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What is the standard treatment for infectious diseases?

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Quick Answer

The standard treatments for infectious diseases are antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals or anti-parasitics, as reported by Mayo Clinic. Knowing the type of germ involved makes prescribing the right treatment easier.

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Full Answer

Both antibiotics and bacteria are grouped together in families of similar type, according to Mayo Clinic. Certain antibiotic classes work better for certain types of bacteria than others. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and have no effect on viral illnesses. The overuse of antibiotics sometimes results in bacteria becoming resistant to certain antibiotics. These bacteria become difficult to treat.

Medicines have been developed to treat the viruses that cause acquired immune deficiency syndrome, herpes, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and influenza, as reported by Mayo Clinic. Drugs have not been developed to treat all viruses, however. Antifungals treat fungal infections, which can infect the lungs or the mucous membranes. People with weakened immune systems more easily contract the infections that require antifungal treatments. Anti-parasitics treat diseases caused by parasites, although some parasites have developed resistance.

People can also take steps to protect themselves from infectious agents, states Mayo Clinic. Keeping up to date on immunizations drastically decreases the risk of contracting many diseases. Preparing food safely is also important. Preparing foods on clean surfaces and using a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked to the proper temperature are important. Good hand washing before and after preparing food, before eating and after using the restroom is essential.

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