Infection and infectious diseases

Our environment is filled with microorganisms, some of which can cause infectious diseases. Depending on the pathogen and the patient's immune system, such infections can be minor or more severe.

Overview

Our environment is filled with microorganisms, some of which can cause infectious diseases. Depending on the pathogen and the patient's immune system, such infections can be minor or more severe. Treatment is dictated by the pathogen, and some preventive vaccinations are available.

Symptoms

Infectious diseases cause the most diverse symptoms. Many pathogens cause typical symptoms, and the patient's immune system also determines the severity of the infection.

Main symptoms

Other possible symptoms

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Worms, parasites
  • Prions (cause of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease)

Disease-causing agents can enter the body through the mouth, skin, mucous membranes, respiratory tract or genital organs. Important means of transmission include droplet infection, contact infection, exchange of body fluids, and insect stings and tick bites.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Blood test
  • Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid
  • Urine test, stool analysis
  • X-ray
  • CT scan (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
Possible therapies
  • Antibiotics (bacteria)
  • Antiviral or antifungal medication, vermicides
  • Antipyretic (i.e. fever-reducing) drugs

What can I do myself?

  • Bed rest if you're sick, otherwise get enough sleep
  • Don't eat contaminated or uncooked food
  • Mosquito net
  • Condoms against sexually transmitted infections
  • Hand hygiene
  • Vaccination

When to see a doctor?

  • Feeling very unwell
  • High fever
  • Disorientation or loss of consciousness
  • Stiff neck
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent Diarrhoea
  • Constant severe pain
  • Infection after a trip to the tropics

Further information

Medical advice for travellers
www.safetravel.ch

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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