Communicable Diseases; Transmission, Prevention, and Treatment

Communicable Diseases_ Transmission, Prevention, and Treatment - blog - epillo health systems

Communicable diseases have been a leading cause of mortality across the globe. It becomes the major cause of concern in some underdeveloped countries due to improper access to healthcare facilities.

These communicable diseases can sometimes lead to severe complications resulting in numerous deaths. A newly emerged infectious disease COVID-19 has become the top cause for many deaths in the past year. Some other examples of communicable diseases are hepatitis A, B, and C, HIV, salmonella, measles, and blood-borne illnesses. These infectious diseases can generally spread through food, sexual intercourse, insect bites, contact with contaminated fomites, droplets, fecal-oral route, or skin contact.

Even today, infectious diseases have the potential to disturb or destroy human life. Hence, it becomes essential to understand more about these infectious diseases, how they spread, and measures needed for prevention. Let us discuss all the vital factors you need to be aware of regarding communicable diseases.

What are Communicable Diseases?

A communicable disease is an illness caused by certain infectious agents or products transmitted from a contagious person, animal, or susceptible vector. It can be a direct person-to-person transmission or indirect transmission from a plant or animal host or environmental route. Infectious diseases or transmissible diseases are the interchangeable terms used for infectious diseases.

Though a lot of research has been done to control communicable diseases, infectious diseases are evolving, posing a threat of new diseases every time.

Symptoms of Communicable Diseases

Symptoms of communicable diseases vary. Some can be mild, while others are fatal and severe. It all depends on the causative infectious agent and the type of disease it causes.

For instance, if you contact rhinovirus, a common cold infectious agent, you will feel a stuffy nose, headache, and sometimes a fever. Occasionally it subsides after some days. But during HIV, it hampers your immune system and leads to severe symptoms. A healthcare provider can treat it with regular medications.

The most common symptoms of communicable diseases are:

  • Fever
  • Acute diarrhea
  • Acute vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Headache
  • Skin lesions or skin rashes

Risk Factors

Generally, some individual factors interact with one another and form a cluster of risk factors. Some of the common risk factors include;

1. Lack of Hygiene

Handwashing techniques, sanitization, and personal hygiene become the essential elements that play a significant role in limiting the risk of communicable diseases. Lack of hygiene and inadequate sanitization can result in diarrheal diseases and other communicable diseases.

2. Nutritional Deficiency

Nutrition factors increase the susceptibility to communicable diseases and, more significantly, shedding and transmission rates. Consumption of contaminated food also poses a threat to infectious diseases.

3. Environmental Factors

Environmental risk factors such as weather and climate conditions like cold and dust storms can trigger the disease outbreak. The infectivity of a pathogen outside the host depends on various environmental factors like temperature, moisture, and UV light. Seasonal environmental changes have a direct impact on pathogen abundance and its survival.

4. Crowded Places

Overcrowding triggers hygiene-related diseases, causing infections such as diarrheal diseases. Also, crowded places increase the risk of transmission of infections like measles and other illnesses that spread from person to person. Crowded places that result in poor ventilation and increased humidity boost airborne droplets’ transmission from person to person.

5. Other Factors

Factors like living conditions, accessibility to healthcare services, poor response to the initial spread of infection, etc. result in the outbreak of communicable diseases. Sometimes, the individual risk factors interact with each other creating complex emergencies that pose a higher level of risk and more complex routes for disease spread.

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Causes of Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases are caused by infectious agents. These infectious agents can be viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites.

  • Viruses – It is a microorganism that can infect your body cells and multiplies to cause disease. They can damage or change the cell’s protein constitution. The common viral infections include measles, rubella, chickenpox (varicella), herpes zoster, common cold, HIV, and many more.
  • Bacteria – It is a single-celled microorganism that multiplies quickly. Most infections of the body are caused by bacteria like staphylococci, streptococci, e.coli, etc. The common bacterial infections are food poisoning, strep throat, and urinary tract infections.
  • Fungi – A fungus is a microbial organism that attacks human bodies when they are severely weakened. The most common species of fungi are aspergillus and candida. Poor management of these fungi can lead to life-threatening infections.
  • Parasites – Those animals and plants which survive by eating other living things are called parasites. Contaminated waters can host parasites causing parasite infections. Malaria is an example of an infection caused by parasites.

Modes of Transmission

Communicable diseases transmit from person to person through different routes. It can be direct contact with the infectious source, indirect contact, through insect bites, or through contaminated items.

  • Direct transmission occurs when you are in direct contact with a person who is sick. It can be through touching, kissing, or sexual contact.
  • Indirect transmission is seen when you touch a sharing surface that sick people have touched. Infectious germs can enter your body through your hands and cause the disease.
  • Insect or animal bites, which are reservoirs of an infectious agent, can come in contact with your blood and circulate in the body, resulting in diseases.
  • If you eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water, it can transmit the infectious agent to your body.

Preventive Measures

Healthcare systems, government, and individuals should act responsibly to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Some helpful tips to prevent the spread of infectious diseases are-

  • Handle and prepare food safely – Maintain hygiene, clean the hands, utensils, food thoroughly to remove pathogens.
  • Always eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid eating staple foods.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after your meals.
  • You should clean your hands after using the toilet, during traveling, after sneezing or coughing, and after touching your pets.
  • Clean and disinfect the surfaces frequently like doorknobs, doorbells, etc.
  • Cough and sneeze while covering with a cloth.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like toothbrushes, razors, undergarments, and towels.
  • Get vaccinated as per the immunization protocol.
  • Stay home when sick and isolate yourself from other family members to prevent the spread.

Role of Digital Healthcare Solutions in Preventing Communicable Diseases

Digital technologies are creating a support system to intervene in the progression of these communicable diseases. Digital therapeutic devices play a crucial role in population surveillance, case identification, contact tracing, and evaluation of the spread of the disease.

The future of healthcare management is becoming progressively digital. Digital healthcare companies are coming up with effective strategies to better manage and control infectious diseases in the future. Hence, digital software solutions such as big data and artificial intelligence need to be integrated into existing public healthcare systems.

Conclusion

Communicable diseases are the type of infectious diseases that transmit from one person to another. It can be transmitted through direct contact, airborne particles, or contaminated foods and drinks, leading to several infectious diseases. These diseases have mild symptoms but sometimes cause major life-threatening complications.

To avoid the spread of communicable diseases, the first step should be to prevent the risk factors. And follow the preventive measures like ensuring a safe environment by developing hand hygiene habits, proper sanitization, avoiding crowded places if there is a possibility of infection spread, etc. Also, vaccination should be taken for a suitable disease to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. In addition, it is important to isolate a person suffering from an infectious disease to prevent the spread of the disease.

There is also a need to recognize the importance of digital healthcare solutions in the field of communicable diseases. With digitalized healthcare system, we can strengthen our pandemic management and future preparedness to fight infectious diseases.

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Vivek Baghel is a Professional Blogger, Writer and likes to write on various niches as well as all about the latest news. He’s also Admin of Oshup.com a tech blog and shares Tech, News, SEO articles, and the Latest News.
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