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HOW INFECTIOUS DISEASES SPREAD


Infectious diseases can be spread in a number of different ways...

From Person to person
We can pass on infections to each other through tiny droplets of moisture when we cough or sneeze. That's often how colds are spread as is flu and tuberculosis
Others, such as leprosy and polio are passed on through direct contact beween people; HIV/AIDS through sexual contact and hepatitis through blood.

Through food and water
Diseases carried in water are a major problem in areas where there is a lack of safe, clean drinking water. Diseases carried in water include cholera and typhoid. Diseases that cause diarrhoea are particularly dangerous for children and can still kill millions each year. Food can also carry disease carrying bacteria such as salmonella and E-coli. This is why it is very important that food is stored and handled carefully and cooked properly.

Insects
Many insects carry viruses and protozoa which they can pass on to humans. The most dangerous of these is the mosquito. It bites an infected person and then bites another person thus passing the disease on. It can spread a number of different diseases including malaria, dengue and yellow fever. Malaria kills over one million people a year and most of these are children under five. A child dies every 30 seconds from malaria, many in just days after infection.


So, infectious diseases can be spread in a number of ways. Poverty and unhealthy living conditions make it much easier for disease to spread and take control. Poorer countries often have less well resourced health services and so they often suffer the most. However, infectious diseases don't just occur in one part of the world, every country is at risk and with the increasing amount of air travel and movement around the world diseaese can easily be transmitted from one area to another.

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