8 Health Problems You Think Are Contagious (But Not!)

What seems serious is not necessarily contagious, whether it is a medical condition, infection or problem.

How to determine what is contagious?

Do not attempt to diagnose an alleged illness without the necessary medical skills. While the symptoms of potentially contagious diseases may resemble each other, each has a specific mode of transmission.

“There is no link between the cause of an infection and its level of contagiousness since there are bacterial diseases that are transmitted and others that are not,” explains Dr. Amesh Adalja, infectious disease specialist and principal investigator at Johns Hopkins. Center for Health Security. He adds that this is also the case for the plethora of viruses currently circulating. And we must not forget the diseases caused by the deficiency of the immune system and those caused by environmental factors. “In any case, it is always better to prevent by getting vaccinated and washing your hands often. “

1) Pneumonia

The degree of contagiousness of a lung infection is linked to its cause. The two types of pneumonia that are not transmissible between humans are: pneumonia of fungal origin (environment), and that of aspiration. The latter occurs when food or fluids contaminated with bacteria that have been aspirated cause an infectious response in the lungs. On the other hand, bacterial and viral pneumonia, the most common according to the American Lung Association, are contagious, but spread in various ways.

“The microorganisms involved can be passed from person to person without causing pneumonia,” said Dr. Adalja. Some bacteria, for example, will only colonize the nasal passages, while influenza, which is the source of pneumonia, may only trigger bronchitis in another individual. “

2) legionellosis

An epidemic is not always the result of an infected individual or animal. In the case of legionellosis, water contaminated with the Legionella bacteria is the vector for transmission by fog or droplets. According to the National Institutes for Health, exposure can occur through the use of fountains, showers, whirlpools, or even through ventilation systems in large buildings.

Exposure to this particularly serious and potentially fatal form of pneumonia does not automatically lead to its transmission. Those most at risk are over 50 and have a weakened immune system or a chronic disease.

3) Psoriasis

This skin condition, which affects approximately 1 million Canadians, has no particular connection to a germ or bacteria. “Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that results from a dysfunction of the immune system that attacks the skin,” says Dr. Adalja. It is not spread by a microorganism from a human. “

Its apparent signs are itchy red spots covered with white or silvery scales. They appear mainly in the elbows, knees and scalp, and they appear where the epidermis produces its cells too quickly.

4) Ear infections

The ear infection is not contagious. But if the origin of the infection is due to a microbe, this problem could result from a contamination often caused by a rhinovirus. “In response to congestion caused by the cold, the inner ear fills with fluid that can be infected with bacteria. These are in the ear and are therefore not contagious, “said Dr. Matthew Mintz, associate professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and internist and emergency physician at Bethesda Hospital.

“However, the patient could be contagious if they still have cold symptoms and their ear infection is from a rhinovirus.” Earaches affect people of all ages and children in particular.

5) rosacea

This non-communicable skin disease causes rosacea, facial vasodilation and sometimes pustules. More rarely, it can lead to the thickening of the nose. The origin of this condition, which affects more than 3 million Canadians, is not established among experts. It may depend in part on inheritance, abnormal blood vessels on the face, and possibly intestinal bacteria H. pylori. According to the Canadian Acne and Rosacea Society, the antibiotics prescribed to treat rosacea are effective because they effectively fight inflammation, not because they can kill the bacteria.

6) Bronchitis

Like pneumonia, some forms of bronchitis are contagious. It all depends on the cause of inflammation of the bronchi and its consequences: coughing, wheezing and other breathing difficulties. Acute bronchitis, which usually results from an upper respiratory infection in the chest, is often caused by a contagious virus.

Hundreds of viruses and certain bacteria can eventually cause bronchitis when microbes reach the mucous membranes through the eyes, nose or mouth. However, chronic bronchitis is not contagious. It has often been associated with smoking and pollution.

7) Lyme disease

The bite of a tick carrying the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is the only vector for the transmission of Lyme disease, explains Santé Québec (according to the CDC). It cannot therefore be transmitted through human contact (kissing or sexual intercourse) or through domestic animals, which can however carry the same ticks. Its first symptoms are fever, fatigue and a typical target-like redness around the affected area. Some people with Lyme disease may experience severe joint pain, severe headache, tingling in the hands and feet, and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

8) Poison ivy (poison ivy)

Some people haven’t noticed a poison ivy rash as soon as they experience virtual itching. However, the allergic reaction to poison ivy is not transmitted between humans, even after direct contact with the rash or the liquid from a blister.

It can only be done after skin contact with urushiol, the plant’s oily allergen, or with clothing or a pet carrying it. A straight line rash, if you’ve touched the plant by the way, is the best indication of an allergic reaction to poison ivy, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, if it is your clothes or your doggie that is contaminating you, the rash could be more severe.

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