Infectious Diseases

What are infectious diseases?

Infectious diseases are an important part of Western medicine. In the early part of the 20th century, many infectious diseases were described and researched. A breakthrough in infectious diseases occurred during the second World War when penicillin was introduced.

In the 1950s great progress was made with antibiotics against tuberculosis. New antibiotics against syphilis and gonorrhea were developed. In the 60s and 70s, sexually transmitted diseases were a large focus. However, every time that progress was made regarding these STDs, they became more and more complex as antibiotic resistance developed and new plagues like AIDS and BSE emerged.

Today we have remarkable challenges besides AIDS and BSE as there are new strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria of malaria and tuberculosis, methicillin resistant Staph. infection (MRSA) and Vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE). We also have a myriad of viral diseases such as hepatitis C and others, that together with AIDS have entered into the group of people who use intravenous drugs with contaminated or shared needles. Further spread into the general population through close contact and intercourse poses a constant challenge to the physician and society at large.

Common infectious diseases include: