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2) Identify common illnesses and infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Bacteria can cause:
• Salmonella
• Escherichia coli (E-Coli)
• Pneumonia
• Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – common in hospitals and care homes.
Fungus can cause:
• Ringworm
• Tinea Pedis (Athletes foot)
• Thrush
• Intertrigo (mainly in people who are overweight)
Parasites can cause:
• Lyme disease (from Endoparasites such as Ticks)
• Tapeworm
• Flatworm
• Malaria
Viruses can cause:
• Pandemic Influenza
• Ebola
• Hepatitis B
3) Describe what is meant by ‘infection’ and ‘colonisation’
Infection – means when a germ is in or on the body and make you sick which then shows results such as signs and symptoms like fever, high white blood cell count, pneumonia and pus from a wound etc.
Colonisation – means that a germ still enters the body but does not make you sick, so the person that is infected shows no signs or symptoms. MRSA can cause both infection and colonisation.
4) Explain what is meant by ‘systemic infection’ and ‘localised infection’
A systemic infection means affecting the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part. For example Systemic disorders such as high blood pressure. A systemic infection is usually in the blood and that is how it spreads throughout the body such as Lime Disease, Tuberculosis, Septicemia and HIV for example. An infection that affects only one body part or organ is called localised infection such as a small cut or a ulcer and it stays in that place. However if the localised infection has no medical treatment and remains untreated and becomes worse, then there’s the chance of the localised infection to become a systemic infection.
5) Identify poor practices that may lead to the spread of infection
Possible poor practices that may lead to the spread of infection in Audiology are if an individual does not wash their hands after having contact with the service user, hazardous substances, using the toilet etc. Not covering your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing. Not wearing the correct PPE when needed for the task. Poor storage procedure and waste disposal. Inadequate cleaning/decontamination of environment and equipment.
6) Explain the conditions needed for the growth of micro-organisms
There are 4 key conditions needed for the growth of micro-organisms, and these 4 factors are Warmth, Time, Moisture and Nutrients.
Warmth – Most micro-organisms need warmth and because there is such a variety of bacteria they all have different temperatures at which they grow best. This is their optimal temperature and it effects the rate of their growth, for example Bacteria from the human gut grow at the optimum temperature of 37?C but bacteria from plant may be killed at this temperature.
Time – It takes time for bacteria to reproduce, but depending on the 3 other factors it then determines the rate of reproduction.
Moisture – This helps and is required so that the moisture content of the cytoplasm is maintained at a certain level, also required so that the food is carried in to the cell so that it can absorb its nutrients and then also to carry any waste products from the cell.
Nutrients – Lack of food slows down the bacterial growth, therefore the sufficient nutrients are needed to sustain the bacterial growth and to help the micro-organisms reproduce at a much faster rate.
7) Explain the way an infective agent might enter the body
There are many an infective agent might enter the body, for example.
• Breaks in the skin – One of the main functions and purposes of the skin is to act as a barrier against any kind of infection. Anything that penetrates the skin provides a route for the infection to travel. For example scratches, cuts, bites, puncture wounds from needles etc. increase the risk of infection.
• Down the respiratory tract –

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