Infectious Diseases (General)

What are Infectious Diseases?

Infectious diseases stem from living organisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. These are not to be confused with beneficial microorganisms that thrive in and on the human body.

These are harmful organisms that cause diseases and illnesses that can be life-threatening, but they can also be avoided through proper hygiene, vaccines and medical care. The causes and treatments for infectious diseases can greatly vary.

That is why it is imperative for the physician to figure out the type of microorganism causing the illness. A physical exam, a detailed account of symptoms and subsequent testing will enable the healthcare provider to determine a course of action to combat the disease.

What are the Symptoms of Infectious Diseases?

Although each infectious disease produces specific symptoms, some are most common and can be linked to a natural reaction of the body to the pathogens.

Symptoms include

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aching muscles
  • Inflammation
  • Cough
  • Cramps
  • Low energy

How are Infectious Diseases Treated?

Just as each infectious disease produces certain symptoms that are specific to that disease, treatment also varies.

Treatment includes

  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections
  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Symptom relief
  • Proper nourishment
  • Antiviral medications for viral infections
  • Antifungal medications
  • Parasite fighting drugs
  • Letting the disease run its course
  • Hospitalization when necessary
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Last Reviewed:
September 21, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017