Infectious diseases: what they are, main diseases and how to avoid them

Infectious diseases are diseases caused by microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa or fungi, which can be present in the body without causing any damage to the body. However, when there is a change in the immune system and another clinical condition, these microorganisms can proliferate, causing disease and facilitate the entry of other microorganisms.

Infectious diseases can be acquired through direct contact with the infectious agent or through exposure of the person to contaminated water or food, as well as through the respiratory, sexual or injury caused by animals. Infectious diseases can also often be transmitted from person to person, being called infectious diseases.

Main infectious diseases

Infectious diseases can be caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria or parasites and, depending on the infectious agent, can cause diseases with specific symptoms. Among the main infectious diseases, the following can be mentioned:

  • Infectious diseases caused by viruses : viruses , Zika, ebola, mumps,  HPV  and measles;
  • Infectious diseases caused by bacteria : tuberculosis, vaginosis , chlamydia, scarlet fever and leprosy;
  • Infectious diseases caused by fungi : candidiasis and mycoses;
  • Infectious diseases caused by parasites : Chagas disease , leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis.

Depending on the microorganism causing the disease, there are signs and symptoms characteristic of the disease, the most common being headache, fever, nausea, weakness, feeling unwell and tired, especially in the early stage of the infectious process. However, depending on the disease, more severe symptoms may appear, such as enlarged liver, stiff neck, seizures and coma, for example.

In order for the diagnosis to be made, it is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms presented by the person and to go to the doctor to be asked to perform laboratory and imaging tests so that it is possible to identify the agent responsible for the infection and, thus, be the most appropriate treatment has started.

How to avoid

Microorganisms can be found in several places, especially in times of pandemics, which makes it important and necessary to learn to protect against diseases, so it is recommended:

  • Wash your hands frequently , especially before and after meals and after using the bathroom;
  • Avoid using the hot air system to dry your hands , as it favors the growth of germs on your hands, prefer paper towels;
  • Have an updated vaccination card ;
  • Store food in the refrigerator and keep raw food stored well separated from cooked food;
  • Keep the kitchen and bathroom clean , as these are the places where microorganisms can be found most often; 
  • Avoid sharing personal objects , such as toothbrushes or razors.

In addition, it is important to take pets to the veterinarian regularly, as well as keep their vaccines up to date, as pets can be reservoirs for some microorganisms, and can transmit them to their owners.

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