What are Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases?

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What are Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases?

Various diseases, ranging from cold to chronic conditions, can impact our bodies daily. Some of these are contagious diseases that can quickly transfer from one person to another. On the other hand, some are non-communicable and caused by various conditions.

The state of one’s health is an essential component of a human’s life. As a result, understanding the numerous types of diseases that may strike people is vitally necessary.

Both communicable and non-communicable diseases are two main categories that can be used to classify diseases.

The cause of communicable diseases is infection by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, whereas the cause of non-communicable diseases is lifestyle, genetics, and environmental factors.

Let’s get into further detail about these two categories of diseases!

Communicable Diseases

Diseases that can be passed from one person to another in several ways are called contagious, infectious, or transmissible diseases.

In addition to insect bites, direct contact with blood and other bodily fluids, breathing in airborne viruses, and sneezing or coughing can all spread infectious diseases.

Causes of Communicable Diseases

Germs enter the body via the following:

  • Skin through cuts and grazes
  • Mouth
  • Eyes
  • Genitals

How Do Communicable Diseases Spread?

Communicable diseases have the ability to spread:

  • From one individual to another
  • Immediately via intimate contact
  • Accidentally, from an infected person to a contaminated object such as door handles, bench surfaces, or food, and then from the contaminated object to a second person who touches it.

From a disease-carrying environmental source, such as an infected animal or the soil, to a susceptible human host.

Transmission of infectious diseases from one individual to another

Infectious diseases are most commonly spread through contact with other people. Transmission of germs from one person to another can occur through:

  • Particles in the air that are droplets or aerosols
  • Faecal-oral transmission
  • Bodily fluids, such as blood
  • Contact with a mucous membrane or skin
  • Sexual interaction.

Airborne transmission as droplets or aerosol particulates in the air

Microdroplets are released into the air whenever an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. These droplets have the potential to contain germs. This can cause the infection to spread to other people. Before beginning their descent, the drops travel a short distance. People in the surrounding area run the risk of inhaling the droplets, and the droplets also have the ability to fall and contaminate an item or surface if they land there.

The virus can also be passed from one person to another by touching the mouth or nose with hands that have the virus on them and then touching the mouth or nose of another person.  Here are a few examples of diseases that can be spread through droplets:

  • Common cold
  • Influenza
  • Covid-19

An infected person releases microscopic particles containing germs into the air whenever they talk, breathe, cough, or sneeze. These particles can be spread from person to person. This can cause the spread of other ailments. Small particles in the air are what are known as aerosols. Because of the small size of these aerosol particles, they are able to float in the air for an extended period of time and can be inhaled by other people. Examples of the dispersal of aerosol:

  • Measles
  • TB
  • Chickenpox

By faecal-oral transmission

Some diseases can be spread from one person to another by consuming even a tiny amount of faeces produced by an infected individual.

Getting sick from eating or drinking something contaminated with faeces is as simple as putting one’s hands there. Here are a few examples of communicable diseases that can be carried this way:

  • Campylobacter
  • Hepatitis A
  • Giardia

Transmission through Blood and Other Body Fluids

  • Some infectious diseases can be spread from person to person by exchanging bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine, faeces, or sperm. This can occur through any intimate touch, including kissing, sexual activity, or an injury caused by the stick of a needle. Other ways infections can be shared include sharing needles. The following are examples of diseases that body fluids can transmit:
  • hepatitis B virus­­­
  • hepatitis C virus
  • HIV

Transmission via mucous membrane or skin contact

Some diseases can be spread from person to person through direct contact, such as when a healthy person’s skin or mucous membrane touches that of an infected person.

Infections can be passed on more indirectly when the skin comes into contact with a contaminated object. Lice, conjunctivitis, and ringworm are conditions that can be transmitted in this manner.

Transmission through Sexual Contact

Sexual contact is the mode of transmission most often responsible for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This refers to having intercourse either vaginally, anally, or orally.

Infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis are all examples of those that can be transmitted sexually.

Spread Through Environment

Several infectious diseases are not spread directly from person to person but by contact with environmental elements.

Transmission through Polluted Environment

Some infectious diseases are transmitted not through interpersonal contact but  by interacting with environmental factors like animals, insects, or dirt.

Hydatids (animals), Malaria (insects), Dengue Fever (insects), and Tetanus (soil) are all examples of diseases that can be transmitted in this way.

How to Prevent the Spread of Communicable Diseases?

Everyone may do their part to stop the spread of disease by following a few simple rules and generally maintaining good health.

Get immunized against infectious diseases

Immunization is a method that can be used to ward off infectious diseases. Immunizations are given to infants, children, and even adults to protect them against dangerous conditions that can be avoided.

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

One of the most important and effective ways to keep diseases and infections from spreading is to wash your hands well.

Please ensure that you completely clean your hands by using water and regular soap.

Wash them for at least twenty seconds and ensure they are dry.

Using it is the best option if you have access to warm water.

If you cannot access soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing alcohol.

Rest at Home If you Feel Unwell

Sick people must remain inside their homes to prevent the illness from being passed on to other people.

Keep at least one meter of distance between yourself and other household members to reduce the likelihood that they will also become unwell.

Cover your mouth and nose during coughs and sneezes

When an infected individual coughs or sneezes, they may spread their disease to those around them. Influenza, measles, and chicken pox are only a few examples.

