We see people getting inflicted with different diseases around us every day. What causes these diseases? How probable is it for us to get infected with a disease?
The cause of a disease is largely influenced by public health and community health factors. Some environmental factors pivotal in influencing the spread of communicable diseases are:
- Hygiene/Public health
- The climate of a region
Lack of clean water, improper treatment of excreta disposal facilities, unsafe food, and poorly maintained lifestyle are major causes of sufferings in a community. Climate change too has an adverse effect on human health. Floods as a result of heavy rains in a region can lead to sewage overflow thus causing water contamination.
Infectious and Non-infectious Causes
Diseases have immediate and contributory causes. Immediate causes belong to two different groups. In one type of cause, microbes are responsible for bringing about a disorder in a healthy entity. They are called infectious diseases wherein microbes are immediate causes. This is because microbes have the potential to communicate and spread diseases in a community.
Diseases that do not require the presence of an infectious agent to cause disease are called non-infectious causes. The sources for these diseases vary and are mostly not external factors like microorganisms as in the case of infectious causes. Instead, they arise as a result of internal imbalances in our bodies.
Some diseases like Down’s Syndrome and Thalassemia are caused due to genetic abnormalities, and few types of cancers are caused due to gene mutations. High blood pressure is contributed to an inactive lifestyle leading to excessive weight. Autoimmune diseases too are caused due to internal factors, for example, Lupus, Psoriasis – which is a skin disorder causing itchy or sore white and red patches. All these diseases are caused due to compromises in our immune system and hence are categorized as non-infectious causes of disease.
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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What is the difference between infectious disease and communicable disease?
If an infectious can not be transferred from one person to other by contacts like cholera or diarrhoea, then the disease is termed non-communicable.
Thus, all infectious diseases are not communicable but all communicable diseases are infectious.