HOW DISEASE SPREAD
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Where do germs come from? Most germs that cause disease, in humans come either from other humans who are, or who have been, sick; or from animals. The ways the germs leave the sick person are four:
- THROUGH THE AIR
They may be breathed or coughed out through the mouth or nose. This is the way colds, influenza, tuberculosis, and such diseases as measles, mumps, and whooping cough are spread. Fresh air and sunshine are important to prevent the spread of these diseases.
- THROUGH URINE OR STOOL
Germs may be passed .in’ the urine or stool, which is passed onto the ground, where it mixes with the dirt, or from where it may be washed into water. This is one of the most common ways of spreading disease. Stool should always be treated as though germs are in it, and should either be buried or collected in latrines. Typhoid fever, hepatitis, bilharzia, almost all the worms, and the different kinds of dysentery, are passed in the stool or urine. If these are passed in the stool or urine, which mixes with the dirt or goes into water, it is quite easy for the dirt or water to get on a person or on his food, and be taken into the mouth where it can begin to cause disease. This can be especially dangerous if the person who is doing the cooking is not dean, or if several people eat out of the same dish, and one of them has the dirt and germs of disease on his hands. Either way, it is possible for one person to spread infection to many. Teach children that they should always wash their hands with soap and water after passing stool, and before eating or putting their hands in their mouths.
- THROUGH TOUCH
In cases where there are sores or infection in the skin, eyes, or other places on the outside of the body, germs may be passed directly from one person to another by touching. Such germs can also be carried when the well person does not even touch the sick person. A fly or other insect landing on the sore or infection, will carry the germs on its feet or mouth. This is the way many of the eye infections, and such diseases as yaws, are carried. Keeping clean with soap and water, and preventing flies or other insects from getting to sores, are the two best ways to prevent these infections. Also, a sick person or one with sore eyes or a cold should not use the same towel or bedding that others use.
- BY PARASITES
Germs and parasites are also carried by such insects as mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice, and biting flies such as the tsetse fly. One of these insects bites a person who is sick with a disease such as malaria, sleeping sickness, or other fever; and thus gets germs into its own body. Later, when it bites a person who is well, the germs are passed from its own body into the well person who then later becomes ill with the disease. In some cases it is possible for insects to pass germs from animals to man