Infectious Diseases

by Isaac Meyer and Bryan Ernst

The Differences Between Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites are organisms/particles that can be infectious to another living organism. Bacteria are single-celled organisms that are usually helpful to an organism, but other times can cause disease which is easy to cure most of the time. Viruses are nonliving particles that their only function is to reproduce. Once inside an organism, it will inject its DNA into a cell, which forces the cell to reproduce more viruses, which ends up killing the cell. Parasites are single-cellular or multicellular organisms that feed off of other host organisms, usually causing infection.


The "Superbug"

Widely known as the “Superbug”, Staphylococcus aureus(aka Staph) is a bacterium that is found on some people’s skins, which can be fatal if entered through a wound. It can be treated with Methicillin(antibiotic) unless it mutates into MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA mainly causes skin infections, such as painful abscesses, which do not go away unless they are drained surgically. As said in the name, MRSA is immune to antibiotics, which makes it hard to kill.


Prevention

Bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections can be prevented in a few ways, and it is important to take caution because some infections are not curable in this day. Bacterial infections can be prevented by receiving antibodies, which are immune cells, from another person to boost another person’s immune system. To prevent a viral infection, it is the same as curing it: a vaccine is given. Parasitic infections cannot be prevented internally(e.g. medicine), but can only be prevented by human action. Techniques to prevent are avoiding uncooked meats, avoiding drinking unfiltered water, using sexual protection, and avoiding other mammal feces.