The Chain of Infection

What are the modes of transmission?

Exposure occurs through either direct or indirect contact.  


Direct transmission occurs when a pathogen An agent that causes disease, esp. a living microorganism such as a bacterium or fungus. is transmitted directly from an infected individual to you.  For example, you could become infected with HBV Hepatitis B Virus if you had an open wound that came into contact with a patientís HBV infected blood.  


Indirect transmission occurs when an inanimate object serves as a temporary reservoir for the infectious agent.  For example, you could become infected with HBV if you come into contact with equipment that has dried infectious blood on it.


It is important to note that many diseases do not manifest themselves immediately.  Therefore, it can often be difficult to track the source of an exposure.  


Many of the symptoms of some diseases can be quite similar to the flu.  Therefore, if flu-like symptoms do not subside in a normal amount of time with normal treatment methods, you may need to have blood tests performed to rule out other possible causes.

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