Infectious Diseases

Diseases are disorders that affect either a part of, or the entire body by impeding bodily functions. Diseases can be caused due to infectious or non-infectious causes.

Non-infectious causes are generally due to internal factors, genetic irregularities, while infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms which are the infection causing agents.

Infectious diseases are a disorder that occurs due to the pathogenic microorganisms namely virus, bacteria, fungi, and parasite. These diseases can either be communicable or non-communicable disease or it can be transmitted by animals or even by bites of animals or insects. Usually, infectious agents are present all around us, and they come in different shapes and sizes. However, they can be categorized based on some common characteristics. Some are single-celled animals such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. Other multicellular organisms such as worms are known to cause diseases too.

The table below gives an idea about various diseases caused by different pathogens.

Name of Pathogen Disease Caused
Viruses Common cold, influenza, AIDS, dengue fever
Bacteria Typhoid, Cholera, Fever
Leishmania (Protozoa) kala-azar
Staphylococci (Bacteria) Acne
Trypanosoma (Protozoa) Sleeping sickness
Worms Elephantiasis

As mentioned earlier infectious diseases results from infection, agents responsible for causing this infection include viroids, nematodes, prion, arthropods namely mites and fleas and macroparasites such as helminths and tapeworms. It occurs when there is an invasion of an organism’s into the body cells and tissue with infection-causing agent involving the reaction of the host tissues to these organisms and due to the toxins that they produce.

List of Infectious Diseases

Here is the list of  a few infectious diseases

  1. Polio
  2. Rabies
  3. Mumps
  4. Dengue
  5. Plague
  6. Malaria
  7. Anthrax
  8. Cholera
  9. Measles
  10. HIV/AIDS
  11. Smallpox
  12. Influenza
  13. Meningitis
  14. Diphtheria
  15. Melioidosis
  16. Hepatitis A
  17. Hepatitis B
  18. Hepatitis C
  19. Tuberculosis
  20. Yellow Fever
  21. Typhoid Fever
  22. Whooping cough
  23. Granuloma inguinale
  24. Enterovirus Infection
  25. SARS-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Preventing Infectious Diseases

Hand hygiene

Here are some of the practical ways which can be practised for preventing the infection:

  1. Use of antibiotics.
  2. Maintaining proper hand hygiene.
  3. Vaccination – one of the most effective ways.
  4. Avoid travelling or going to work when you fall ill.
  5. Maintain hygiene both in the bathroom and in the toilet area.
  6. Avoid sharing personal belongings such as a razor, drinking glass, toothbrush, comb, etc.
  7. Keeping your kitchen clean by washing all the used utensils, cooking area before and after preparing each food.
  8. While visiting patients in hospitals, it is recommended to wear a mask, gown and if possible make use of sanitizing gels to prevent infection.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about the diseases and their causes along with their symptoms, available treatments and their precautions.


Practise This Question

Assertion (A): Artificial selection is based on the desire of human beings.
Reason (R): The improvement of domesticated plants and animals is possible through artificial selection.