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Infectious Diseases

What is Infectious Disease?
An infectious disease or communicable disease is caused by a biological agent such as by a virus, bacterium or parasite.
Infectious diseases are the invasion of a host organism by a foreign replicator, generally microorganisms, often called microbes, that are invisible to the naked eye.

Microbes that cause illness are also known as pathogens. The most common pathogens are various bacteria and viruses, though a number of other microorganisms, including some kinds of fungi and protozoa, also cause disease. An infectious disease is termed contagious if it is easily transmitted from one person to another.

An organism that a microbe infects is known as the host for that microbe. In the human host, a microorganism causes disease by either disrupting a vital body process or stimulating the immune system to mount a defensive reaction. An immune response against a pathogen, which can include a high fever, inflammation, and other damaging symptoms, can be more devastating than the direct damage caused by the microbe.


Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms live in and on our bodies. They're normally harmless or even helpful, but under certain conditions, some organisms may cause disease.

Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person. Some are transmitted by bites from insects or animals. And others are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the environment.

Signs and symptoms vary depending on the organism causing the infection, but often include fever and fatigue. Mild infections may respond to rest and home remedies, while some life-threatening infections may require hospitalization.

Many infectious diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, can be prevented by vaccines. Frequent and thorough hand-washing also helps protect you from most infectious diseases.


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