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The Effects of Communicable Diseases on Health

by
author image Joseph Pritchard
Joseph Pritchard graduated from Our Lady of Fatima Medical School with a medical degree. He has spent almost a decade studying humanity. Dr. Pritchard writes as a San Francisco biology expert for a prominent website and thoroughly enjoys sharing the knowledge he has accumulated.
The Effects of Communicable Diseases on Health
A little girl resting in bed with a thermometer underneath her arm. Photo Credit Murika/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Communicable diseases claim more lives globally than other fatal events, according to MedlinePlus, a service of the National Institutes of Health. These diseases are generally bacterial, viral, fungal, or protozoic in origin. Infection usually occurs via exposure to disease-causing microbes, explains the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Some communicable diseases are curable; others are not. Regardless of type, communicable disease can have certain general effects on health.

Appetite Loss

Communicable diseases can affect appetite, notes MayoClinic.com. By and large, the appetite is generally reduced relative to normal levels. The precise severity of appetite loss may depend on the kind of communicable disease as well as any pharmaceutical substances that may already be present prior to infection.

Coughs and Sneezes

Infectious diseases may generally cause an infected individual to cough and sneeze, explains the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. These two involuntary reflexes help the body expel the microbes via mucus and phlegm. Typically, the cough and sneeze reflex occurs after the body has started producing mucus to contain the microbes prior to expulsion.

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Diarrhea

Diseases that are communicable can cause diarrhea or loose bowel movement, notes the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. The duration and intensity of this symptom may vary, depending on the particulars of the infectious microbe. Treatment can help speed up recovery and alleviate this symptom.

Fever

Communicable diseases typically cause the body temperature to become elevated, explains MayoClinic.com. Normal body temperature is under 99 degrees F, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. This elevation in body temperature is an immune response to the presence of microbes.

Exhaustion

Communicable diseases can cause an infected individual to experience general exhaustion, notes MayoClinic.com. This symptom may be alleviated by treatment as well as staying properly nourished during the course of infection. However, other factors, such as overall level of health prior to infection, may affect the severity of this symptom.

Involuntary Muscle Spasms and Pain in the Muscles

Communicable diseases may bring about involuntary muscle spasms, notes the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Pain in the muscles may also be caused by communicable diseases, according to MayoClinic.com.

Nausea

Nausea and vomiting may be caused by communicable diseases, notes the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Nausea and vomiting are the body’s way of purging itself of the infection.

Swelling and Redness of Affected Areas

Communicable disease can cause swelling and redness in the affected area, notes MayoClinic.com. The inflammation can affect more than one area, or be limited to a general area, depending on the nature of the infection.

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References

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