Infectious Diseases

An invasion of specific pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites is the factor that provokes infectious diseases. There are some infectious diseases that spread through insects or animals. The common symptoms of infectious diseases are fever and fatigue. This document will discuss the types, causes, symptoms, and treatment of infectious diseases.


Usually, the symptoms you will experience depend on the infection you are suffering from. Check below some general symptoms of infectious diseases:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sneezing or coughing

In addition, it is advised to get medical help if you experience one or more of the following conditions. For example:

  • Symptoms worsen over time
  • Natural remedies are not effective for you and the condition does not improve
  • Prolonged cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling
  • Rash
  • Severe headaches with fever
  • Insect or animal bite
  • Sudden vision problems (such as blurred vision)

Causes of Infectious Diseases

An infectious disease occurs commonly due to the following factors. Check some examples below:

  • Parasites – They cause illness and survive inside the host body. For example, Malaria is provoked by a tiny insect (mosquito bite).
  • Fungi – Ringworm and athlete’s foot may occur due to fungi. However, certain fungi may cause infections of the lungs or nervous system.
  • Viruses – A wide range of diseases may occur due to viruses. For example Common Cold, HIV infection, and others. Additionally, viruses attack and multiply within healthy cells.
  • Bacteria – It is a small unicellular organism that may provoke several health conditions including strep throat, urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, and others.

Direct Contact

Another method that an infectious disease may spread is person to person. It usually occurs when an individual coughs, touches, kisses, sneezes, and others. Moreover, the exchange of body fluids can also transmit germs. Check below some examples of body fluids:

  • Saliva
  • Blood
  • Nasal secretion
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions

Several infections may spread from animal to a person and it happens when you get bitten or scratched by an animal. In addition, waste produced by animals may give you toxoplasmosis infection. Cautiously scoop out their litter box if you have a pet at home.

Some germs may pass to the child from the mother through the placenta or breast milk. Thus, it can make your baby sick.

Indirect Contact

An indirect contact may occur when an infected person coughs, sneezes, and spreads the germs in the air. If you inhale this air, you also can become infected. In addition, an infected person may leave germs on the faucet handle or doorknob.

Food Contamination

Contaminated food or water may also spread the infectious germs. For example, if a source is infected, many people may get infected at once. Bacterium (E. coli) is present in foods including unpasteurized fruit juice and undercooked hamburger.

Insect Bites

Certain zoonotic agents can make a person ill. These agents are transmitted by insects that suck blood. For example, mosquitoes, fleas, or tick bites are also known carriers or vectors. Diseases such as Lyme disease, malaria, and West Nile virus are transmitted by insect bites only.

Additionally, environmental reservoirs including vegetation, water, or soil contain certain infectious organisms that can be transmitted to an individual. Examples include Hookworm and Legionnaires.

Risk Factors of Infectious Diseases

Anyone can experience an infectious disease. However, some people are more susceptible to these infections than others. For example:

  • Individuals with suppressed or weakened immune systems. For example, people who recently get cancer or organ transplantation treatments.
  • Healthcare workers
  • Those who have not received vaccinations for the most prevalent infectious diseases
  • If you are living in a high-risk zone where mosquitos carry pathogens including dengue virus, Zika virus, malaria, or others.

Can I Prevent Infectious Diseases?

  • It is advised to wash your hands frequently, especially before preparing food, eating, and after using the lavatory. It will help to decrease the risk of infections.
  • You and your family get a dose of advised vaccines without delay.
  • Do not share your goods including comb, razor, toothbrush, and others. You can also keep your dining utensils separate because it will help to decrease the risk of infection.
  • It is recommended to clean kitchen counters and surfaces before preparing any food. Store in the refrigerator leftovers to protect them from contamination. Keeping long-time leftovers at room temperature may be hazardous for your health.
  • If you plan to travel, it is advised to see a healthcare provider to know the vaccinations you can administer including yellow fever, cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and others.
  • Use condoms or dental dams during sexual activity. It will help decrease the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and others.

How to Diagnose Infectious Diseases?

