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Infectious Diseases

Also called: Communicable diseases
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Summary

Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. Infectious diseases are caused by germs. Germs are tiny living things that are found everywhere - in air, soil and water. You can get infected by touching, eating, drinking or breathing something that contains a germ. Germs can also spread through animal and insect bites, kissing and sexual contact. Vaccines, proper hand washing and medicines can help prevent infections.

There are four main kinds of germs:

  • Bacteria - one-celled germs that multiply quickly and may release chemicals which can make you sick
  • Viruses - capsules that contain genetic material, and use your own cells to multiply
  • Fungi - primitive plants, like mushrooms or mildew
  • Protozoa - one-celled animals that use other living things for food and a place to live

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Start Here

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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Prevention and Risk Factors

Living With

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Specifics

  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Statistics and Research

  • (National Center for Health Statistics)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

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  • From the National Institutes of Health

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