What Causes Sicknesses

E-GUIDER | April 7, 2017 | Health care

Health, care, sickness , non infectionFacts about what causes sicknesses that’ll make your hair stand on end

Persons from different countries or backgrounds have different ways to explain what causes sickness.

A baby gets diarrhea. But why?

People in small villages may say it is because the parents did something wrong, or perhaps because they made a god or spirit angry.

A doctor may say it is because the child has an infection.

A public health officer may say it is because the villages do not have a good water system or use latrines.

A social reformer may say the unhealthy conditions that lead to frequent childhood diarrhea are caused by an unfair distribution of land and wealth.

A teacher may place the blame on lack of education.

People see the cause of sickness in terms of their own experience and point of view. Who then is right about the cause? Possibly everyone is right, or partly right.

This is because….. Sickness usually results from a combination of causes.


When considering how to prevent or treat different sickness, it helps to think of them in two groups: infectious and noninfectious.

Infectious diseases are those spread from one person to another. Healthy persons must be protected from people with these sickness.

Non-infectious diseases do not spread from one person to person. They have other causes. Therefore, it is important to know which sicknesses are infectious and which are not.

Non-infectious Diseases

Non-infectious diseases have many different causes. But they are never caused by germs, bacteria, or other living organisms that attack the body. They never spread from one person to another. It is important to realize that antibiotics, or medicines that fight germs do not help cure non-infectious diseases.

Remember: Antibiotics are of no use for non-infectious diseases.

Non-infectious diseases are caused by different things….Example

Problems caused by something that wears out or goes wrong within the body:


Heart attack

Epileptic fits




Problems caused by something from outside that harms or trouble the body:





Cough from smoking

Stomach ulcer


Problems caused by a lack of something the body needs:




Goiter and cretinism

Cirrhosis of the liver (part of the cause)

Night blindness and xerophthalmia.

Problems people are born with:


Crossed or wall-eyes and other deformities.

Epilepsy (some kinds)

Retarded (backward)

Children birthmarks.

Problems that begin in the mind (mental ‘illnesses’):

Fear that something is harmful when it is not (paranoia).

Nervous worry (anxiety)

Belief in hexes (witchcraft)

Uncontrolled fear (hysteria).

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are caused by bacteria and other organisms (living things) that harm the body. They are spread in many ways. Here are some of the most important kinds of organisms that cause infections and examples of sicknesses they cause:

Organism that causes the sickness Names of the sickness How it is spread or enters the body Principal medicine
Bacteria (microbes or germs) Tuberculosis Through the air (coughing)
Bacteria, like many of the organisms that cause infections are so small you cannot see them without a microscope-an instrument that make tiny things look bigher. Viruses are even smaller than bacteria.

Antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline, etc) are medicines that help  certain illnesses caused by bacteria. Antibiotics have no effect on illnesses caused by viruses, such as colds, flu, mumps, chickenpox, etc. Do not treat virus infections with antibiotics. They will not help and may be harmful.

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