Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in Alberta, Canada

A rare parasitic infection imported from Europe continues to take root in Alberta, Canada. The province is now the North American hotspot for human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), which takes the form of a growth in the liver, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Stem cells may hold a key to developing new vaccines against COVID-19

The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 may have the ability to reactivate dormant tuberculosis (TB). In a novel study, scientists report in The American Journal of Pathology that infection with a specific coronavirus strain ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why do we continue to see outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in care homes?

SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks involving care homes with fully vaccinated residents have been reported across Germany. In order to gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, a team of researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Thousands of deaths likely if COVID-19 'left to run' in Victoria

New modeling, developed by Burnet Institute, highlights the need to preserve public health measures as a key line of defense against COVID-19 even with high vaccination coverage. It estimates more than 4800 Victorians could ...

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Infectious diseases, also known as contagious diseases or transmissible diseases, and include communicable diseases, comprise clinically evident illness (i.e., characteristic medical signs and/or symptoms of disease) resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism. In certain cases, infectious diseases may be asymptomatic for much or all of their course. Infectious pathogens include some viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are the cause of disease epidemics, in the sense that without the pathogen, no infectious epidemic occurs.

Transmission of pathogen can occur in various ways including physical contact, contaminated food, body fluids, objects, airborne inhalation, or through vector organisms. Infectious diseases that are especially infective are sometimes called contagious and can be easily transmitted by contact with an ill person or their secretions. Infectious diseases with more specialized routes of infection, such as vector transmission or sexual transmission, are usually regarded as contagious but do not require medical quarantine of victims.

The term infectivity describes the ability of an organism to enter, survive and multiply in the host, while the infectiousness of a disease indicates the comparative ease with which the disease is transmitted to other hosts. An infection is not synonymous with an infectious disease, as some infections do not cause illness in a host.

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