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Aina Meducci 2012


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Are fungal infections contagious? (vet facts)

I remembered during mycology class, my lecturer told us that fungal infections are NOT contagious, however when we discussed it with other lecturer, he says that fungal infection indeed contagious. I was kind of confuse with the terminologies , and usually we refer many diseases with infection rather than contagious. Let's study the simple terms..


Look over the terminologies first

1.Infectious (infection)

Infectious diseases are caused by microscopic germs (such as bacteria or viruses) that get into the body and cause problems. Some — but not all — infectious diseases spread directly from one person to another. Infectious diseases that spread from person to person are said to be contagious.

Some infections spread to people from an animal or insect, but are not contagious from another human. Lyme disease is an example: You can't catch it from someone you're hanging out with or pass in the street. It comes from the bite of an infected tick.

2.Contagious (contact)

Contagious diseases (such as the flu, colds, or strep throat) spread from person to person in several ways. One way is through direct physical contact, like touching or kissing a person who has the infection.

Another way is when an infectious microbe travels through the air after someone nearby sneezes or coughs. Sometimes people get contagious diseases by touching or using something an infected person has touched or used — like sharing a straw with someone who has mono or stepping into the shower after someone who has athlete's foot. And sexually transmitted diseases are spread through all types of sex - oral, anal, or vaginal.

"and so...are the fungal infections are contagious?"

Fungal infections are caused by contamination with fungi. Spores are the reproductive form of fungus and very resistant towards external influences and therefore, they can live on - almost invisibly - while their growth form has disappeared completely. Furthermore, fungi as such are not contagious, but spores can be transmitted from one person to another and cause a fungal infection in the latter.

Some fungal infections, such as candidiasis and ringworm, can spread from person to person through contact with the infected area. Most infections, however, develop from fungi found naturally on the human body or in the environment. Many fungi that cause systemic respiratory disease are found in soil or in the droppings of animals or birds. Usually they are inhaled after the soil or droppings are disturbed, sending dust and fungal spores into the air.

Usually, fungi and fungal yeasts are not dangerous. Problems only occur when body resistance is weakened. In humans and animals, fungi grasp the opportunity when the skin is broken or body resistance is weakened due to illness or medication such as immunosuppresion caused by virus (FIV or AIDS)

PS: So, both of the terminologies can be used to describe the fungal infections weather it is contagious or not; it depends on how the way we want to explain it.

Sources: kidshealth.org, fungal infections, janssen, -cilag.com, fungal infection, www.humanillness.com

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