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The first link in the chain of infection is the pathogen. A pathogen is anything that causes a disease. Pathogens include:
Bacterium (example: bacterial meningitis or strep throat)
Virus (example: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C)
Fungus (example: athlete’s foot)
We come in contact with pathogens everyday. Most of the time our body’s immune system destroys them before they can cause harm.
We are considered exposed when we have been in contact with a pathogen.
We are considered infected when a pathogen has entered the body and resulted in disease.
Whether an exposure results in infection depends on three factors:
Dose - the amount of organisms that enter your body.
Virulence - the strength of the organism.
Host resistance - the ability of your immune system to fight infection
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|Last edited February 16, 2013||