Disease prevention and control are important concerns that need to be undertaken seriously both in the home and in the community.
Ample knowledge of the different diseases and how they are contracted and transmitted from person to person, as well as the preventive measures that can be taken to prevent them from spreading, can go a long way in keeping members of the family healthy and disease free.
Transmissible illness is passed on from one person to another. The presence and growth of one or more infectious microorganisms or microbes can damage the body. The appearance and severity of the diseases causedby the infectious microorganisms depend upon their ability to damage the body, as well as the ability of the body to resist them. These disease-causing agents are transmitted in a variety of ways, including direct physical contact, consumption of infected food or water, contact with contaminated objects, or by transmission from animals or insects to humans.
These infectious pathogens or causative agents are:
- Bacteria are one-celled organisms which can quickly multiply. Because they are so small, we cannot see them unless we use a microscope. Some bacteria thrive in cool, damp places while others grow in hot places. They commonly infect people through food contamination and unhygienic practices. People who have bacterial infections are commonly treated with antibiotics. Examples of harmful bacteria are Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella typhi. Some E. coli strains can cause severe cases of diarrhea, urinary tract infection, or kidney failure. Rikettsias is a rod-shaped bacterium that can cause serious diseases in humans and animals. It is usually transmitted by a bite from arthropod carriers such as ticks, fleas, or lice. It can also be transmitted by the administration of broad spectrum antibiotics.
- Viruses are tiny organisms that multiply within cells. They are the most common causes of communicable diseases. They can cause several serious human diseases such as AIDS, influenza, rabies, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, and hepatitis. Many viral diseases can be prevented through the administration of vaccines that produce immunity.
- Fungi are simple forms that cannot make their own food because they do not have chlorophyll (the substance that makes plants green and converts sunlight into energy). Fungi causes athlete’s foot and thrush, which is an infection of the mouth characterized by small, whitish eruptions on the mouth, throat, and tongue, and usually accompanied by fever, colic, and diarrhea.
- Protozoa are single-celled organisms. A great number of chronic diseases are caused by parasitic and pathogenic protozoa. One of these diseases is malaria.