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Classification of Infectious Diseases

The causative agents of infectious diseases, as we saw above, are transmitted from patients to healthy people in various ways, that is, each infection is characterized by a certain transmission mechanism. The transmission mechanism of infection was put by L. V. Gromashevsky as the basis for the classification of infectious diseases. According to the classification of L. V. Gromashevsky, infectious diseases are divided into four groups.

I. Intestinal infections. The main source of infection is a sick person or a bacterium carrier, secreting huge amounts of pathogens with feces. In some intestinal infectious diseases, it is also possible to isolate the pathogen with vomit (cholera), with urine (typhoid fever).

The infectious principle enters the body through the mouth along with food or drinking water, contaminated in the environment by one way or another.

II. Respiratory tract infections. The source of infection is a sick person or carrier. The inflammatory process on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract causes coughing and sneezing, which causes the mass release of the infectious onset with droplets of mucus into the surrounding air.

The causative agent enters the body of a healthy person when inhaling air containing infected droplets. Respiratory infections include influenza, infectious mononucleosis, smallpox, epidemic meningitis, and most childhood infections.

Blood infections. The causative agents of this group of diseases have the main localization in the blood and lymph. Infection from the patient’s blood can enter the blood of a healthy person only with the help of blood-sucking vectors. A person suffering from an infection of this group is practically not dangerous for those around him in the absence of a carrier. An exception is the plague (pulmonary form), highly infectious to others.

Blood infections include typhus and relapsing fever, tick-borne rickettsiosis, seasonal encephalitis, malaria, leishmaniasis and other diseases.

IV. Infections of the external integument. The infectious onset usually penetrates through the damaged outer integument. These include sexually transmitted diseases; rabies and sodoka, the infection of which occurs when bitten by sick animals; tetanus, the causative agent of which penetrates the body by a wound route; anthrax transmitted by direct contact from animals or through household items contaminated with spores; glanders and foot and mouth disease, in which infection occurs through the mucous membranes, etc.

It should be noted that for some diseases (plague, tularemia, anthrax, etc.) there can be a multiple transmission mechanism of infection.
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Classification of Infectious Diseases

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