Primary Care: Infectious Disease

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Infectious diseases are disorders that are caused by organisms. Germs are all around us in the air, water and soil, and also on the skin and in the body. While some germs are helpful and harmless, others can cause infectious diseases. Your family physican can help with Infectious Diseases

Types of Infectious Diseases

• Viruses cause many different diseases, such as the common cold, hepatitis, herpes, mumps, chickenpox, shingles and AIDS 
• Bacteria can cause illnesses such as strep throat and urinary tract infections (UTIs) 
• Fungi mainly cause skin diseases such as athlete’s foot and ringworm, but other types can affect your nervous system or lungs 
• Parasites can be transmitted to humans from animal feces or by a mosquito bite 

You can catch an infectious disease through direct contact with someone who is sick (examples are STIs and mothers passing germs to their babies) or through indirect contact such as drinking from a glass someone who has a cold used and didn't wash. You can be infected by an animal or insect bite, or by consuming contaminated food or water. 

Infectious Disease Symptoms & Treatments

While each infectious disease has its own symptoms, there are some common ones including:

• Cough
• Diarrhea 
• Fatigue 
• Aches 
• Fever

You can prevent many infectious diseases by frequently washing your hands, understanding proper food-safety techniques and ensuring your vaccinations are up to date. Infectious diseases such as measles and chickenpox can be prevented by vaccines. A vaccine provides immunity to a disease, typically by containing ingredients that resemble a disease-causing microorganism. A vaccine is made of small amounts of weak or dead germs that cause the disease being vaccinated against, which stimulates your body to recognize the germs as foreign. This allows the immune system to recognize and destroy these microorganisms later. Your family physican can help with Infectious Diseases

Talk to your family physician if you'd like more information on infectious diseases.

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