Writing Exercise #1

Non-infectious diseases caused by microorganisms

Non-infectious: A disease that is not likely to be transmitted person-to-person.

Microorganism: A microscopic organism, fungi, bacteria, or virus.

There are many common non-infectious diseases which immediately come to mind but whether or not they are caused by a microorganism is less clear. Initially, I thought of the big ones we talk about in healthcare all the time; COPD, CHF, and cancer.

Microorganism may cause COPD if it is a secondary infection that leads to weakness or susceptibility to other infection. CHF is the same way, it cannot be transmitted, it is not infectious. Cancer is an opportunistic infection and often happens after another infection has weakened our immune system, so in that sense, it would be caused by a microorganism.

A whole host of autoimmune diseases are both caused by microorganisms and not infectious. Genetic defects are also caused by microorganisms and not infectious. It helps that I just finished the course Human Virology because we studied so many viruses that caused genetic defects – Multiple Sclerosis, Myocarditis, Diabetes, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Myasthenia Gravis, and Guillan-Barre Syndrome. These are all caused by an infectious disease and are noninfectious, themselves.

An important detail to remember is the opportunistic infections, both bacterial, viral, or fungal infections or sepsis can cause other diseases.

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