There are a lot of infectious diseases out there, each with its own signs and symptoms. Depending on where you live, the environment you're exposed to and your overall health, you may be at a high risk of contracting one of them. For that reason, it may be very important for you to understand exactly what causes infectious diseases and how are they treated.

Symptoms:

Each of the infectious diseases you may be exposed to will have its own battery of symptoms. However, there are some distinctive general signs that are common among all infectious diseases. They are fever, diarrhea, fatigue, muscle aches, and coughing. Pretty much all infectious diseases whether minor or severe will cause a combination of these symptoms.

However, there are times when infectious diseases may cause you a whole lot of trouble depending on how you contracted it. Consider what happens when you are bitten by a stray dog. Your first thought will automatically be about your health. It is important to see a doctor if you are having difficulty breathing, have a persistent cough, severe headache with a fever, and sudden vision problems.

Causes:

There are several primary causes of infectious diseases that can be divided up into four categories.

1. Bacteria

This is the primary reason for such diseases as strep throat, urinary tract infections and tuberculosis.

2. Viruses

Viruses are extremely small but can cause a wide range of diseases, ranging from the common cold to full blown AIDS.

3. Fungi

This is the cause of many skin diseases and conditions of ringworm and athlete's foot. There are many types of fungi and some are able to infect your lungs or your nervous system.

4. Parasites

One of the most common diseases contracted from parasites is malaria, which is transmitted through a mosquito bite. Other parasites live in animal feces and their intestines. Make sure you handle pets and food products carefully.

It helps to know what causes infectious diseases and how are they treated so you know how to protect yourself from illnesses.

Treatments:

In order to get the right treatment for an infectious disease you need to know what caused your illness. Nevertheless, there are some standard treatments that may be common for most infectious diseases.

1. Antibiotics work best on the treatment of infections caused by bacteria like E. coli or Streptococcus. Some bacteria are extremely sensitive to antibiotics but others may have developed a resistance. Antibiotics are best used for bacterial infections but have little effect on viruses.

2. Antiviral drugs are designed to work on viruses but they are not equally as effective on all of them. Many of them work well on influenza, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, herpes, and even have some success with HIV/AIDS treatments.

3. Antifungal medications work well to treat infections of the skin and nails.

4. Anti-parasitics work well on illnesses like malaria that are delivered via parasites. They tend to be more effective than many of the drugs used for treatment since most of them have already developed a resistance to them.

Knowing what causes infectious diseases and how are they treated can help you to stay healthy.