You must have noticed that
sometimes your mother does not allow you to go out to play or to meet your
friends when you are sick. Neither, she allows others to meet you. Do you
This is why because there
are some diseases which are infectious and spread when a person comes in
contact with sick person. Disease caused by microorganisms when an infected
person comes in contact with another person is called communicable
disease. Example: influenza, measles, malaria etc. Communicable diseases are also known as
infectious diseases or transmissible diseases.
Diseases caused due to inadequate
intake of an essential nutrient in the diet are called deficiency
diseases. These are non-infectious or non-transmissible i.e. these are
not passed on from one person to another. Example: scurvy (lack of
vitamin C), rickets (lack of vitamin D), and anemia (iron-deficiency).
Unhealthy habits and
behaviors such as smoking, chewing tobacco or drinking alcohol can lead to diseases.
Such do not spread from person to person. Example: hypertension,
diabetes and cancer etc.
non-transmissible diseases are called non
communicable diseases. These include deficiency diseases and diseases
caused by unhealthy habits.
of Communicable diseases
These diseases are caused
by different kinds of germs. The chances of a person getting ill depend upon
the number of germs entering his body and the body’s immune system i.e. resisting
power of the body against the disease causing germs.
The mere entry of germs
into the body does not cause disease. Germs need appropriate conditions such as
warmth, moisture, and body’s low resisting power to multiply rapidly.
Diseases, like influenza,
diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, malaria, etc. are communicable diseases. The
germs of these diseases are transferred from a sick person to a healthy person
by air, water and food or through an insect, like houseflies and mosquitoes or
by physical contact with an infected person.
or Disease Carriers
Organisms such as insects,
mites, and ticks that transmit germs to human being and animal are called vectors. They spread diseases like malaria,
dysentery, cholera, typhoid etc.
The insects feed on human
foodstuffs, wastes and garbage lying in the open or around the drain or dirty
water bodies. They sit on these dirty areas from where they pick up and
transport various disease agents.
Diseases spread by
Mosquito has three basic body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. The head
consists of a pair of eyes, antennae to sense chemicals and the mouth parts
called the palpus and the proboscis- an elongated sucking mouthpart that is
typically tubular and flexible (only in females).Thorax includes two wings and 3
pair of legs. When it flies, the wing produces a humming sound. Abdomen
contains the digestive and excretory organs.
The average mosquito lifespan is less than two months. Males usually live
for 10 days or less, and females can live around six to eight weeks, under
Some mosquitoes are vectors for
diseases. Some of the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include: malaria,
dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever etc.
These diseases are caused by bacteria,
virus or parasites transmitted.
These germs do not harm the
mosquito but they reproduces inside the mosquito. Later, the mosquito passes
the germs to other humans when biting them.
Malaria is typically transmitted
through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. When a mosquito bites a
person with malaria, it sucks up germs along with the blood. These germs grow
in the body of mosquito in 7 to 10 days. This period is known as incubation
period. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When these mosquitoes bite the
person, the parasite enters into the bloodstream of the person. This is how
malaria spreads. The
Plasmodium parasite (protozoa) that causes malaria is a single-celled parasite
that multiplies in red blood cells of humans as well as in the mosquito
Control of Malaria
- Water should not be allowed to collect near the house. Stagnant water serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Using a mosquito net in areas with stagnant
water sources such as lakes or non-running streams as these places are especially
prone to mosquitoes.
- By wearing long pants and sleeves we
can reduce the chance of getting infected.
- Spraying insecticides like DDT (dichloro
diphenyl trichloroethane) in and around the house.
- Using anti malaria drugs like
- Infected person should be kept in
Diseases spread by houseflies
Houseflies do not bite but are carrier
of germs such as bacteria, virus, protozoa, and worms. They sit on garbage, feces
and other dirty places. Germs sticks to their body parts and when they sit on
the food item, they transfer those germs to the food. A person when eat that
contaminated food falls ill.
Housefly’s body is mainly divided into three parts
(head, thorax, and abdomen), a hard exoskeleton, and six jointed legs. They have
a pair of transparent wings and can taste using its feet and with its mouth parts.
Houseflies usually eat liquids, but they can liquefy many solid foods with
Some of the diseases transmitted by
mosquitoes include: hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, dysentery etc.
in the children needs the immediate attention of doctor. In this disease patient typically experience mild to severe abdominal
pain or stomach cramps and passing of stool, which sometimes show mucus and
blood. Untreated dysentery can be dangerous, especially if the infected person
cannot replace lost fluids fast enough.
It is most important to replace the
fluids lost from diarrhea. To make up for this loss of water, ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) is given at regular interval of time.
It can be easily prepared at home. Ingredients includes: 6 teaspoons of Sugar, half (1/2) teaspoon of salt
and one liter of clean drinking or boiled water and then cooled. Mix the dry
ingredients and then and one liter of clean drinking water. Stir well and give
to the patient at short intervals. Patient may be then taken to consult a
Diseases caused by micro organisms
Many diseases are caused by various
kinds of germs which include bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. These germs
are too small to be seen by the naked eye. These are called microorganism or
The study of microorganisms is called microbiology. They are present in air, water,
soil, in hot spring and even in our body. Some microbes cause diseases that are
transmitted from one person or animal to other.
Diseases caused by virus: flu (influenza), common cold, measles, mumps, german measles (Rubella),
smallpox, cowpox, chicken pox, HIV (can lead to AIDS), rabies etc.
Diseases caused by bacteria: cholera, tuberculosis (TB), septicaemia
("blood poisoning"), anthrax etc.
Diseases caused by
sleeping sickness, dysentery etc.
Diseases caused by fungi: Athlete's foot, ringworm etc.
Many diseases are transmitted through
direct contact with infected person such as measles, conjunctivitis, chickenpox
etc. These diseases can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected person
by touching or using anything used by the person such as towel, brush etc.
Diseases like tuberculosis, common
cold, whooping cough etc. are spread through air. Air borne disease can be
prevented if a person suffering from disease
cover his mouth when he cough or sneeze and avoids spitting in public
There are certain diseases which are
caused through infected food and water. They are diarrhea, jaundice, cholera,
typhoid etc. These diseases can be prevented if we adopt healthy habits such as
washing hand before and after eating, washing hand with soap after the use of
toilet, drinking boiled or filtered water.
Insects like mosquito causes diseases
like malaria, dengue etc. and can be prevented by keeping the surrounding
clean, by spraying insecticides etc.
How to keep good health?
- Avoid eating food kept open for long
time as germs start growing on it and make food unfit for consumption.
- Do not dispose-off or litter garbage
around water source as they become breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes
and houseflies. These insects transmit disease to people and animals.
- Trim your nails as dirt under the
nails may contain germs which may get transferred while eating or cooking or
- Maintain personal hygiene.
- Spray insecticides in stagnant water
- Avoid using personal items of infected
person such as bed sheet, towel, cloths etc.
- Exercise on regular basis makes our
body strong and healthy.
- Take adequate sleep as it refresh the
- Eat balanced diet. Balanced diet keeps
the body healthy and healthy body is the best prevention against disease.
- Vaccination is an effective method of
preventing communicable disease. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by
working with the body's natural defense system to help it safely develop
immunity to disease.