Causes and Spread of Infection

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CU254 – Causes and Spread of Infection

There are four different causes of infection; bacterial which are single celled organisms, that are composed of a prokaryotic cell. Fungi is a multi cellular organism that gain energy through the decomposition of decaying organisms. Virus, a small body made of protein have some qualities of a living organism but are not considered living things. Finally there are Parasites, which are organisms that gain benefit at the expense of another living organism. One organism benefits while the other is negatively affected. Although this sounds complicated and very technical, at some point during our lives we will have come into contact with all of these different types of infection. Salmonella, tuberculosis, E coli, campylobacter, impetigo, boils and urinary tract infections are all caused by different types of bacteria. Athlete’s foot, nail infections, thrush, ring worm and Intertrigo, are all caused by fungi. Colds, influenza, gastroenteritis, chicken pox, herpes, even HIV is a form of viral infection. Malaria, scabies, head louse, crab louse, bed bugs, tape worm, toxoplasmosis and hookworm are parasite infections.

The term Infection basically means a disease that is caused by a micro organism, bacteria, fungus or virus that enters the body of an organism and colonisation means the spreading of a species into a new habitat which is true of parasite infections. These can be localised meaning they only affect one area of the body or systemic which means they have travelled round the body or have infected more than one area. With systemic infections there are usual more than one symptom for example with influenza a person will have aches and pains, fever, sweats, headache, sore throat etc.

Infections are common and affect people all the time and most are preventable. Poor hygiene is the most common causes of spreading infection, not washing your hands after going to the toilet, not bathing or showering regularly, not...
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