Infectious diseases are a group of diseases caused by microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites. Under normal conditions, the immune system of the host works fully and combats the fatal microorganisms, so the symptoms do not develop. If the immune system is compromised, the infectious agent overpowers the immune system of the host individual and infectious diseases ensue.
The severity of infection depends upon several variables including;
Infectious diseases can be transmitted from one individual to another or from pets and other animals. They can also be caused by consuming contaminated food or water or exposure to a contaminated environment.
Signs and symptoms depend upon the severity of the condition and type of infection. They include fever, fatigue, allergy, skin rash and other associated problems.
With the advancement of medicine, some of the fatal infectious diseases such as measles, chickenpox, etc can be prevented by vaccination. Good health and hygiene practices can protect you from many serious infectious diseases.
Immediately seek medical assistance or consult a health care physician if you have any of the following symptoms;
Medications like steroids or any other glucocorticoid that suppresses immunity such as anti-rejection drugs for transplantation or while receiving a blood donation
Chronic infections like HIV
Chemotherapy and radiation for cancer
Infectious diseases can lead to many severe health problems if they are not treated and managed effectively. Infections such as pneumonia, AIDS, and meningitis can become life-threatening and are associated with the long term risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Some of the reported complications are listed below;
Some infectious agents live in the body of the hosts’ organisms without any symptoms for years and can cause major complications in the future.
Following are some of the preventive measures against infectious diseases;
Laboratory tests including blood tests, urine tests, throat swab, stool culture, and lumbar puncture, imaging tests including X-rays, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.
Your primary care physician can prescribe a variety of medicines depending upon the type of infectious agent. The common drugs include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and anti-parasitic medicines.