Infectious diseases are illnesses brought on by pathogens, which are dangerous substances that enter your body. The most common causes are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Infectious diseases usually spread through contaminated food or water, from person to person and through bug bites. Some infectious diseases are very serious and some are minor. Infectious diseases are illnesses brought on by pathogens—dangerous organisms—that enter your body from the outside. Pathogens that cause infectious diseases are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. If you need advice or care for infectious diseases from an expert, contact Dr Sheetu Singh a distinguished infectious diseases specialist renowned for her extensive experience and knowledge in the field. She has experience in identifying and treating a variety of infectious diseases and is committed to giving her patients compassionate care and state-of-the-art treatments.
What is the Difference Between Infectious Diseases and Noninfectious Diseases?
Viruses and bacteria are two examples of dangerous creatures that enter your body from the outside and cause infectious diseases. Non-infectious diseases are not brought on by external organisms, but rather by genetics, anatomical variations, aging and your environment. Diseases that are not contagious cannot be acquired from other people, by an insect bite, or through food. Measles, flu, HIV, strep throat, COVID-19 and salmonella are all examples of infectious diseases. Diabetes, Cancer and congestive heart failure are all examples of noninfectious diseases.
What are the Types of Infectious Diseases?
Infectious diseases can be bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal infectious. The rare class of infectious diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) affects people.
- Viral infectious: Viruses are a piece of information inside of a protective shell (Capsid). Viruses are incapable of self-replication as they are considerably smaller than your cells. They enter your cells and use the equipment there to duplicate themselves.
- Bacterial infections: Bacteria are single-celled organisms whose genetic code is encoded on a tiny piece of DNA. Bacteria can be found everywhere, including on our skin and inside our bodies. While many bacteria are harmless or even helpful, certain bacteria produce toxins that can make you ill.
- Fungal infectious: Like bacteria, there are several fungi. They live in and on your body. When your fungi get lush or when harmful fungi get into your body through your nose, mouth or a cut in your skin, you might get sick.
- Parasitic infections: When living and reproducing, parasites rely on the bodies of other creatures. Some single-celled creatures (protozoa) and worms (helminths) are considered to be parasites.
- Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies: TSEs are brought on by prions, which are malfunctioning proteins that induce other proteins in your body, typically those in your brain, to malfunction as well.
What are the Common Infectious Diseases?
Worldwide, infectious diseases are relatively prevalent, but some are more widespread than others. For instance 1 out of every 5 Americans contract the influenza virus each year, while less than 300 persons are found to have prion illnesses. Some of the most common infectious diseases are listed below:-
1. Common infectious diseases caused by viruses
- Common cold
- The flu
- Stomach flu (Gastroenteritis)
- Respiratory syncytial virus
2. Common infectious diseases caused by bacteria
- Strep throat
- Whooping cough
- Urinary tract infectious (UTI)
- Clostridioides difficile (C.diff)
3. Common infectious diseases caused by fungi
- Vaginal candidiasis (vaginal yeast infection)
- Fungal nail infections
4. Common infectious diseases caused by Parasites
What Causes Infectious Diseases?
Several external substances that enter your body can cause infectious infections. These include:
How are Infectious Diseases Treated?
The infection’s cause will determine how it is treated. Sometimes, rather than prescribing medication, your doctor will advise you to keep an eye on your symptoms.
- Bacterial infections can be treated with Antibiotics. The appropriate antibiotic depends on the type of bacteria that caused the infection.
- Most viral infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications to manage your symptoms until you feel better. If you have the flu, your healthcare provider may prescribe oseltamivir phosphate in some cases. Antiretroviral therapy is a particular medication used to treat certain viral illnesses like HIV.
- Fungal infections can be treated with antifungal medications. You can apply them topically to the fungus where it is on your skin with clotrimazole or take them orally with fluconazole.
- Antiparasitic medications such as metronidazole can be used to treat parasites.
- There are no treatments for prion diseases.
Can Infectious Diseases be Prevented?
There are several easy ways to lower your chance of contracting infectious diseases and some infections can even be completely avoided. There is usually no one method that is 100% successful at preventing sickness, even while each of these helps to lower your risk of contracting and spreading infectious diseases.
Vaccines lower your risk of contracting an infectious disease by training your immune system to identify and combat infections from dangerous pathogens. While people do still get sick with a disease after getting vaccinated for it, The majority of the time, your symptoms are not as bad as they would have been without the vaccination.
A shot or series of injections is typically administered (or less frequently a nasal spray) vaccines are available for many common infectious diseases, including:
- Hepatitis A
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
2. Safe food handling
Healthy food-handling practices aid in the prevention of some infectious diseases.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap before and after during food preparation
- Peeling or thoroughly washing all fruits and veggies
- Before thawing, keep meats frozen at 0°F (-180°C)
- Before consuming, meats should be cooked to a safe temperature
- Wash food preparation utensils and surfaces with water and soap after use
- Don’t eat undercooked or uncooked seafood
- Dont drink unpasteurized milk
- Dont eat untreated water
Other strategies for preventing infectious illness
You can lessen your chance of contracting or transmitting an infectious disease with a few regular behaviors in addition to vaccinations and appropriate food handling practices.
- Wash your hands with water and soap. Thorough hand-washing is particularly important before using the bathroom, preparing a meal or eating, after working with dirt or after coming into contact with feces, whether animal or human.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Keep your house and office clean by disinfecting commonly touched surfaces.
- Use protection during any kind of intimacy.
- Avoid drinking from or swimming in potentially contaminated water.
- To diminish the risk of mosquito bites or ticks, Use tick and mosquito repellant, cover as much exposed skin as you can with clothing and check yourself for ticks after being in wooded or long grassy areas.
Booking an appointment with Dr. Sheetu Singh for an infectious disease consultation is a cautious step toward addressing your health concerns. She is a well-known expert in viral illnesses and has a plethora of knowledge and skills in identifying and managing a variety of infectious diseases. To set up an appointment with Dr. Singh, all you need to do is get in touch with her clinic, and the accommodating staff will guide you in finding a time that suits your schedule.