Parasite

Parasite Definition Parasite is an organism that requires coexistence with another organism for its survival. The parasite typically draws nourishment and other needs from its host organism without contributing in return to the host’s survival. Some parasites can survive away from their hosts for limited periods of time or defined portions of their life cycles. Some […]

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Information on Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases Definition Infectious diseases are illnesses that result from infection with microorganisms, also called microbes. Doctors who treat people who have infectious diseases are internists (who treat adults) or pediatricians (who treat children) who subspecialize in infectious diseases. Other sections in The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Health and Medicine discuss infections specific to […]

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Pathogen Definition, What is a Pathogen

Pathogen Definition Pathogen is a microbe capable of causing illness. The most common pathogens are bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. The process through which a pathogen, also called an infectious agent, causes illness is pathogenesis. The body attempts to protect itself from pathogens through numerous mechanisms, key among them being antibodymediated immunity and cell-mediated immunity. Vaccines and treatments with antibiotic medications, antiviral medications, and antifungal medications are […]

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Cyclosporiasis / Cyclospora

Cyclosporiasis/Cyclospora Definition, Symptoms and Causes Cyclosporiasis – an illness that results from infection with the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. The Cyclospora come to maturity in warm, moist environments after excretion in the feces of people who have the infection. This parasite, unlike most, cannot cause immediate infection so people who are infected are not contagious. People acquire infection with Cyclospora […]

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Prion – Definition and Information

Definition and Information A protein fragment that becomes a pathogen. Prion illnesses affect the brain and cause extensive damage to brain tissue, causing it to become spongy in appearance. Though illnesses are not contagious in typical fashion, introduction of infectious prions into healthy brain tissue transmits the infection. Because of these characteristics, researchers call prion illnesses […]

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Fever – Definition, Reduction

Fever Definition An elevation of body temperature above the normal range. Body temperature varies over the course of a circadian cycle, roughly equivalent to 24 hours, to accommodate the body’s metabolic needs. Body temperature is lowest just before waking in the morning and highest in the late afternoon or early evening, times that typically correlate […]

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Protozoa – Definition and Information

Protozoa Definition Single-celled organisms such as amebas. Many protozoa are parasitic and require host organisms for survival. Some protozoa are pathogenic, notably those that cause malaria and infections such as amebiasis, babesiosis, and giardiasis. Some protozoal infections are self-limiting and others require treatment with medications such as antibiotics. See also ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATIONS; BACTERIA; FUNGUS; PARASITE; VIRUS. How did you like this […]

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Foodborne Illnesses – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Foodborne Illnesses and Symptoms Foodborne illnesses – Diseases resulting from consumption of foods contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses. Foodborne illnesses, also called food poisoning, are common, affecting 76 million Americans each year. There are several hundred known foodborne illnesses, most of which cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal cramping, nausea, […]

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Sneeze and Cough Etiquette

Sneeze and Cough Etiquette and Definition A method of personal hygiene to help prevent the spread of infection. Sneezing and coughing are among the mechanisms the body uses to expel bacterial and viral particles in illnesses such as colds and influenza. However, these particles spread the infection to others who breathe them in with the air or […]

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Fungus – Definition and Diseases

Fungus Definition Any of the 200,000 or so of single or multiple cell organisms (living structures), microscopic (visible only using a microscope for magnification) and macroscopic (visible to the unaided eye), that are abundant in the natural environment. Yeasts are single-cell fungi that live in colonies; molds are multiple-cell fungi that form structures. Like bacteria, fungi are […]

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