Infectious diseases are a major global health problem.
They can be caused by a range of agents including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Most of the microorganisms that cause infection are invisible to the naked eye, and can be passed on from one person to another in different ways including direct physical contact, exchange of body fluids (including blood), or the tiny airborne droplets released when people cough or sneeze.
There are a few simple things we can do to reduce the risk of contagion. Frequent hand-washing is the best way to limit the spread of microorganisms. You should always wash your hands after handling food or garbage, or going to the bathroom, and after coming into contact with a sick individual. If you have to cough or sneeze, covering your mouth will prevent the airborne spread of droplets. And if you are sick, it’s a good idea to stay home and avoid contact with other people, especially during the period when microorganisms are at their most contagious. You should also keep your vaccinations against common infections up-to-date, to protect both yourself and others.