The cause of infection is by germs that surround us. These are bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. These infectious germs are spread from person to person by transmission. There are three types of transmission; droplet, airbourne and contact. Droplet transmission is when an infectious individual coughs or sneezes spreading their germs into the air that can land on surfaces or people surrounding them. People surrounding them are also more likely to breathe their germs to cause the infection on the other person. Airborne Transmission can be more prone to the spread of infection as this happens when the infectious person is breathing, talking, coughing and sneezing.
Contact Transmission is when an individual that is not infected touches a surface that may be contaminated with infectious germs and then touches their mouth, eyes or nose. Infection can also happen if they have touched a contaminated surface and they have an open wound on their hand. However even though the germs have the same purpose they do have differences. For example both viruses and parasites both need a living host to get the things they need from inside or on the body to multiply their cells or in the parasites case to grow and feed.
Fungi also grows off ‘host-like’ living, however they feed off food sources. For example if there was to be greese on a table fungi would feed off it as greese is a food source. Compared to all these other germs that prefer ‘host-like’ living bacteria does need a food source but relys more on its surroundings as it needs a warm temperature and time to be able to multiply and moist air. Some examples of common illnesses due to the germ bacteria are; TB, Pneumonia, Menengitis and Salmonella.
Viruses cause things such as; the ‘Common Cold’, Chicken Pox and HIV. Fungi is normally infections that can be seen on the skin such as; Athletes Foot, Ringworm and Oral Thrush. Parasites are commonly known for their irritation to the skin, such as infections like Headlice/Pubic Lice and Scabies. However not all are just irritation to the skin there are infections such as Malaria and Tapeworms. The definition of infection is a germ that is living on the outside or inside of you which can lead to sickness.
This also results in signs and symptoms such as; fever, pus on a wound and a high white blood cell count. Germs can also be in or on the body but doesnt make you sick. This is called colonization. People who are colonized will have no signs or symptoms to their illness, sometimes MRSA can cause infections and colonization. The conditions needed for the growth of these micro-organisms (germs) need moist air, warmth, time to multiply and nutrients from a food source. Bacteria is the main germ that needs these conditions from its surroundings.
There are many ways that these infectious germs can enter the body, such as down the respiratory tract meaning through the nose or mouth that allows the germs to travel down the windpipe and into the lung where they might get access into the bloodstream. For example if someone was to sneeze in another persons surroundings they will be able to breathe the germs in letting it travel to the lungs etc. These mainly form coughs and colds. Germs are also able to travel through breaks in the skin meaning an open wound.
For example if an infectious individual sneezes into their hand and then holds hands with someone that has an open wound on their hands etc they will be then infected by the other person. The digestive tract is the most common way of food poisoning enters the body, this can happen with off food or contaminated water. Food poisoning is one of the most prone infections to elder people as they lose their sense of smell and dont realise that food or drinks taste off. Sexually transmitted diseases are entered through the urinary tract through having sexual contact.
Common sources of all infections and diseases are; people, clinical waste, dust, contaminated food, water, laundry and equipment. These are spread throughout our surroundings by our hands, inappropiate use of equipment and the enviroment that we live in. We have the name of infections however there are two different types called systemic and localised infections. Systemic, the more serious type of infection, means the infection has fought its way through the skin, muscle etc and into the bloodstream. Consequently the infection rapidly flows throughout the body and infects the different organs and parts of the body. An example of a systemic infection is septicaemia.
A localised infection means that the infection is restricted to one small area, an example of a localised infection would be a open cut wound contaminated by germs or an ulser. However these can turn into systemic infection if there is spreading of the infection. Poor practices that can lead to these different types of infection are; poor hand hygiene, inappropiate use of PPE, inadequate cleaning or decontaminationof the eviroment and equipment and last of all poor waste disposal and storage procedures. Infective agents that are spread are put into two catergories of transmission, indirect and direct.
Direct Transmission is a person touching or kissing an infectious individual that means that the germs are being transmitted directly from the infectious individual. Indirect Transmission is through the air, also known as airborne transmission. It can also be through contaminated surfaces and objects. The cycle of the spread of infections start off with a source which the germs will feed on, then it would be able to infect an individual which may then spread through lack of good practice going on and on until someone that carries the infection breaks the chain by the change of their practices.