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Infections and Infectious Diseases

Code: CBH971
Infection Control

Using all the learning in previous tasks, write an essay on Infection Control using the following subheadings:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Controlling and Preventing the Spread of Infection

The Signs and Symptoms of Infectious Diseases

Guidance Notes:

As a guideline, this piece of work should be approximately 1000 – 1500 words in length, excluding references.

You should use the following headings in your work:

Infectious Diseases –

  • Explain what is meant by “Infectious Diseases”
  • Discuss the differences between Bacterial, Fungal and Viral infections Controlling and Preventing the Spread of Infection –
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of drugs / immunisation
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of hygiene practices
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the use of isolation The Signs and Symptoms of Infectious Diseases
  • Compare and Contrast the signs and symptoms of 3 infectious diseases

Drafts are not allowed for this assignment but if you have any concerns or queries, contact your tutor for guidance.

Assessment

To “achieve” in this task, the submission must meet all the Assessment Criteria below. (There is no further grading in the assessment of this task/unit).

If all the Assessment Criteria are not met then you will be offered an opportunity for a resubmission within a deadline set by your tutor.

If your second submission, within the designated period meets the Assessment Criteria the unit is “achieved”.

Answer

Infections and Infectious Diseases

Infectious disease 

A pathogenic organism such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus causes infections or diseases which are known as infectious diseases. The diseases are basically harmless but in severe cases, they can be fatal. It has been observed that the pathogens cause infection either by disrupting the normal physiological process or stimulating the immune system for producing a defensive response (Yourgenome, 2019). In general, infectious diseases can precipitate high fever, inflammation, and other physical illness. However, the infectious diseases are highly communicable and spread from infected person to another through direct contact or via vectors or via aerosols. It has been witnessed that infectious diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. Additionally, if the infectious agent can develop resistance by mutation towards the prevention process then it would be difficult to control infectious diseases.        

Difference between the Bacterial, Fungal and Viral infections

Basically, infectious diseases are developed by bacteria, virus, and fungi. However, the way of infections, transmission of disease, and prevention procedure can vary. 

  • Infectious diseases caused by Bacteria

They are a single-celled microscopic organism. In general, they are in the ball, rod and spiral shaped. Few of them are harmful and some of them are beneficial bacteria for a human being. Approximately, 1% of bacteria are infectious in nature (Naturopath, 2018). Therefore, the infectious bacteria enter into the human body and start multiplying within the body to develop toxins and precipitate the disease. The bacterial infection can spread by direct contact with the infected individuals in terms of skin contact or contact with the bodily fluid like blood or saliva or participating in sexual interactions with the infected persons or contact with their coughing and sneezing.  

Bacteria are a movable organism, they can move with their tail or flagella (exceptional are sphere-shaped bacteria). In addition, under a suitable condition they can multiply rapidly and under the unpleasant condition, they can become dormant. Hence, tuberculosis, meningitis, strep throat, and Chlamydia are caused by bacteria.     

  • Infectious diseases caused by Viruses 

They are a tiny infectious agent with a simple structure. They have deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) within a protein capsule (Naturopath, 2018). They can only replicate in a living organism. They are responsible for a disease like influenza, AIDS, flu, measles, and chicken pox.

The infections are spread similar way as bacteria. They can infect the individual through a vector or direct contact with the infected bodily fluid, faeces or cut skin. However, antibiotics effective on bacteria are unable to kill viruses.  

  • Infectious diseases caused by Fungi

Fungal infections are a common disease in human. It cannot be considered a serious illness as they are treated quickly. Most of the fungi are harmless and beneficial; however, few of them can cause illness like athletes foot, candida, fungal infections, and ringworm (Naturopath, 2018). In general fungal infections can cause itching, reddishness, and cracking of skin which can be treated with medicated ointments. It is generally affected by the outer part of the body but in some cases, the fungus can penetrate into the body and cause severe lungs and skin infections. An individual with the poor immune system and taking antibiotics can easily be affected by the fungus.     

Controlling and preventing the spread of infections

Therefore, a few steps can be taken to control and prevent the onset and outbreaks of infectious diseases. The procedures are-  

  • Vaccination

Vaccination is a process which can improve immunity against a particular disease. A vaccine has contained an agent that resembles a causative microorganism and can kill the microbes and their toxins. Additionally, the agent can stimulate the body immune system to recognize foreign substances and destroy them immediately (Embil, Dyck and Plourde, 2009). In addition, immunization can produce antibiotics within the body immune system and neutralize the causative microbes. Immunization can prevent the infections and transmission of the disease. Therefore, vaccination can reduce the chances of illness and death caused by the microbes.    

