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 wonder why?
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
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).
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.
or non-transmissible diseases are called non
communicable diseases. These include deficiency diseases and diseases
caused by unhealthy habits.
Causes of Communicable diseases
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
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
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.
Vectors or Disease Carriers
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.
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 mosquitoes
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 ideal conditions.
are vectors for diseases. Some of the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes
include: malaria, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever etc.
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.
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 intestine.
Control of Malaria
should not be allowed to collect near the house. Stagnant water serves as a
breeding ground for mosquitoes.
mosquito net in areas with stagnant water sources such as lakes or non-running
streams as these places are especially prone to mosquitoes.
long pants and sleeves we can reduce the chance of getting infected.
insecticides like DDT (dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane) in and around the
malaria drugs like chloroquinine.
person should be kept in isolation.
Diseases spread by 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.
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 mouthparts. Houseflies usually eat liquids, but they can
liquefy many solid foods with their saliva.
Some of the
diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include: hepatitis, cholera, typhoid,
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
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 doctor.
Diseases caused by micro organisms
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 microbes.
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.
caused by bacteria: cholera, tuberculosis (TB), septicaemia
("blood poisoning"), anthrax etc.
caused by protozoa/protoctista: Malaria, sleeping sickness, dysentery
Diseases caused by fungi: Athlete's foot, ringworm etc.
Diseases and Prevention
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.
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 places.
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.
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?
eating food kept open for long time as germs start growing on it and make food
unfit for consumption.
2. 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.
3. Trim your
nails as dirt under the nails may contain germs which may get transferred while
eating or cooking or serving food. Maintain personal hygiene.
insecticides in stagnant water source.
5. Avoid using
personal items of infected person such as bed sheet, towel, cloths etc.
6. Exercise on
regular basis makes our body strong and healthy.
adequate sleep as it refresh the body.
balanced diet. Balanced diet keeps the body healthy and healthy body is the
best prevention against disease.
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.