Infectious or non-infectious diseases, both, can cause illness.
A disease is a condition that, through hampering body processes, impacts only a portion of or the whole body. Infectious or non-infectious diseases, both, can cause illness. In general, non-infectious causes may be internal factors, genetic irregularities, and lifestyle, while infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, which are the agents causing the infection.
Infectious diseases are the diseases of microbial pathogens, namely viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. These may be transmittable or non-communicable. They may be spread by plants, humans, or insects. The agents who spread the pathogens or pass them on are called vectors or intermediaries of the disease.
Infectious diseases are caused by pathogens invading the body. For, e.g., a particular virus can trigger a viral infection. There are infectious agents all around us, and they come in varying forms and sizes. They may be classified on the basis of certain common features. Some of these are single-celled animals like fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Other multicellular organisms like worms are also known to cause illnesses.
Pathogens are basically the disease-causing agents. These include viroid’s, nematodes, prions, arthropods, notably mites and fleas and macro-parasites such as helminths and roundworms. Such diseases arise when an organism invades the cells and tissues of the human body with an infection-causing agent that triggers the reaction of the host tissues to these pathogens, both because of the effects of the pathogen and the toxins it releases.
Infectious diseases can be classified on the basis of the causative pathogen. The main types are enlisted and described below.
Viruses are the primary cause of viral infections like the common cold, influenza, and so on. The virus can enter a host’s body and attaches itself to the cell where its genetic material activates, and it begins to replicate itself. The cell replicates, and the virus grows. The infection of cells then releases more viruses that can go on to infect new cells. Few viruses alter cell structure rather than destroy the cells. For example, human papillomavirus, the Epstein Barr virus, causes uncontrollable cell replication leading to cancer.
Bacteria can live in extreme environments from extreme heat to extreme cold, and even radioactive waste in any environment. Innumerable bacterial strains are present on Earth, some of which cause disease. Bad bacteria cause infection, and good bacteria kill bad bacteria and avoid disease. Some of the bacterial diseases that are infectious are cholera, tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid. These diseases are usually treated with the help of antibiotics.
A fungus breaks down (using an enzyme) and consumes organic material. Fungi grow and cause infections when good bacteria are destroyed. In the upper layers of the skin, many fungal infections appear, although some penetrate into the deeper layers. When inhaled, fungal spores can cause fungal infections involving the internal layers of the body.
A prion has no genetic material and is a protein. In case the prion is abnormally folded, it impacts the brain system, which triggers dangerous diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Illness. Such diseases spread very quickly and are particularly deadly. They do not replicate in the host but stimulate anomalous behavior in the cells of the body.
Also capable of causing communicable diseases are protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites.
Infectious diseases are transmitted through the following means, such as:
You can prevent yourself from catching any infection by following some simple measures listed below.
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Common cold, influenza, AIDS, dengue fever