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  Infectious Diseases
These are diseases that cause infections in the human body, and which, in some cases, are transmitted by contact.

   Infections may be due to bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. Infections are usually spread through:
  • Direct Contact (contact with an infected person)
  • Indirect Contact (through faeces, air, water)
  • Through a host (insects, worms, mosquitoes)
  • Many of these can be prevented by immunisation. Others, such as AIDS, have no cure or means of medical prevention.
    The human body has natural defences against infection. Unfortunately, while the body responds quickly to infection, the body’s defences can be overwhelmed if the infectious agent is present in large numbers. When this occurs, the person develops the disease caused by the invading organism.

    It is at this stage that the body requires help in the form of antibiotics or similar medicines. These drugs should never be taken without consulting a doctor. 

Some examples of infectious diseases which can be helped by medication (antibiotics) are:

     Bacterial Infections Throat infections, whooping cough, diphtheria, rheumatic fever, tuberculosis strains, cholera and some forms of meningitis.
     Viral Infections Measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, influenza, chicken pox, HIV, common cold, bronchitis. 

Hygiene It is important that first aid procedures be conducted with due regard for the danger of spreading the infection further. Basic personal hygiene and the use of rubber gloves protects both the
first aid provider and the casualty from contamination.

    Wash your hands with soap and water, or rinse with an antiseptic (like Dettol or Savlon) ensure that hands are washed thoroughly between fingers and under nails take care not to touch any unclean object once your hands are washed if possible, use a protective cloth over clothing cover any adjacent areas likely to produce infection burn all used dressings, gauze or cloth wash hands thoroughly after assisting the patient.
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