If you feel sick, it’s best to stay away from others. Please remember to cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent transmitting germs to others.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze. The tissue should subsequently be properly disposed of. It will aid in the transmission of germs.

If you do not have a tissue, you can cover your mouth and nose with your elbow to prevent germs from spreading.

After coughing or sneezing into your elbow, wash your hands thoroughly.

Maintain a sanitary environment at home

Some infectious diseases are spread when a susceptible individual touches a contaminated surface or object.

Preventing the spread of germs requires routine disinfection of touchpoints in the home. Common surfaces include tables, seats, door knobs, light switches, toys, and faucets.

You can use hot and soapy water or a regular household cleaner when cleaning surfaces. In addition, while cleaning surfaces, always try to do so with paper towels or other disposable cloths. Because germs and viruses can continue to survive on wet clothes even after they have been used. Reusable cloths should be cleansed with a disinfectant after each use and then dried.

Make sure your home is properly ventilated

Inadequate ventilation in rooms can contribute to the propagation of contagious illnesses. Keep the windows open regularly to encourage the circulation of fresh air.

If you have central air conditioning or a heat pump, you must ensure the system is well-maintained, and the filters are regularly cleaned.

Cook food in a safe way

It is essential that you cook, prepare, and store food in a sanitary manner.

Practice safe sex

Always using a condom is the best approach to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV and hepatitis.

Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), often known as chronic diseases, have a wide range of causes, including but not limited to genetics, physiology, the environment, and lifestyle choices.

Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (which include heart attacks and strokes), cancer, and chronic lung illness (COPD and asthma) are the four forms of non-communicable diseases that occur the most frequently.

NCDs impact people of all ages, living in all parts of the world and every country. However, it’s common knowledge that these diseases affect people in their later years.

It is estimated that 86% of these premature deaths occur in poor and middle-income nations. The risk factors that lead to NCDs include unhealthy lifestyles like poor eating habits, inactivity, cigarette use, and excessive alcohol consumption, and they can affect anyone of any age.

The aging of the population, fast urbanization without proper planning, and globalization of unhealthy lifestyles are all factors that contribute to the spread of these diseases. A person can develop health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and obesity if they do not get enough exercise and eat poorly. These are referred to as metabolic risk factors and can result in cardiovascular disease, the type of NCD that causes the most premature deaths overall.

Behavioural Risk Factors

A higher risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is associated with engaging in risky behaviours that may be changed, such as smoking, not getting enough exercise, eating poorly, and drinking to excess.

According to the estimates provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use is responsible for more than 8 million fatalities per year.

It is believed that an excessive consumption of salt or sodium is responsible for millions of deaths per year.

More than half of the three million deaths that can be attributed to alcohol consumption each year are the result of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer.

Every year, a lack of physical activity is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people all over the world.

Factors Related to Metabolic Health

The following are the four primary metabolic changes that are generated by metabolic risk factors, each of which increases the risk of NCDs:

  • Hypertension;
  • Overweight/obesity;
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels); and
  • Hyperlipidemia (high blood fat levels).

Diseases Caused by Genes

A genetic disorder is also an NCD caused by an abnormality in the gene or chromosome. Diseases including haemophilia, thalassemia, and muscular dystrophy can be passed down via families. Only consistent attention and emotional support can help with these conditions. Here are a few more examples of genetic diseases:

  • Down syndrome
  • Inherited and mutated cystic fibrosis.
  • Inherited chorea from Huntington’s disease

Thalassemia

It is a genetic condition that affects the blood and bone marrow. People who have thalassemia have lower levels of haemoglobin synthesis in their bodies.

It causes significant RBC oxidation and, as a result, anaemia. Folic acid, iron chelation, and blood transfusions are effective treatments.

Hemophilia

A dangerous illness known as haemophilia affects more males than women. It is a metabolic condition brought on by an X-linked recessive gene. Uncontrolled bleeding, even from little cuts, defines it. The absence of clot-forming agents is the reason for this. Haemophilia has no long-term treatment options.

A Guide to Preventing and Curing Non-Communicable Diseases

NCDs change the social and economic balance of the world. So, to stop it, we should pay attention to the things that put people in danger.

  • A healthy diet can help reduce hypertension by limiting the consumption of canned food and salty foods overall. Consuming foods with a high fiber content is another helpful way to manage hypertension. In addition, the maintenance of a healthy body requires the maintenance of a diet that is both nutritious and balanced.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. A sedentary lifestyle is estimated to be responsible for millions of deaths worldwide. A number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are linked to obesity, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke, and even some malignancies.
  • Physical health is best when you sleep for six to eight hours straight every night. Stress, blood pressure, and the body’s natural rhythms all rise in response to a lack of quality sleep.
  • Activities such as meditation, exercise, and relaxation can help reduce feelings of worry and sadness. In the longer run, this will positively influence reducing the incidence of hypertension, heart attacks, and diabetes.
  • If you abstain from alcohol, you will reduce your risk of developing depression, chronic liver disorders, and even injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to the development of cancer and other chronic lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and strokes.
  • It is a terrific method for detecting genetic diseases in fetuses. As the majority of genetic disorders are incurable, genetic counselling and gene therapy are the only methods for preventing them.
  • Taking care of these diseases is the first step towards a cure. As a component of the treatment, the disorders are investigated, diagnosed, and managed accordingly. By improving primary health care, the number of deaths caused by NCDs will decrease significantly.

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