The risk of infectious diseases has increased in recent years with global population surges, tourism, and increased poverty. These diseases can range from mild symptoms to life-threatening hospitalizations, which is why it’s important to understand your risks of contracting one of these diseases and what you can do to protect yourself.
The Risks of Getting an Infectious Disease
Any person, insect, and animal is at risk of catching an infectious disease. However, you may be at a greater risk of contracting one if your immune system is weakened. This can occur in individuals who:
- Are taking steroids or other medications that suppress the immune system
- Have HIV or AIDS
- Have certain types of cancer or other disorders that affect your immune system
- Have certain medical conditions that predispose you to infections (e.g. malnutrition, age extremes)
Treatment for infectious diseases can vary based on the type. Mild cases can be treated at home with rest and medicine. However, more life-threatening ones may require hospitalization. Fortunately, most of these infections can be prevented by vaccination and frequent, thorough hand-washing.
How are Infectious Diseases Contracted?
An infectious disease is a disorder caused by organisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite) that have entered your body. They can be contracted in a number of ways:
- By person-to-person contact
- By bites from infected insects or animals
- By ingesting contaminated foods or water
- By being exposed to organisms in the environment
These diseases are categorized as being infectious because they follow the World Health Organization’s criteria of one or more of the following:
- Have a high global or regional prevalence to be a significant risk for people
- Are severe or life-threatening, even though the risk of exposure may be low
- Have a perceived risk of being much greater than the real risk, which may cause anxiety or panic amongst populations
- Involve a public health risk due to transmission of infection to others
Reducing the Risk of Getting an Infectious Disease
There are several ways you can reduce your risk of contracting an infectious disease.
- Get vaccinated
- Use antibiotics properly
- Take precaution when preparing food, especially raw meat
- Stay home if you are feeling sick
- Wash your hands regularly
- Practice safe sex
- Don't share personal care items
Proper Disinfection of an Infectious Disease
When an area has been exposed to infectious disease, it needs to be properly contained and disinfected. When Aftermath treats an area that carries the risk of potential infectious diseases and bloodborne pathogens, we treat it with the highest level of professionalism and care you need to disinfect your home or workplace. Even the smallest trace of blood can present health hazards, such as H1N1, E. coli, or MRSA.
If you’re concerned about a potential health hazard at your home or work, contact Aftermath day or night for our friendly, professional services.