Healthcare providers may advise laboratory tests, imaging tests, or biopsies to diagnose infectious diseases. Check below these diagnosis methods in detail:

Laboratory Tests

  • Lumbar Puncture – A physician inserts a needle between the bones of your lower spine and gets a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. This test cannot be performed if you have a high bleeding tendency.
  • Stool Test – Collect a sample of your stool to be tested for parasites and other infectious organisms.
  • Urine Tests – The urine sample is tested for the existence of infectious agents.
  • Throat Swab Culture – This test detects bacterial infection of the throat. The most common throat conditions such as strep throat, pneumonia, tonsillitis, meningitis, whooping cough, and others.
  • Blood Tests – A healthcare professional inserts a needle in the vein of an arm to get a sample of blood. It is needed to test the presence of infectious germs.

Imaging Scans

X-ray, CT (computerized tomography) scan, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are some methods to diagnose the infection.


In this procedure, a doctor gets a sample of tissue from an internal organ, which is examined in the laboratory.


Based on the cause of your infection, physicians will prescribe the best treatment for you. For example:

  • Antibiotic medicines are used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. Do not use them without a doctor’s prescription because it may lead to unpleasant results.
  • Antiviral drugs are used to treat viral infections. The most virus-causing diseases are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, Influenza, and HIV infection.
  • Antifungal medications help an individual to treat infections of the skin, nails, hair, throat, and others. Consult with a doctor for a suitable antifungal medicine for your disease. This category of medicines is used to treat severe dandruff, vaginal thrush, fungal nail infection, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and others. However, some fungal infections may require treatment in a hospital. For example fungal meningitis (a condition that may affect the brain) and Aspergillosis (can negatively affect lungs).
  • Anti-parasitic medicines are available to treat infections including malaria. This health condition usually is caused by tiny parasites.

Natural Remedies for Infectious Diseases

The following natural remedies treat mild infections. It is advised to exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and include the following foods in your diet because it will help to improve a mild infectious disease. Examples include:

  • Oregano is an excellent option of antioxidants that strengthens the immune system as believe some people. However, scientists have not found any evidence to support this opinion.
  • Goldenseal is commonly consumed in tea or capsules to help in the treatment of respiratory or digestive problems. It also can treat certain urinary tract problems and diarrhea. Talk with a physician before using Goldenseal.
  • Clove may help you to get rid of dental pain. As per some recent studies, it also is effective against some bacterial infections.
  • Echinacea has been used by Native Americans for years to heal infections and wounds. However, it still needs more research to identify why it is so effective. This plant can also kill some bacteria including Streptococcus Pyogenes. Bacteria can provoke a wide variety of infections such as toxic shock syndrome, strep throat, necrotizing fasciitis, and others.
  • Honey has been used by people since the time of Aristotle. It helps to heal wounds quickly. It has antibacterial properties because contains hydrogen peroxide. This product helps to treat chronic wounds, ulcers, burns, skin grafts, burn sores, and others.
  • Garlic has preventive and remedial properties. It can be beneficial in the treatment of different forms of bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Garlic also is beneficial in the treatment of tuberculosis.
  • Ginger is considered by scientists a natural antibiotic. It helps fight against bacterial infections. It is also effective for nausea, seasickness, hypoglycemia, and others.

In any case, talk with a healthcare provider before using any of these foods for an infectious disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common infectious diseases?

Common cold, COVID-19, the flu (influenza), gastroenteritis, hepatitis, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are common infectious diseases. If you experience any of them, consult a doctor at once.

How to diagnose an infectious disease?

Physicians usually recommend laboratory tests, biopsies, or imaging scans to diagnose an infection.

What medicines are available to treat infectious diseases?

Healthcare providers usually prescribe Penicillins (such as flucloxacillin and amoxicillin), Cephalosporins (for example cefaclor, cefadroxil, cephalexin, and others), Tetracyclines (including doxycycline, lymecycline, and tetracycline), Aminoglycosides (such as gentamicin and tobramycin). It is not allowed to use these medicines without a doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, you may experience unpleasant results such as severe adverse reactions.

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