How pathogens may enter the body

The different means of entering the body.

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  • Created by: Megz
  • Created on: 23-12-10 20:22
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Invading the Body
Diseases can enter the host through body openings
including eyes, nose, mouth, ears, anus and urinogenital.
The alternative is via the blood through the skin.
Vectors: living organism transmits infection from one
host to another e.g. insects that may carry malaria,
dengue or yellow fever.
Fomites: inanimate objects; hospital towels, bedding
or make-up. An example disease is a Staphylococcus
Direct Contact: spreading of skin diseases like
impetigo, chicken pox. Many sexual diseases are
spread by direct contact of the genital organs.
Inhalation: cough, sneeze or talk, droplets are expelled
from the respiratory tract. Parts of the droplets
evaporate leaving viral particles suspended in the air
for someone else to inhale. E.g. influenza, measles or
Ingestion: contaminated food/drink; many are
destroyed by heat. The risk is greatest with
raw/undercooked food. Only a small no. needs to be
taken in to cause disease. For example diarrhoea,
hepatitis A, salmonella.
Innoculation: pathogens can enter through skin due to
an injury from contaminated medical instruments or
shared needles. Infected animals might bite, lick or
scratch a person. Also, someone may pick up a
puncture wound from contaminated
knife/thorn/stone; hepatitis B, HIV, rabies, tetanus.


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