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Transmission of Diseases

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Transmission of Diseases - Lesson Summary

Transmission is the process of passing something from one individual to another individual. Infectious diseases are spread through microbial organisms from an infected person to a healthy person.

Microorganisms are transmitted through physical contact, air, water and carriers. 
    •  Air borne diseases:These are the diseases transmitted through air. Microorganisms are transmitted in the form of droplet nuclei in the air. e.g. common cold, pneumonia and tuberculosis.
    •  Waterborne diseases: These are the diseases transmitted through water. Excreta of infected animals and humans contaminate drinking water. e.g. cholera 
    •  Physical contact: These are the diseases transmitted through direct contact. e.g. AIDS is transmitted from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy. AIDS is also transmitted through intimate contact between partners.
    •  Carriers: The most common carriers or vectors that transfer micro-organisms from one human being to another are female mosquitoes, dogs, hens, etc. e.g.  Rabies virus transmitted by dogs and cats bite.

Effects of infectious diseases
Immune system in our body is activated. It functions to attack the foreign invaders and protect the body.
Inflammation is the response exhibited by the active immune system to kill the infectious agents. Inflammation includes swelling, pain, fever etc.

Treatment of infectious diseases
The two ways to treat infectious diseases are by reducing the effect of the disease and by eliminating the cause of the disease.
Antibiotics are the medicines used to treat the diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and protozoans. e.g. penicillin
Anti-viral drugs are the medicines used to treat diseases caused by viruses. These drugs are difficult to be prepared when compared to anti-bacterial drugs.

Prevention of infectious diseases
    •  Airborne micro-organisms can be prevented by providing living conditions which are not over crowded.
    •  Water-borne micro-organisms can be prevented by providing safe drinking water.
    •  Vector-borne diseases can be prevented by providing clean environment.
    •  Public hygiene is a basic step in the prevention of infectious diseases.
    •  Proper and sufficient food is necessary for the immune system to work properly.
    •  Immunisation through vaccine.

Immunisation and vaccine
Immunisation is the protection of individuals from communicable diseases by administration of a suspension of dead micro-organisms.

Vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease after inoculation. e.g. smallpox vaccine was the first vaccine developed against small pox by Edward Jenner, hence called "Father of Immunology".


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