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Causes and spread of infection Essay

Bacteria. These organisms are made up of just one cell. They have the power to divide so can multiply on their own. Some bacteria are harmless and can be of use in the aid of digestion and are found in the intestines. Other bacteria can be the cause of diseases. These bacteria have to find a way in to the body to be of harm and can make their way through the skin or be digested and attack our immune system. Viruses. These micro-organisms are very tiny. They invade living normal cells and use these cells to multiply and produce other viruses like themselves. Eventually this kills off the normal cell and can make you ill. Parasites. These are micro-organisms that live off other organisms or a host so they are able to survive. Some parasites don’t affect the host. But others grow, reproduce, or can even give off toxins that make the host sick resulting in a parasitic infection. They include; protozoan, fungi, and multi-cellular organisms. Fungi. These are single celled organisms a little bigger than bacteria. They do not make their own food so they get their food from absorbing the nutrients from their surroundings. Common illnesses and infections causes.


Acute Rheumatic Fever Anthrax, Bacterial Vaginosis, Botulism, Brucellosis,

Cholera. Diptheria. Gastroenteritis. Legionnaires Disease . Listeriosis.

Meningitis Salmonella. E.Col. Staphylococcus Aureus Infection. Tetanus.

Toxic Shock Syndrome.. Tuberculosis Typhoid . Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Measles Mumps Rubella Influenza Polio Hepatitis A+B Herpes 1+2 HIV Noro Virus

Sleeping sickness Thread, Hook and Tape worms
Scabies Malaria Head Lice Elephantiasis
Aspergillosis, Blastomycosis, Candidacies, Warts, Athletes Foot, Thrush Ring Worm Tinia Capitis.

Infection is when the the body is invaded with micro-organisms that multiply these can be bacterial, viruses and parasites which are not normally found in the body. Colonisation is the presence and multiplying of micro-organisms and can be found on or in an individual; the individual can be a carrier of the infection but may have no signs or symptoms of illness, although they can infect others. Systemic infection this means that the infection is widespread throughout the body and must be assumed to be in all organs. Localised infection. This means that an infection caused by bacteria is limited to a certain area. Bacteria invade the body at a specific point and remain there, multiplying, until treated.

Infection can enter the body by breathing it in, ingesting it by eating contaminated food. And absorption through the skin or via an open wound Poor practice that may lead to the spread of infection can be; Poor personal hygiene, not washing hands correctly, not using PPE. The incorrect disposal of rubbish and waste materials. not storing or cooking foods properly, not cleaning your surroundings, not covering your nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing, direct contact with bodily fluids not following policies or reporting outbreaks or episodes of disease, Conditions needed for growth of micro-organisms include:

Moisture: micro-organism need water to grow. Water must flow freely in and out of cells for the transfer of nutrients and waste products. Appropriate Temperature: The majority of human pathogens are Mesophilic. These can grow between a wide range of temperatures 5-63*C –Body temperature is 37 degrees; this is the ideal temperature for these bacteria to multiply. If it is too cold then the bacteria can remain dormant. And too hot a temperature can slow the growth down. Nutrients: All microorganisms need a food source. The food sources can vary, but the organisms extract nutrients from substances such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Every micro-organism needs a mixture of carbon, nitrogen, phosphate, sulphur, water and vitamins. Proper pH: Most human micro-organisms are within the acidophilus group; this means that they prefer a pH or 0.0-5.4 Gases: Most micro-organisms require an environment of 5-10% CO2. Time: bacteria can multiply in 10-20 minutes in these conditions. In the correct conditions micro-organism are able to grow, respire, and reproduce. Sources of infection and how they enter the body:

Food all bacteria need food to grow. Vegetables and raw meat from any animal are significant sources of contamination. Bacteria are always present in animal intestines. These can spread through meat products during slaughter or when a product is minced. . The bacteria can then get carried through the food chain. If the meat product is not cooked properly then the bacteria enter the body through the mouth and are absorbed through the digestive system once we have eaten them.

Water: Stored, untreated or incorrectly treated sources of drinking water carry pathogenic micro-organism like rivers, lakes and reservoirs which can cause infections. These enter the body by the mouth and enter the digestive system once we have drunk the contaminated water. Soil: Dirt: there are many bacteria living in soil. These can cause infection if food is not washed properly in clean water and any food preparation surfaces that have been used need to be cleaned well. These bacteria can be then carried through the food chain and then enter the body through the mouth and again are absorbed through the digestive system when we eat. These bacteria can also be transmitted through touch and we can then ingest these as it is easy for our hands to become contaminated and if we put our hands in or near our mouths then we can ingest them.

Also if our hands are not clean and we touch un contaminated food it can easily end up becoming contaminated. People: Healthy people carry pathogenic bacteria this can be found in the mouth .nose. Skin, hair ears throat, cuts and spots. If suffering with an infection, diarrhoea and or vomiting you should not handle food. Infection can be transferred by touch. Some diseases like scabies and herpes can be transferred by direct skin to skin contact. People who have an infection like a cold and who then touch inanimate objects can leave germs these germs may be survive for a certain length of time, if another person touches these objects the germs can be passed on to them. Disease can also be passed on from person to person through coughing and sneezing.

Droplets can be sprayed into the air and these can enter a person’s body through inhalation when they breathe. Sexual contact and the exchange of bodily fluids like seamen can carry infections like HIV. Air, Dust, Dirt & Food Waste: dust and dirt are carried through the air and these contain millions of microscopic particles of dead skin, food and other debris that are covered in pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria can enter the body via the nose and lungs when we breathe. As they can also be found in the surroundings around us these can be transmitted and enter the body via touch.

Animals & Pests: insects and animals all carry harmful micro-organisms on and in their bodies. (You only need to think of the activities of a fly and what it lives and lands on). Their droppings, eggs, fur, nest materials, mites, and dead bodies can all cause contamination As animals are mobile these are transmitted very easily and infection can be spread where ever they go .some enter the body directly in to the blood stream like the spread of malaria via the mosquito. Others can leave the surroundings that are contaminated and spread through touch. These can enter the body when we touch ourselves or our food.

Sewage: contamination from this is dangerous it contains many pathogens and allergens that fester in sewage and are responsible for a great number of infections. Airborne infections can be caused by sewage these can enter the body via inhalation. These pathogens can also be present in the water supply and food in surrounding areas and can enter the body via ingestion. Infection can also be spread by touch and animals. RISK:

A person is more likely to pick up an infection if they have a poor immune system. The frail and elderly, babies and young children, people on immune suppressant medication as it compromises their immune system. People with long-term illnesses, cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. People who are convalescing, pregnant women and their unborn baby. There are also people who come into regular contact with infectious agents; these people have a higher risk of picking up an infection. For example; care workers, people who deal with infectious waste, medical staff. Sewage plant workers…

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