Disorders caused by organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites, are known as Infectious diseases. Many organisms live in and on our bodies and they are normally harmless or even helpful. But under certain conditions, some organisms may cause disease.
Some infectious diseases can be passed from person to person and some are transmitted by insects or other animals. Others are obtained by consuming contaminated food or water or being exposed to organisms in the environment.
Signs and symptoms often include fever and fatigue but vary depending on the organism causing the infection. Many infectious diseases, such as measles and chickenpox, can be prevented by vaccines. Frequent and thorough hand-washing also helps protect you from most infectious diseases.
Each infectious disease has its own specific signs and symptoms. General signs and symptoms common to a number of infectious diseases include:
- Muscle aches
When to see a doctor
Seek medical attention if you:
- Have been bitten by an animal
- Are having trouble breathing
- Have been coughing for more than a week
- Have severe headache with fever
- Experience a rash or swelling
- Have unexplained or prolonged fever
- Have sudden vision problems