Nosocomial Infections and Causes

Nosocomial Infections Definition Illnesses that result from infection acquired in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or other health-care facility. The pathogen is typically bacterial, viral, or fungal. Many pathogens that cause nosocomial infections are resistant to common methods of treatment. The Most Common Causes of Nosocomial Infections Invasive procedures ranging from intravenous (IV) lines and urinary catheters […]

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Opportunistic Infection and HIV / AIDS

Opportunistic Infection Definition Opportunistic Infection – Illness that develops in a person who is immunocompromised as a result of exposure to an otherwise benign microbe or a pathogen a healthy immune system could contain or eradicate. Opportunistic infections commonly occur in people who have hiv/aids, are receiving immunosuppressive therapy after organ transplantation, or are undergoing certain kinds of treatment for cancer. The weakened state of […]

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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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