Health is the state of physical, mental and social well-being. A disease is a factor which affects the health. A disease can be defined as a condition or state of discomfort. It can be either due to structural disorder or functional abnormality in the body. Diseases can be classified based on certain criteria. Some of the criteria for classification are the duration of occurrence, communicability, type of causative agent and source of transmission. In this section, we will talk about the communicable disease and the non-communicable disease.
Diseases and Causes
Based on duration, diseases can be of two types, acute disease, and chronic disease. An acute disease is such a type of disease which occurs for a short interval of time e.g. common cold, burn, etc. While the chronic disease is a disease which lasts for a long period of time e.g. Heart and kidney diseases. An acute disease if not treated properly can eventually become a chronic disease.
On the basis of communicability, diseases are categorized into communicable or infectious disease and non-communicable or non-infectious disease.
Infectious disease is caused by certain microorganisms called pathogens and leads to infections. These can be spread from one person to another hence are also called communicable disease. For example cholera, malaria, chicken pox.
Non-infectious are non-communicable diseases and caused by a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons for the non-infectious disease are genetics, nutritional deficiency, age and sex of the individual and so on. Examples include cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
There are various disease-causing agents ranging from bacteria and viruses to protozoa and worms. These are collectively known as pathogens. These agents enter the body directly or through some vector/agents like mosquitoes. They cause infectious chronic disease. Then, there are prions, these are basically proteins that are folded the wrong way and tend to cause some very serious illness. These are not infectious in the usual way, but can be spread by consumption of meat tainted by these proteins. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is such a disease caused by prions and is almost always fatal.
Some diseases are transmitted through some sources like contaminated food, water, and air. The chronic disease like AIDS is transmitted through blood transfusions, sexual intercourse, by sharing injection needles, even from mother to child by breastfeeding. Based on transmitting agents, a disease can either be air-borne or water-borne or food-borne.
Whether the disease is acute or chronic, contagious or non-contagious, viral or bacterial in nature. They always induce an uncomfortable feeling in the body. And our daily routine gets disturbed as well. Hence, it is said that- “Prevention is better than cure”.
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