Airborne Diseases

Topics: Immune system, Infection, Infectious disease Pages: 2 (658 words) Published: July 23, 2013
Airborne diseases refers to any diseases which are caused by pathogens and transmitted through the air. These viruses and bacteria can be spread through coughing, sneezing, laughing or through close personal contact. These pathogens ride on either dust particles or small respiratory droplets and can stay suspended in air and or are capable of traveling distances on air currents.[1] Often, airborne pathogens or allergens cause inflammation in the nose, throat, sinuses and the lungs. This is caused by the inhalation of these pathogens that affect a person's respiratory system or even the rest of the body. Sinus congestion, coughing and sore throats are examples of inflammation of the upper respiratory air way due to these airborne agents. Air pollution plays a significant role in airborne diseases which is linked toasthma. Pollutants are said to influence lung function by increasing air way inflammation. [2] Alongside pollutants, tobacco smoke increases the risk of attracting these diseases. [3] Many common infections can spread by airborne transmission at least in some cases, including: Anthrax (inhalational), Chickenpox, Influenza,Measles, Smallpox and Tuberculosis. Airborne diseases are most commonly seen in unsanitary household conditions and overcrowded areas. Also, these diseases thrive in areas of poverty and poor hygienic conditions. Tuberculosis (TB) happens to be one of the most leading causes of death in adults from infectious diseases. Around 95 percent of people suffering from this disease are from developing areas in the world. Measles and diphtheria are two diseases found in poverty conditions, but over the years these diseases have been eliminated due to vaccines in developed countries. [4] Airborne diseases can also affect non-humans. For example, Newcastle disease is an avian disease that effects many types of domestic poultry worldwide which is transmitted via airborne contamination.[5] Prevention

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