Disease is an disorder in the physical/ physiological/ psychological functions of the body, caused by micro-organisms or nutritional deficiency or genetic disorder or any other reason.
Congenital diseases or Hereditary diseases
These disease are present since birth. They are passed from parents to child. They are caused by:
- Gene mutation: Diseases like Haemophilla, Sickle cell anaemia, Colour blindness, etc.
- Chromosomal mutations: Diseases like Down's syndrome, Klinefelter's syndrome, Turner's syndrome, etc.
These diseases develop after birth. They are non-inheritable. They are of 2 types:
Communicable diseases (Infectious diseases): The diseases which are transferred from one infected person to other through contact, air, water, food, etc. are called communicable diseases. They are also called as infectious diseases. They are pathogenic diseases as these are caused by microorganism or pathogens (Greek, Pathos = disease, genes = producing). The microorganism may be bacteria, virus, fungi, protozoa, etc.
- Communicable diseases
- Non-communicable diseases
Types of communicable diseases:
Non communicable diseases (non-infectious diseases): The disease which are confined to the person who suffers and do not get transferred to others by air, water, food or any other means are called noncommunicable diseases. They are also called non infectious diseases. These are the diseases which are caused by any agent other than pathogen hence they are also called as non-pathogenic diseases. Depending upon the causative agent, these diseases are further classified into many types such as:
- Contagious diseases: A disease in which pathogen spreads just by simple contact between infected person and other person (through touch, clothes, sneezing, coughing, spitting, etc.) is called as contagious disease. eg. Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Chickenpox, Measles.
- Non contagious diseases: A disease in which pathogen does not spread by simple contact but require a transport agency is called as non-contagious disease. The transport agency may be a vector (biotic factor) like mosquito, housefly, bugs, etc. or a vehicle (abiotic factor) like contaminated food, water and blood. The disease like AIDS, Hepatitis, Malaria, Plague, etc. require some transport agency like food, water, air to spread hence called as noncontagious disease. Vectors like mosquito, rat, etc. spread diseases like Malaria, Filaria, Plague, etc. The infectious diseases are very fast spreading. Hence early protection against them become necessary. Some other example are typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis, ascariasis.
- Nutritional deficiency diseases: They are caused by deficiency of nutrients in diet.
- Degenerative diseases (ageing): They are caused by malfunctioning of important organs like lungs, heart, joints, etc. eg. Osteoarthritis, Arteriosclerosis, Cataract, etc.
- Cancer: It is a uncontrolled, unorganized and abnormal division of cells forming a mass or group of unidentified malignant cells. eg. breast cancer, lung cancer, etc.
- Endocrine diseases: They are caused by excess or shortage of hormones. eg. Gigantism, Dwarfism, Diabetes mellitus, etc.
- Environmental diseases: Industries release toxic chemical substances which causes diseases. eg. Bronchitis, Silicosis, etc.
- Allergic diseases: They are caused by hypersensitivity of body to certain external agents (allergens). eg. Asthma, Hay fever (caused by pollens), etc.
- Hereditary (genetic) diseases: They are present since birth. They are passed from parents to child. They are caused by gene mutations or chromosomal mutations. eg. Haemophillia, etc.
- Mental disorders: They affect the central nervous system (CNS). eg. Psychosis, Epilepsy and Neurosis.
- Diseases caused by addictive substances: Addictive substances like tobacco causes mouth cancer, peptic ulcer and lung diseases. Alcohol causes damage to liver, narcotic drug cause damage to nervous system, respiratory tract and other body organs.
- Immunological disorders: A person may develop autoimmunity against tissue, organs or secretions of its own body. In some persons, antibodies are produced against their own thyroglobulin. In such persons, the glandular tissue of thyroid is lost and is replaced by lymphoid tissue. This is described as Hashimoto's disease. The other example of this type of disease is Rheumatoid arthritis.
Direct transmission of diseases
Pathogens are directly transmitted without an intermediate agent.
1) Droplet infection: The direct exposure of healthy person to the droplets of saliva and nasopharyngeal secretions during coughing, sneezing, speaking and spitting of infected person. These are more common in crowded & congested living condition.
eg. Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Mumps, Common cold, Whooping cough, etc.
2) Direct contact: Contagious diseases are directly transmitted from source to susceptible individual by hand shake, mouth to mouth kissing, and prolonged close contact.
eg. Whooping cough, Leprosy, AIDS, STD, Measles, etc.
3) Contact with soil: Disease agents in soil like hook worm larvae, bacterial cysts of tetanus, etc. can infect a person coming in contact with them.
eg. Tetanus, etc.
4) Animal bite: It is caused due to inoculation of disease causing agent directly into the skin & mucosa.
eg. Rabies (hydrophobia) through dog bite.
5) Transplacental transmission: Direct transmission of disease agent through mother's placenta to the foetus, causing disease.
eg. Syphilis, Rubella, Hepatitis-B and AIDS
Indirect transmission of Diseases
Pathogens are transmitted from infected to healthy individuals through intermediate agents. This transmission includes five F's - Flies, Fingers, Fomites, Food and Fluid.
1) Vector borne diseases: Vectors or carrier are those animals which carry the pathogens from an infected person to another potential host.
eg. Disease ----> Vector Host
Cholera : House fly
Malaria : Female Anopheles mosquito
Dengue : Aedes mosquitoes
Kala azar : Sand fly
2) Vehicle borne diseases: Transmission of infectious agents through the agency of water, food, blood or semen causes diseases.
eg. Jaundice, Hepatitis B, AIDS, Polio
3) Air borne diseases: Diseases caused by particles of droplet nuclei and dust in air through coughing, sneezing and splitting of infected person.
eg. Bronchitis, Allergies
4) Fomite borne diseases: Contamination of articles of daily use can cause transfer of infectious agents between the healthy person and patient suffering from the respective diseases. These articles are referred to as fomites. eg. handkerchief, towels, clothes, utensils, door handles, taps, toys, etc.
In a hospital these also include bed linen, covers, dressing materials, syringes, needles and surgical instruments.
eg. Diphtheria, Typhoid, Leprosy, Hepatitis-A, etc.
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