Communicable diseases are also called
Communicable illnesses and their control
Communicable diseases are also called
infectious or transmissible diseases. They are primarily illnesses resulting
from infection, presence and also the growth of disease-causing biologic agents
in a person or even other hosts such as animals. Some infections are
asymptomatic in that they have no symptoms at all and hence may not cause harm
to an individual whereas others may be life threatening. Therefore, infection
is different from infectious diseases because not all the infections cause
diseases (Benjamin, 2015). Communicable diseases are the primary causes of
diseases globally among the children. They are spread in various ways depending
on the illness in question.
Some of the ways that they are
transmitted include: touching, eating and breathing. They are also majorly
carried in the body fluids such as blood, mucus, saliva, urine among others as
well as through skin and others through hair (Benjamin, 2015). According to
Benjamin, (2015) communicable diseases may be classified according to their
mode of transition into:
diseases. They affect the head and chest and are spread through sneezing,
coughing or breathing. They may also be transmitted through contact with
saliva, nasal mucus, and eye discharge.
diseases such as infectious diarrhea affecting the stomach and intestines. They
are spread through contact with stool, vomit or contaminated surfaces, eating
contaminated food as a well as drinking or bathing in contaminated water by
diseases such as ringworms that affect the hair and skin. They are spread
through touching of skin or hair, sharing of personal items such as clothes,
hats, hairbrushes, and towels.
diseases such as hepatitis B and HIV that affect the entire body. They are
spread through blood contact onto the broken skin, blood transfusions, sharing
needles or injections, piercings, as well as having sexual contact that
involves the sharing of body fluids with an infected individual.
Some communicable diseases are
treatable whereas others are not. However, one factor that is paramount is that
they can be controlled hence avoiding getting the infections in the first
place. Infectious diseases can be controlled through:
measures targeting the mode of transmission by interrupting the agents such as
water, food and other vectors. It can be done through taking boiled or clean
water or adding some chemicals to kill germs, sterilization of contaminated
objects as well as disinfection of surfaces that pose a threat (Chin, 2000).
the susceptible hosts can be another control method. It may involve vaccination
which is the administration of vaccines to increase the body defense mechanisms
against the specific diseases such as Tuberculosis (Chin, 2000).
may also maintain a healthy lifestyle by taking proper nutrition to improve
one’s health and body defense against infections as well as limiting the
exposure to the reservoirs of infection (Chin, 2000). It may include the use of
condoms, use of insecticide in homes, maintaining personal hygiene such as
washing hands among others.
is also the alternative of Chemoprophylaxis, which is the use of drugs on
exposed susceptible hosts to prevent them from getting infected. For example,
when an individual is traveling to a malaria-prone area they may take a
prophylactic drug to protect them from getting developing malaria (Chin, 2000).
As a result of the controversy and
alarming rates at which communicable diseases are found, they are shaped in
different areas of the world by factors such as education, culture, fears as
well as experience. Diverse parts of the world react differently to the
diseases and holding varied sets of beliefs, myths and misconceptions on the
same (Malloy & Marr, 2001). Therefore, as identified by Malloy & Marr
(2001), there is the need for researchers, individual states and other
international health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO)
to build an approach to the diseases that is based on sensitivity and respect
to the varied beliefs and practices already in place in an effort to avert
resistance to change by the communities.