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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Toxoplasmosis – Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis and Pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis Definition Toxoplasmosis – an illness that results from infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Health experts in the United States estimate that about 60 million Americans are infected with T. gondii, though only a small percentage of them become ill. T. gondii may migrate into body tissues, forming cysts. Domestic cats carry T. gondii; […]

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Giardiasis / Giardia Intestinalis – Symptoms and Treatment

Giardiasis and Giardia Intestinalis Definition An illness resulting from infection with the protozoan Giardia lamblia (also called Giardia intestinalis). Giardia are abundant in fresh water throughout the United States; infection occurs through drinking contaminated water. The protozoa infect the small intestine of humans and animals and can survive for extended periods without a host. The most common […]

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Transmission Modes

Transmission Modes Definition The methods by which pathogens spread to cause infection. Common transmission modes include Airborne, in which pathogens enter the respiratory tract as particles suspended in the air Sexual, in which pathogens enter the body through sexual contact Direct contact, in which pathogens enter the body via touch Foodborne, in which consumed foods […]

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