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    List of Human Diseases

    The word disease implies that dis-ease (not easy). In other words malfunctioning or improper functioning of various body parts like genetic disorder, hormonal imbalance, malfunctioning of immune system of body are some factors which affects the human health or it is a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally.
    Created On: Feb 11, 2016 12:21 IST

    The word disease implies that dis-ease (not easy). In other words malfunctioning or improper functioning of various body parts like genetic disorder, hormonal imbalance, malfunctioning of immune system of body are some factors which affects the human health. The diseases caused by intrinsic sources are called organic or metabolic diseases like cardiac failure, kidney failure, diabetes, allergies, cancer etc and the diseases caused by extrinsic factors are Kwashiorkor, obesity, Night blindness, scurvy etc. Some diseases are also caused by micro-organisms due to unbalanced diet such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi, protozoan’s, helminthes, worms, etc.; environmental pollutants, tobacco, alcohol and narcotic drugs are also an important extrinsic factors which upset human health.


    Types of Diseases: On the basis of its nature, character and causes of its spreadness is of two types:

    1. Congenital Disease is the diseases which are present since birth. These are caused due to genetic abnormality or due to metabolic disorders or malfunctioning of any organ. They are basically permanent, generally not easily curable and may be inherited to the children like Harelip, Cleft Palate, Club foot etc. Also due to imbalance in the chromosomes the appearance of Mongalism, to born the blue baby due to cardiac disorder etc are also some examples of it.

    2. Acquired Disease is those defects or disorders which are not present by birth but appear due to the various causes and factors. These may be further categorized into following heads:

    (i) Communicable or infectious diseases: These are caused by a variety of pathogenic viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi and worms. The pathogens are generally carried with the help of a vector.

    (ii) Non-communicable or non-infectious or degenerative diseases: These occur due to the malfunctioning of some organ or organ system in the body. It may be of various types like Deficiency diseases: These occur due to the deficiency of some nutrients, minerals or vitamins, Cancerous diseases, Allergy, Genetic diseases.

    Diseases Spread through Blood Transfusion

    AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome): It destroys immune system of the body & is caused by the Human Immuno deficiency Virus (HIV).There are two types of HIV namely HIV-1 and HIV-2. The most common virus currently associated with AIDS is HIV-1. A virus found in the blood of wild African green monkey called the Simian Immuno deficiency Virus (SIV) is similar to HIV-2. HIV is a retrovirus. It can synthesize DNA from RNA. The major cell infected by HIV is the helper T-Iymphocyte that bears the CD-4 receptor site. HIV progressively destroys T-Iymphocytes. The patient occasionally will suffer from swollen lymph nodes, mild prolonged fever, diarrhoea or other non-specific symptoms.

    Important facts about AIDS: AIDS in India was first reported in 1986 and is the end stage of the disease. HIV antibodies can be detected by the ELISA test (Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay). World AIDS Day is celebrated on 1st December.


    Cancer: They are characterized by the uncontrolled growth and division of cells which leads to a mass of cells known as neoplasm. Abnormal and persistent cell division localized in a particular region is called benign tumor.

    Gout: It results from accumulation of uric acid crystals in the synovial joints. It is a disease associated with an inborn error of uric acid metabolism that increases production or interferes with the excretion of uric acid.

    Haemophilia is called bleeder's disease. It is a disorder which is sex-linked and is a recessive condition. In a patient of haemophilia, blood clotting is deficient.

    Haemophilia A, is characterized by lack of anti- haemophilia globulin factor VIII. About four-fifths of the cases of haemophilia are of this type.

    Haemophilia B or Christmas disease results from a defect in plasma thromboplastic component.

    Hepatitis : It is a viral disease, causes hepatic anorexia resulting in liver damage (liver cancer) or jaundice. It is transmitted by the faecal-oral route. Children and young adults are susceptible to it and no vaccines are acceptable.

    Various Deficiency Diseases




    Name of disease Caused by Parts of body affected Method of spread Type of Vaccination
    Influenza A myxovirus (RNA virus) Respiratory passages: epithelial lining of trachea and bronchi. Droplet Infection Killed virus
    Common cold Large variety of viruses, commonly rhino-virus (RNA Virus) Respiratory passages Droplet Infection Intramuscular injection.
    Smallpox Variola virus (DNA virus) Respiratory passages, then skin Droplet Infection (Wounds in skin) Living atteneuated virus applied by scratching skin, no longer carried
    Chickenpox Varicella- zoster Blistering Skin rash Air-borne droplets Living attenuated virus
    Mumps A paramyxovirus (RNA virus) Respiratory passages, infection via blood, salivary glands, testes in adult males Droplet infection Living attenuated virus
    Measles A paramyxovirus (RNA virus) Respiratory passages, spreading to skin and intestines. Droplet infection Living attenuated virus
    German measles (Rubella) Rubella virus Respiratory passages, lymph nodes in neck, eyes and skin. Droplet infection Living attenuated virus, more essential for girls because disease causes complication in pregnancy.
    Poliomyelitis (polio) Poliovirus (RNA Virus) Pharynx and intestines, then blood; occasionally motor neurons in spinal cord, paralysis may occur. Droplet infection or via human faeces Living attenuated virus given orally
    Yellow fever An arbovirus i.e arthropod-borne virus (RNA Virus) Lining of blood vessels and liver Vector- arthropods e.g ticks, mosquitoes Living attenuated virus
    AIDS Retrovirus (RNA virus) Skin Cancer Sexual intercourse homo- and hetrosexuals Not available
    Ebola haemorrhagic fever Ebola Virus disease (EVD) Fatal Illness in Humans, Fever It is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. No licensed Ebola vaccine is available
    Zika disease Zika Virus (mosquito borne disease) Causes mild illness in the people like dengue, yellow fever Basically Infection in pregnant women is linked to abnormally small heads in their babies. No vaccine available

