Communicable Diseases: Types, Effects And Symptoms

Communicable diseases can be of various types, here is a list of diseases and its symptoms that cause infection.

Written by: Puru Bansal Updated at: 2022-03-18 15:30

Different types of diseases affect you in different sorts of ways. Some infections and diseases tend to spread to other people, whereas other does not. Those infections that spread to other people by coming in mere contact with the person are said to be communicable diseases. Pathogens that include virus, bacteria and fungi cause these types of infections in people. Communicable diseases can even pass on from animals to humans or vice versa. Many people know about these types of disease but do not know what exactly this is. Today we will discuss about effects of communicable diseases, types and symptoms of this disease. 

What are Communicable diseases?

Any disease that passed between different people or animals can be said to be communicable disease. We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to know about communicable diseases and its effect on people. He told that communicable diseases get infected because of some pathogen, which gets transferred to other people as well. Usually communicable diseases are not life-threatening but some conditions can cause severe health problems that may result to complications.

How communicable diseases cause infection?

Anyone can develop communicable disease by coming in contact with infected person directly or indirectly. Here are some ways that may cause infection in people. 

  • Coming in direct contact with people that are carrying pathogens
  • Being in contact with contaminated fluid that may cause infections such as blood, mucus, saliva or other fluids
  • Inhaling contaminated droplets of cough or sneeze by an infected person
  • Receiving a bite from an animal or insect that carries pathogens on them’
  • Eating or consuming contaminated food or water that has pathogens

Once the pathogen enters the host body, then it starts replicating itself which increases the infection in people. As the infection spreads, immune system is affected and symptoms start evolving. Your body has natural responses that get damaged because of pathogens and healthy cells start getting destroyed. Symptoms of communicable diseases are mild, and the symptoms pass on to be serious as the infection increases.

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Types and Symptoms of Communicable diseases

There are four main types of pathogens that cause infection. It includes viruses, bacteria, fungi and protists. 

1. Viral infections

As the name suggests, it is caused by virus which contains genetic material in them. Unlike any other materials, pathogens lack complex structures of cell. These pathogens causing infections need a host body to replicate themselves and make more such copies. This increases in living beings because they provide virus with required temperature and environment to spread and increase infection.

Some common types of viral infections are-

Rhinovirus that causes common cold in people, you may have stuffy nose, sore throat and headache because of this condition.

Influenza virus, this is virus that attacks respiratory system and includes symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, headaches, muscle or body ache, fatigue, running nose. 

HIV is a severe disease that attacks immune system of the person. This can make a person vulnerable to other infections and diseases. Here are some symptoms that you may experience in HIV-

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Mouth sores
  • Rashes
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats

2. Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are single celled microscopic organisms that exist almost everywhere. Even though most of the bacteria are harmless, some of them can cause infections by coming in contact with the virus. These viral diseases can cause severe damage to the body. There are some types of bacterial infections that are communicable in nature and cause health issues, here are some of them.

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Salmonella and Escherichia coli that are two types of bacteria causing digestive disorders, these bacterial infections are spread through contaminated foods. It results to abdominal cramps, headache, diarrhoea and fever.

Tuberculosis is also a severe bacterial infection that attacks lungs; it causes loss of appetite, constant cough, night sweats, fever and unintentional weight loss at times. You must check with a doctor in order to neutralise this disease.

3. Fungal Infection

Communicable diseases that cause fungal infections can differ in severity. However, the common factor is that most of the fungi are contagious and can occur at your mucus or skin membranes. Some common fungal infections that come under communicable diseases are ringworm infection that affects the skin in different parts of the body and second one is Athlete’s foot that occurs on the skin of your feet.

4. Protists

These are microscopic organisms that people know very less about. It consists of a single cell and they can live inside another organism for very long. Some of protists are also parasites that can cause various types of infections. Most common type of protists that are communicable and can be transferred to other people is malaria. Malaria can be caused because of plasmodium that leads the person to symptoms like headache, diarrhoea, muscle pain, vomiting and fever.

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