What are infectious diseases caused by?
Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. They can be transmitted from person to person, by insects or other animals, or acquired by consuming contaminated food or water, or breathing in contaminated droplets in the air.
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Common infectious diseases
Some of the more common infectious diseases include sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, syphilis, HIV and herpes simplex 2; respiratory infections such as the common cold, influenza and COVID-19; and gastrointestinal infections including E.Coli, norovirus and salmonella.
Signs and symptoms of infectious diseases
Signs and symptoms for infectious diseases vary depending on the organism and site of infection but commonly include respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, fever, and fatigue. Severe infections may require hospitalisation and can be life-threatening.
Treatment of infectious diseases
Management strategies for infectious diseases vary depending on the infection. Some infections can be cleared completely with treatment, whilst some infections are managed in the long term without clearance. For instance, HIV can now be managed as a life-long chronic condition with an armamentarium of antiretroviral treatment (ART) combinations.
Preventing infectious diseases
Some infectious diseases can be prevented by vaccination. Indeed, immunisation programmes have greatly reduced the prevalence and burden of infectious diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, influenza, and measles around the world. More targeted vaccination programmes include HPV vaccinations for cervical cancer in young women, and herpes zoster vaccination in the elderly.
What is pneumonia? Education and communication between physicians
Find out how well you know the answer to this interesting question and learn more about education and communication in medical care.
Fungal infections and waning treatments
What are the problems with evolving invasive fungal strains, and what is being done to combat them? Read our original article investigating the emerging burden of anti-fungal resistance.
Related news and insights
Merck Inc., known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced results from STRIDE-3, a Phase III trial evaluating V 116, the company’s investigational 21-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine specifically designed to protect adults
Sumitomo Pharma Chinese subsidiary received a notification from local regulators that Xenleta (lefamulin) was approved in China for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in adults.
Related Journal Articles
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a virus that causes infections of the lungs and airways. It commonly appears during the coldest and wettest months of the year, similarly to the influenza virus. In adults and older children the symptoms are commonly mild, with cold-like symptoms such as rhinitis or coughing.