Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New skin test detects prion infection before symptoms appear

Prions can infect both humans and animals, causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, mad cow disease in cattle, and chronic wasting disease in elk and deer. The infectious, misfolded protein particles often go undetected ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Assessing the performance of multiple influenza forecasting models

In what the authors believe is the first documented comparison of several real-time infectious disease forecasting models by different teams across many seasons, five research groups report this week that a majority of models ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New blood tests for TB could accelerate diagnosis

Rapid blood tests used by the NHS are unable to rule out tuberculosis (TB) and should be replaced with a new, more accurate test, a study has found.

Cardiology

Taking medicine for a cold? Be mindful of your heart

Flu has so far infected more than 6 million Americans this season, and winter colds are making their rounds. If you've been hit by either, you may be thinking about heading to your local pharmacy to relieve your aches, pains ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

U.S. doctor released from Omaha hospital after Ebola monitoring

(HealthDay)—An American doctor who was monitored for 21 days after possible Ebola exposure did not develop the deadly disease and has been released from the Nebraska Medicine-Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, officials ...

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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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