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Classification

To be classified as a communicable disease, an infection has to be present only in people affected by it and not those who are otherwise healthy and the healthy individuals who come into contact with the elements causing the infection have to fall ill as well. For an abnormality to be considered an infection the adverse agents have to come into the body, live for long enough to multiply and should be passed to other hosts easily. Communicable diseases are illnesses that are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and prions, and are easily transferable from person to person. Communicable diseases cause infections that in most cases produce various kinds of symptoms, while the adverse agents responsible for the infections also need a weakened immune system to which they will make a problem. The stronger the adverse element, or a pathogen, coupled with a weak immune system, the stronger the infection. As a result, pathogens are classified based on the severity of destruction they cause for the organism. Primary pathogens are very strong, and will result in an infection in healthy individuals, while also affecting other animals, as well. The extent of the infection produced by a primary pathogen depends on both its strength and the strength of the person it’s affecting. Another kind of pathogens are the opportunistic pathogens, which otherwise live in the body without causing any problems, but when the opportunity presents itself are likely to cause an infection. Opportunistic pathogens can also come in contact with a person through various external means, such as through wound infections, blood transfusions, poisoning and so on. In order for the opportunistic pathogens to produce an infection, the person’s immune system has to be susceptible and unable to fight it off. Communicable diseases can occur from time to time, have regular presence in a population or a geographic area, be present in lots of people at once, or be spread globally. Transmission

There are many ways in which the elements that cause communicable diseases are passed on from individual to individual and some include coming into contact with contaminated food, water, bodily fluids, or an infected person. In any case, there has to be a source of an infection and identifying it helps to a great extent with dealing with an infection once it becomes a problem. There are those infections that are passed on very easily through minor physical contact, such as hand shaking, sneezing, kissing and so on, and there are instances in which the road to an infection is well known, such as having sexual relations with an infected person. In some instances, there are pathogens that survive on external objects, such as money and coming into contact with them leads to an infection. There are various insects, such as the flies or mosquitoes, which can transmit infectious agents from an animal or an object to a person.

Diagnosis

Many relatively common infectious diseases are diagnosed by the presentation of symptoms. The adverse agents are easily identifiable, the treatment relatively simple and the consequences minor or nonexistent. In many cases, identification of the pathogen is done only when it can help with the advancement of prevention or treatment. There have been various kinds of advancements that lead to better diagnostics, such as the use of molecular diagnostics to identify the HIV virus in individuals who haven’t developed infections yet. As a result, clinicians and researchers are able to follow the virus and its development, while at the same time the person in question is aware that he or she is carrying an HIV. For the most part, the inspection of the symptoms coupled with the patient’s medical history and culture tests of pathogens usually make up the course of diagnosis. In some cases, various scans will be employed for identifying skeletal communicable illnesses.

Prevention

In order to prevent the spreading of an infection, it first has to be established what the pathogens are and where they are coming from. There are also other elements that have to be taken into consideration, such as the time it takes for the infection to be passed on, and how contagious it is in the first place. For instance, there are many viruses that upon entering the system will kill the person relatively quickly, such as the Ebola virus, so there isn’t that much opportunity for the spreading. However, viruses such as HIV take a long time to develop into an infection, and there are many cases in which the virus is being spread without the person carrying it even being aware. Some beneficial ways to stop the spreading of agents that cause communicable diseases include introduction of programs such as needle exchange among the populations of intravenous drug users, vaccination of individuals who are susceptible to viral infection, and pest control. In many cases, however, when it comes to the most common infections, washing hands regularly will decrease the spreading of infectious diseases.

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