Home Important What is an infectious disease? Transmission, Diseases of Concern, Signs and Symptoms...

What is an infectious disease? Transmission, Diseases of Concern, Signs and Symptoms etc.

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infectious disease

Illnesses caused by pathogens, micro-organisms such as bacteria or viruses, that can be transmitted.

Methods of Transmission

  • Direct contact:- Which occurs through contact with bodily fluids, contact through open wounds or exposed tissues, or contact with mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes or nose.
  • Indirect contact:- Through airborne pathogens spread by tiny droplet sprayed during breathing, coughing or sneezing, or by way of contaminated objects, such as needles.

Diseases of Concern

  • Although there are many infectious diseases, Three that is of greatest concern because they are life-threatening are:- hepatitis(a, b, c, d & e), TB & aids.

Hepatitis (A, B, C, D &E)

  • Causes inflammation of the liver;
  • Contracted through blood or bodily fluids;
  • No cure can be deadly;
  • Can live in dried blood for days.
  • An effective vaccine is available.

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Infection found in the lungs & other tissues;
  • Highly contagious- can be spread through the air;
  • Take respiratory precautions

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

  • Aids is named for a set of conditions that result when the immune system has been attacked by the HIV virus and rendered unable to combat infection adequately.
  • Poses less risk than hepatitis or TB, as the virus does not survive well outside the human body.
  • Transmission requires contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

There are several other infectious diseases that you may be exposed to, including:-

  • Influenza
  • Cholera
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
  • Common cold
  • Dengue
  • Typhoid
  • Meningitis

Signs and Symptoms

  • Patients contaminated with an infectious disease may not present with signs or symptoms.
  • A major source of infectious transmission is the “chronic carrier”.
  • Such a person can carry an infection for years without signs or symptoms.

When Signs And Symptoms Of Infectious Diseases Do Appear, They May Include:-

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • The yellowish coloration of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Headache, chest or abdominal pain
  • Coughing, shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Body Substance Isolation

  • A strict form of infection control based on the premise that blood and bodily fluids are infectious
  • Body substance isolation (BSI) consists of a combination of equipment & procedures that protect you from the bodily fluids of the patient
  • With BSI precautions, it is possible to take care of patients safely, including those with infectious diseases.
  • BSI precautions fall under three categories:-

1. Hand washing: the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of infection (even if wearing gloves)

2.Cleaning equipment: cleaning, disinfecting & sterilizing are related terms.

  • Cleaning is simply washing an object with soap & water
  • Disinfecting is cleaning plus using a chemical like alcohol or bleach to kill most of the pathogens
  • Sterilizing is a process in which a chemical or another process ( such as superheated steam) is used to kill all microorganisms on the object

3. Using personal protective equipment (PPE):-

  • You must always use PPE to protect against infection.
  • This will keep you free from coming into contact with blood & other bodily fluids.
  • PPE includes eye protection, gloves, gown & mask.

Personal Protective Equipment

The 5 most common components of PPE are:-

  1. Latex gloves
  2. Personal mask
  3. Eye protection
  4. Gown
  5. CPR mask

Immunization

  • The following immunizations are recommended for People:-
    • Tetanus prophylaxis (every 10 years)
    • Hepatitis-a vaccine
    • Hepatitis-b vaccine
    • Influenza vaccine (every year)
    • Polio
    • Rubella ( German measles)
    • Measles
    • Mumps

“ALWAYS PRACTICE BODY SUBSTANCE ISOLATION SO THAT YOU DON’T GET INFECTED”

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