Don’t spread ‘em
Yeah. Who really wants to talk about diseases anyway? Sort of heavy, sort of depressing and maybe even sort of gross. So if that ninth rerun of your least favorite TV show is looking more appealing to you than reading this right now, I kind of get it.
Kind of. Because facts are, like it or not, you do need to know this stuff – it could save your life. AND, contrary to popular belief (although you don’t have to admit it to anyone) this stuff can be hugely interesting. Well, ok, at least, it’s hugely interesting to me, maybe to you it will be somewhat eyebrow-lifting.
So, below, Paula and Chris have taken the important stuff and attempted to serve it up in a somewhat digestible manner so that you think about the information and how it relates to you. This is about you. Why wouldn’t that be interesting?
Here are the definitions to know.
Disease: Here’s dictionary.com’s definition. (Hold on, it gets better, we just needed to be technical for a moment.)
noun: a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.
We’d just tell you to focus on the last three words of that definition. Makes things a bit simpler. We mean, reallY! Who can understand all that? When we talk about Disease, we generally mean any condition that negatively interferes with how your mind and/or your body is functioning.
(Think about the word – Dis-ease. We will mention it again, but when you have a Dis-ease, your mind and/or body is not at ease. Ha! Now that’s easy to think about!)
Communicable disease: a Disease that can be passed from person, animal or object to a person – in this case, you. Think: Communicable = Community… one person gets it, the whole community can get it. Most community things are fun – like a picnic at the park. This one is not.
Are there any Diseases that are non-communicable? But, of course! A Non-Communicable Disease, NCD, is a Disease that can NOT be transferred from person to person.
Diabetes is a NCD as is cancer and heart Disease. We cover these shortly, but for now we are going to take a look at the little buggers that cause communicable Diseases and NDC’s… pathogens. After that we’ll look at a few common communicable Diseases and the difference between a viral and bacterial infection. (If you want to know what protects you from all those pathogens, don’t forget to check out our Immune System link.)
Quick word check: Do you know what disease means? How about NCD or communicable? Pathogen? If you are confused already, you will hate to continue. Read the definitions above again. We’ve tried to help you out with ways to remember: Dis-ease, community, causes=pathogen. Helpful? Good. Move on….