Which body fluids are considered contagious?

Definition Contagion, also known as infection, is the penetration and multiplication of pathogens in an organism. The pathogens trigger a defensive reaction in the human immune system. Whether an infectious disease breaks out depends on how dangerous the pathogen is and the immune system of the infected person. If the immune system is weak, even harmless pathogens can trigger an illness.

The pathogens often enter the body via the respiratory tract, the digestive tract or through direct contact. Injuries to the skin or mucous membrane or open wounds increase the risk of infection. In the case of a droplet infection, the infection takes place via germs that are located in the smallest droplets of saliva or secretion. They are transmitted by coughing, sneezing, or talking. Germs in body fluids or excretions can be transmitted through contact or smear infection. The cause is usually poor hygiene. This is also responsible for transmission through food and contaminated water. The exchange of body fluids takes place during sexual intercourse and can trigger sexually transmitted diseases. Contaminated blood supplies are also a source of infection during blood transfusion. An infection from the mother to the fetus occurs through the contact of maternal and child blood in the placenta. Certain diseases such as malaria are transmitted by insects. The pathogens get into the skin through the bite of the anopheles mosquito.

Certain infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, must be reported to the health department because they can spread quickly in a spatially limited area. One then speaks of an epidemic. In the case of highly contagious diseases, the patient is isolated from other people in order to prevent them from becoming infected. Such isolation is called quarantine. Infections that occur in hospitals should be taken particularly seriously, as the germs are usually resistant to individual antibiotics.