    Bacterial Diseases of Humans

    Name of disease 

    Caused by

    Parts of body affected

    Method of spread

    Type of vaccination or antibodies


    Corynebacterium diphtheria

    Upper respiratory tract, mainly throat also toxin affects heart.

    Droplet infection


    Tuberculosis (TB)

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Mainly lungs

    Droplet infection, Drinking milk from infected cattle.

    BCG living attenuated bacteria. Antibiotics e.g. streptomycin.

    Whooping cough (Pertussis)

    Bordetella pertussis

    Upper respiratory tract, inducing violent coughing

    Droplet infection

    Killed bacteria


    Neisseria gonorrhoeae

    Reproductive organs: mainly mucous membranes of urinogenital tract. Newborn infants may acquire serious eye infections if they pass through infected birth canal.

    Contagion by sexual contact

    Antibiotics, e.g. penicillin, streptomycin


    Treponema pallidum

    Reproductive organs, then eyes, bones, joints, central nervous system, heart and skin.

    Contagion by sexual contact

    Antibiotics. e.g. penicillin


    Clostridium tetani


    Toxin produced which affects motor nerves of spinal cord and hence muscles, causing lockjaw and spreading to the muscles.

    Wound infection



    Vibrio cholera

    Alimentary canal: mainly small intestine.

    Faecal contamination

    (a) food - or water borne of material contaminated with faeces from infected person.

    (b) handling of contaminated Objects.

    (c) vector, e,g. flies moving from human faeces to food.

    Killed bacteria: short-lived protection and not always effective Antibiotics e.g. tetracyclines, chloramphenicol.

    Typhoid fever

    Salmonella typhi

    Alimentary canal, then spreading to lymph and blood, lungs, bone marrow, spleen.

    Same as cholera

    Killed bacteria (TAB vaccine)

    Bacterial dysentery

    Shigella dysenteriae

    Alimentary canal, mainly ileum and colon

    Same as cholera

    No vaccine.

    Bacterial food poisoning (gastro enteritis or salmonellosis)

    Salmonella spp.

    Alimentary canal

    Mainly foodborne meat from infected animals from poultry and pigs. Also via faecal contamination as cholera

    Antibiotic. e.g. tetracyclines.

    Diseases Caused By Worms


    Pathogen responsible and its habitat

    Mode of transmission

    Main symptoms

    Ancylostomiasis or 'Hook-worm disease'

    Ancylostoma duobenale, small intestine (jejunum) of man

    Transmission from person to person, filariform larvae passed out in faeces, man picks up infection walking barefoot on faecally-contaminated soil.

    Dermatitis; reddish, severe anaemia; duodenal ulcer, constipation. Patient pale, face puffy with swelling of lower eyelids.


    Ascaris Lumbricoides; small intestine (jejunum) of man

    Transmission from person to person, ripe eggs passed out in faeces, infection affected by swallowing ripe Ascaris eggs with raw vegetables.

    Larvae in lung cause pneumonia. May give rise to typhoid-like fever, causes protein and Vitamin A deficiencies resulting in protein-calorie malnutrition and night blindness respectively. Can cause appendicitis, jaundice.

    Enterobiasis or 'Pinworm disease'

    Enterobius vermicularis, caecum and vermiform appendix

    Transmission from one person to another by ingestion of eggs in contaminated food or drink.

    Eczematous condition round the anus, bed wetting at night, inflammation of vermiform appendix.


    Wuchereria Bancrofti, lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes.

    Part of the life cycle in mosquito in which larvae develop and become infectious to man, with mosquito bite larvae deposited on skin which enter through puncture wound and reach lymphatic channels

    Elephantiasis i.e. enormous enlargement of certain parts such as that of leg, scrotum, penis, labia, clitoris, breast, forearm.

    Diseases Caused By Worms

    Diseases caused by Fungi


    Pathogen responsible

    Mode of transmission

    Main symptoms

    Ringworm (tinea)

    Microsporum, Trichophyton

    Direct contact from unbathed cats and dogs or objects handled by infected individuals

    Contain one or more blistered areas on skin and scalp. Cause partial and temporary baldness in children.

    Athlete's foot


    Bad foot hygiene where skin remains warm and moist for long periods.

    Painful itching or burning sensation in the infected areas. Crack appears in the skin, mass of loose dead skin clings between toes.

    Madura foot

    Maurella Mycetomi

    Fungi gain entry through some minor injury to the skin.

    Produce a chronic, granulating infection of the lower extremities, affected part becomes enlarged and develops many deep sores, extensive bone destruction leading to crippling deformities.

    Dhobie itch

    Several Different Fungi

    Direct contact through Objects handled by infected person.

    A type of ringworm infection usually located in the groin and inner surfaces of thighs, red rash which itches intensely.