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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

Disease Transmission Definitions  Parasites – organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism and that does not contribute to the survival of its host  Virus – ultimate micro-parasite – smaller than bacteria; neither cells not organisms; can only reproduce within their host  Macroparasites – composed of many cells; does not multiply in host, instead cycles through transmission stages–eggs and larvae–which pass into the external environment  Transmission - movement of a parasite from host to host  Incubation period - the interval of time required for development of a disease  Latent period - seemingly inactive period between exposure to an infection and subsequent illness  Parasite virulence - capacity of a parasite to cause disease  Zoonotic infections - animal infections that can be transmitted to humans Modes of Disease Transmission - Direct – occurs through direct contact, e.g. from person to person - Indirect – through a common route / vector, e.g. contaminated air / water, mosquito Portal of entry: - Dermal – through the skin, e.g. fungi - Ingestion – through the mouth, e.g. E.coli in water - Inhalation – during respiration, e.g. particulate matter - Aspiration- through environment Types of diseases  Broad spectrum of disease severity – Iceberg concept - Host Response: - Clinical disease(visible part of iceberg): - Death of organism - Classical and severe disease - Moderate severity mild illness - Subclinical Disease(iceberg hidden under water): - Infection without clinical illness (asymptomatic infection) worse kind of symptom - Exposure without infection Measles – common skin rash, transmitted from respiration Rabies – affects central nervous system, transmitted through saliva Types of disease outbreaks  Three main types – 1) Endemic – usual occurrence of a given disease within a given geographical area 2) Epidemic – occurrence of a disease in excess of normal expectancy in a defined region 3) Pandemic – worldwide epidemic Determinants of disease outbreaks:  Herd immunity – resist
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