Bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens are born due to unhealthy and unhygienic conditions. Individuals with low immunity can easily catch and spread diseases to others around them. There are several ways to spread diseases from person to person, primarily through direct and indirect contact. Some other factors, such as infected animals and other environmental causes, can also increase the infection chances. 

Here is everything you need to know about diseases and how they spread. 

Direct Contact

The biggest contributor to spreading diseases is direct contact. It primarily involves person-to-person contact, sexual activity, and blood or body fluids.

Person to Person 

Germs can easily enter a person’s body through their mouth, nose, respiratory tract, eyes, and broken skin. If an infected person sneezes or coughs near a healthy person, they may get infected within 1 to 10 days. If you use your hand to cover your mouth during sneezing or coughing, a handshake with a healthy individual will infect them. A pregnant woman can spread an infection to her unborn child through her placenta or during delivery. Hepatitis B and chickenpox are two major types of diseases that mothers spread to their unborn or newly-born kids. 

Through Body Fluids or Blood

If you contact an infected person’s blood, syringe, or needle stick, you can contract the disease. Once your bloodstream is infected, it will barely take a day or two for you to show symptoms. A minor break or bruise in the skin can also be the reason. Other types of body fluids that can get infected and spread diseases of some kind include semen, breastmilk, and vaginal fluid. 

Through Sexual Contact 

Sexually-transmitted diseases are directly spread through sexual contact, some of which can be life-threatening. Kissing, sexual intercourse, or any other physical activity that involves the mucous membrane or skin of the infected and healthy individual can spread diseases. It can also spread through saliva, nose, genitals, and throat. Basically, any part of the body with a mucous membrane or moist inner lining can easily attract harmful microbes. Any kind of sexual contact, genital to genital, genital to anal, or oral to genital, can be the reason. 

Indirect Contact

Even though indirect contact spreads infections and diseases at a lower rate than direct contact, we cannot simply ignore it. The two main ways of indirect contact that may increase the chance of getting infected are touching contaminated surfaces or coming in contact with infected clothes, accessories, and other wearables. 

Contaminated Surfaces

Any contaminants located on surfaces such as tables, chairs, doorknobs, handles, bathroom fixtures, or toilets can easily spread to healthy individuals and infect them. This usually happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs near the surfaces. When a healthy individual touches the contaminated surface and inhales the pathogens by touching their face, they will catch the disease. Make sure that the surfaces are sanitized and cleaned thoroughly, especially after a person handles them multiple times.

Clothes and Other Wearables 

If stuck on clothes, shoes, and other wearables, infected particles can also spread infections and diseases, which is why disinfecting your clothes is crucial. The healthcare experts at suggest sanitizing your clothes, shoes, and other wearables before entering and after exiting a disease-prone area. One common disinfecting source is ultraviolet light, as it kills harmful pathogens. 

Food and Water 

Food and water contamination are other overlooked ways through which diseases spread. While spoiled food and contaminated water are the main reasons microbes spread, certain diseases are also caused when an infected person prepares or handles food and water and passes them to healthy individuals. Food poisoning is often caused due to poor hygiene and can take a toll on your stomach. 

Insects and other Environmental Factors 

Insects are carriers of diseases and can spread deadly infections, some of which include dengue and malaria. Mosquito bites and contact with house flies or other bugs may increase the chance of getting infected. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, the emitted microbes float in the air as airborne particles and can easily contaminate a person’s respiratory tract. Since aerosols are tiny in size, they can remain suspended in the environment for hours or travel over longer distances. 

Now that you are aware of the main ways infections and diseases are spread, you can take extra precautions and prevent further infection. Even if you get infected, wear a mask to prevent spreading the infection or disease to other healthy individuals around you. At the same time, take measures to improve your immune health. If you notice recurring symptoms, isolate yourself, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and seek medical help.