Infectious Diseases

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Infectious diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide. They are caused by microscopic organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and protozoa. The diseases can spread through contact between one person to another, as well as via animals and insect bites. Other infectious diseases are acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or through exposures in the environment. To learn more about infectious diseases and why they continue to affect so many people worldwide, read this section. There is also an overview on the different types of infection and the various ways these diseases are transmitted. To prevent contracting infectious diseases, the single most important thing to do is to stay up to date with recommended vaccinations. For more tips of how to reduce your risk of infecting yourself or others, see Prevention.

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Infectious diseases are caused by microscopic organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and protozoa. These organisms penetrate the body’s natural barriers and multiply to create symptoms that can range from mild to deadly. The diseases can spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. They can also be transmitted through animals and insect bites. Ot

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Types of Infection While some infections, such as measles, HIV and yellow fever, affect the entire body, others affect only one organ or system of the body. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America , the most frequent local infections occur in the upper respiratory tract, such as the common cold. Other common sites of infection include the digestive tract, th

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Follow these tips to decrease your risk of contracting or passing on an infectious disease: Get vaccinated: Modern vaccines are among the most effective strategies to prevent disease and can drastically reduce your chances of contracting many diseases. Make sure to keep your recommended vaccinations up to date. Wash your hands: This is especially important before

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