Diseases may be caused due to deficiency of nutrients and minerals and also protein/calorie malnutrition. Diseases may arise on account of malfunctioning of organs too - for example lack of insulin may lead to diabetes, malfunctioning of kidneys can lead to accumulation of toxic substances in the body.
Disease may be caused by infection - viruses, bacteria, protozoans, fungus, insect bite, ingesting infected food, water, pollution and allergies.
Bad habits can also give rise to ill-health and many types of diseases - lack of personal hygiene and exercise, addictions to fast food, drugs, tobacco makes a person unhealthy.
Droplet infection- sneezing or coughing may spread certain types of diseases
Let us take a look at the various types of diseases:
The various types of diseases can be categorized into endemic, epidemic, pandemic and sporadic based on the extent of occurrence.
Diphtheria - This is dangerous disease strikes young children, The germ corynebacterium diptheriae is spread by discharge from the throat of infected persons by sneezing, coughing etc. The incubation period is from 2-5 days. it affects the throat and grows very rapidly often taking the life of the patient. It is prevented by inoculating vaccine.
Whooping Cough - It primarily occurs in children. The germ is a bacillus Haemophilis pertussis. It is spread by discharges from the throat of the infected person. Incubation period is from 10-15 days. It can be prevented by previous vaccination.
Pneumonia - It is caused by Diplococcus pneumoniae by contact or by air. It is a serious disease of the lungs. Incubation period is 1-3 days. Antibiotics like penicillin are very effective in curing it.
Filaria - This disease is characterized by highly swollen legs. The parasite is a tiny worm Wuchereria bancrofti which attacks the blood and the lymphatic system. It is spread by the bite of the Culex mosquito. While sucking blood the mosquito receives some parasites from the patient. They flourish and multiply in the mosquito and when it bites, the parasites are introduced into a new host.
Taeniasis - it is caused by tapeworms. There are two common tapeworms. One is spread by eating infected pork and the other by beef. The tapeworm remains in the intestine where it may reach a length of metre or so. It absorbs most of the host's digested food and the patient becomes terribly weak. The mature worm breaks off a small segment from its tail end which passes out with the faeces. These segments contain eggs. When the eggs are accidentally ingested by a pig or cow they hatch and form larval stages which settle in the muscles of their new host. When man eats raw or imperfectly cooked pork or beef the worm matures in his intestine.
AIDS - The AIDS virus is highly ineffective. The disease is spreading at an alarming rate and it has no cure as yet and no vaccine so far. The disease is almost fatal. AIDS can be caused through sexual intercourse, contaminated blood transfusion, mother to child transmission during birth process and shared unsterilized injection needles.
Tips and comments
All infectious types of diseases have a certain incubation period. Incubation period is the period between the entry of germs and the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease.
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