Sign In

List of Definitions

 

C

 

 
CARRIER - A person who does not show the symptoms or signs of a disease but harbours the pathogen (microbe) which causes it, and can transmit it to others either through interacting with other persons, or by passing the disease-causing pathogen to offspring.
 
CONGENITAL - It is present from birth and can either be hereditary or due to some influence during pregnancy up to birth.
 
 
 
D
 

 
DIARRHOEA - Diarrhoea implies the passage of increased amounts of loose stool (>300g per 24 hours). This must be differentiated from the frequent passage of small amounts of stool (which patients often refer to as diarrhoea), which is commonly seen in functional bowel disease.
 
DISINFECTION - A cleaning process that destroys most pathogens but not those which are highly resistant such as bacterial and mycotic spores or the AIDS virus.
 
 
 
E
 

 
ENCEPHALITIS - Inflammation of the brain.
 
 
 
H
 

 
HAND WASHING - It is the way the one cleans hands with water or other cleaning liquid, with or without the use of soap or other detergent to remove pathogens or other material. (WHO Chapter 8. Personal, domestic and community hygiene)
 
 
 
I
 

 
IMMUNOCOMPROMISED - A person whose immune system is not functioning efficiently either because of an immunodeficiency disorder or by immunosuppressive agents.
 
IMMUNODEFICIENCY - It is a condition resulting in the immune system not functioning efficiently due to:
Primary: a defect in the immune system itself.
Secondary: another disease which affects the immune system, making it not functioning well.
 
INCUBATION PERIOD - It is the time from exposure to the development of the clinical symptoms or signs of a particular infectious disease.
 
 
 
M
 

 
MALAISE - When a person feels unwell.
 
 
 
N
 

 
NAUSEA - When a person experiences the feeling of wanting to vomit.
 
 
 
P
 

 
PERSONAL HYGIENE - It is the maintenance of health in the individual. (WHO Chapter 8. Personal, domestic and community hygiene) 
 
 
 
Q
 

 
QUARANTINE - It is the limitation of freedom of movement of a person in order to prevent spread of a disease to other people. 
 
 
 
R
 

 
RESERVOIR - It is a material (living or nonliving), in or on which an infectious agent multiplies and/or develops and is dependent for its survival in nature.
 
 
 
S
 

 
SPORES - It is the reproductive element of organisms such protozoa, fungi. It is generally unicellular and often environmentally resistant.
 
STERILIZATION - It is the process to destroy living micro-organisms (pathogens) usually by the use of physical or chemical agents.