Contagious diseases occur when microbes, bacteria, viruses, and fungi, are passed from person to person. While vaccination programs and other prevention measures have been successful in reducing the number of new cases of many contagious diseases, the National Center for Health Statistics reports that the incidence rates for others, including pertussis, chlamydia, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, have been rising in recent years. This work provides updated information about microbes that are spread from person to person and the diseases they cause, including influenza, lice infestation, pneumonias, staphylococcal and streptococcal infections, tuberculosis, and others. The types of diagnostic tests and treatments available from medical professionals are explained, and self care practices for familiar symptoms such as the sniffles and sore throat that often accompany the common cold are described. Other topics addressed include antibiotic resistance, the role of handwashing in preventing the spread of disease, and recommendations and controversies surrounding vaccination programs. The book concludes with a glossary of related terms and a directory of resources.
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