  • Antibiotics and Antivirals

Antibiotics are used to control bacterial infections and antivirals are used to control viral infections (Ncbi, 2016). Antibiotics are able to kill or restrict the growth of the bacteria and allowing the natural defense system of the body to fight against the foreign particles. The use of antibiotics can save the lives of the infected persons and prevent the transmission of the disease. However, in some cases, antibiotic resistance of the bacteria can reduce the effectiveness of the medicine.    

It has been witnessed that antibiotics are ineffective in viral infections. In such cases, antiviral drugs are given to fight against the infections by strengthening the body immune system and inhibiting the growth of the microbes. Like bacteria, viruses can also develop resistance to the drugs.  

  • Hygiene 

Maintaining personal and environmental hygiene can avoid the occurrence of disease along with reducing the chances of transmission and symptoms. Washing the hand or open surface area of the body with disinfectant can reduce the chances of infections. Furthermore, it can also reduce disease transmission (Embil, Dyck and Plourde, 2009). The infected persons are advised to wash their hand thoroughly with disinfectant after coughing, sneezing, and touching infected part of the body.  However, the use of chemical triclosan can cause antibiotic resistance in affected individuals. During the infections, it is essential to prepare and handle to food careful for avoiding contamination. Additionally, careful handling of domestic animals is essential to avoid any disease transmissions. Use disinfectant after every interaction. Using pest control to avoid vector-related disease transmission. It is advisable that take balance and healthy diet to boost up the immunity. Moreover, should take initiative about the sexually transmitted diseases and practice safe sex life.         

  • Isolation

Social isolation can be considered a strategy to prevent and control infectious diseases. Therefore, infected and susceptible people should avoid social gathering, direct contact with individuals, and crowded places (Aiello et al., 2008). In the case of infected disease, the person should take leave from their work and avoid traveling or any public activities. Isolation can reduce the further infection of the disease and help in quick recovery. In some cases, it can avoid the transmission of disease and can be considered better for the recovery.    

Compare and contrast the Sign and symptom of 3 infectious diseases

Hepatitis is a liver inflammation in which liver tissues are inflamed and injured. Viral hepatitis is caused by viruses. It can be chronic or acute. It is an infectious disease which can be easily transmitted with contact. The common form of viral hepatitis includes hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The transmission processes of the viruses are the same but their signs and symptoms are completely different from one another. The severity of the disease is also differing.       

Hepatitis A

In hepatitis A, the virus can cause mild symptoms like nausea, pain upper right abdomen, fever, and loss of appetite along with jaundice. The symptoms can be severe if not treated properly. The illness can persist for a short duration to many weeks in severe cases. The virus can affect the individual those living with the infected person, injecting the illicit drugs, or having sexual activity with infected individuals (HepatitisC, 2015). Thus, the virus can be transmitted through the fecal-oral route. It is a self-limiting disease. The patient can control their recovery process by modulating their lifestyle and food habits. Medicines with proper rest and food can help in quick recovery. Therefore, vaccination can help in the protection of hepatitis A.     

Hepatitis B

It is serious viral infections which can cause death. It becomes chronic in 90% of cases of the infants those affected with hepatitis B. If the virus is acquired in adulthood, it can be controlled in the acute stage. In case of any exposure to the virus requires immediate consultation with the doctors to prevent the risk of spread. In acute cases, the symptoms are common as other hepatitis likes jaundice, fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness, nausea, and fatigue. But in chronic cases, it can cause cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and ultimately a liver failure (HepatitisC, 2015). In some cases, it can cause renal failure and anaemia. In acute cases, the early detection along with proper intervention can control the disease but in chronic cases requires liver transplantation. The virus can be transmitted through sexual interaction or direct contact with the infected body fluid or using of infected needles or born to hepatitis B positive mother. However, hepatitis B is considered as sexually transmitted infections which can be prevented by vaccination.   

Hepatitis C

It is caused by a blood borne virus. It is the most serious type of hepatitis infections. The majority of the affected population is developed as chronic hepatitis. The symptoms are silent until liver damage completely (Cleveland Clinic, 2019). Hence, it can take several decades to confirm the disease. The persons can feel fatigue, muscle pain, and digestive disorders in the early onset of the symptoms. Jaundice is an uncommon finding in hepatitis C. The discomfort of the individual would increase over time due to liver fibrosis. The symptoms in a later stage can be an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, bruising, haemorrhaging, and encephalopathy. Untreated hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis of the liver and ultimately cause liver failure. The other possible symptoms of hepatitis C are hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cancer. The infection can be transmitted through direct contact with infected blood, using of infected needles, organ, infected blood transfusion, sexual activity, and form hepatitis C positive mother. 

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