How Diseases are Transmitted
Before looking at ways to prevent the spread of disease, it is helpful to know the ways diseases are transmitted. Diseases are caused by germs, which are transmitted from one person to another through
- the air
- urine and feces
- drainage, such as nasal mucus or pus from open sores
Germs multiply rapidly in warm moist places. When objects or hands touch places where there are a lot of germs, they pick up the germs, which then enter the body through the nose, eyes, mouth, and/or broken skin.
Impetigo and ring worm are transmitted via direct physical contact with the infected areas of skin.
Diseases like colds, chicken pox, and some forms of meningitis are transmitted largely via the air through sneezes and coughs, although they can also be spread through saliva and nasal drainage.
Diarrhea, which generally is a symptom of some gastrointestinal virus, bacteria, or parasite, is transmitted through feces. Some forms of hepatitis can also be transmitted via feces or through urine and blood. Blood and blood products are the major carriers of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.