevention?

It is important to gain the following habits to reduce the risk of infection:

Washing hands: It is important to wash hands adequately, especially before and after food preparation, before eating and after using the toilet. Since hands are a common way for microbes to enter the body, try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Getting vaccinated: Vaccination greatly reduces your chances of getting many diseases. Both children and adults should follow their vaccinations and renew them as necessary.
Staying home when you are sick: In order to prevent infectious diseases and to heal in a shorter time, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or fever should not go to work or school.
Preparing food safely: Keep dishes and other kitchen surfaces clean when preparing food. At least 71o C for ground meats; 74o C for poultry; and for most other meats, at least the 63o C rule should not be forgotten. Also, cooked food should not be allowed to remain at room temperature for a long time.
Experiencing safe sex: Partners should always use a condom if they have sexually transmitted infections or have a high-risk sexual history.
Not sharing personal items: Individuals should use their own toothbrush, comb and razor blades and not share cups or food bowls.
Taking precautions without traveling: If traveling abroad, a healthcare worker should be discussed with special vaccines such as yellow fever, cholera, hepatitis A or B.

How are infectious diseases diagnosed?

Your doctor may order a lab study or a screening scan to help determine what's causing your symptoms.

Laboratory tests: Many infectious diseases have similar signs and symptoms. Samples of body fluids can sometimes reveal evidence of certain microbes that cause the disease. This helps the doctor regulate the treatment. The most frequently requested tests are blood, urine and throat culture tests. Apart from this, if your doctor deems it necessary, he / she may also request a stool sample or fluid from the spinal cord.
Imaging scans: Scans such as X-rays, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging can help diagnose and eliminate other conditions that can cause symptoms.
Biopsies: A small sample of tissue is taken from an organ for testing during a biopsy. For example, a lung tissue biopsy can be checked for a variety of fungi that can cause pneumonia.

How are infectious diseases treated?

Knowing which types of microbes cause the disease makes it easier for your doctor to choose the appropriate treatment.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics are drugs that fight bacteria. They are not prescribed in viral diseases, as they work only in bacteria. In addition, misuse of antibiotics makes bacteria resistant to this treatment, making treatment more difficult. Therefore, it is very important to avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatment.
Antivirals: Antivirals can work against some viruses. However, an antiviral has not been developed against every virus.
Antifungals: Topical antifungal drugs can be used to treat skin or nail infections caused by fungi. Some fungal infections, such as those that affect the lungs or mucous membranes, can be treated with an oral antifungal. More severe internal organ fungal infections, especially in people with weakened immune systems, may require intravenous antifungal drugs.
Anti-parasites: Anti-parasites are used to treat some diseases, including malaria. There are also some antiparasitic drugs used in intestinal infections.
We wish you healthy days.

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