Infectious diseases, also known as transmissible diseases or communicable diseases, comprise clinically evident illness (i.e., characteristic medical signs and/or symptoms of disease) resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism. In certain cases, infectious diseases may be asymptomatic for much or even all of their course in a given host. In the latter case, the disease may only be defined as a "disease" (which by definition means an illness) in hosts who secondarily become ill after contact with an asymptomatic carrier. An infection is not synonymous with an infectious disease, as some infections do not cause illness in a host.
Infectious pathogens include some viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are the cause of disease epidemics, in the sense that without the pathogen, no infectious epidemic occurs.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STI) and venereal diseases (VD), are illnesses that have a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. Some STIs can also be contracted by using IV drug needles after their use by an infected person, as well as through childbirth or breastfeeding.
Sexually transmitted infections have been well known for hundreds of years, and venereology is the branch of medicine that studies these diseases. While in the past, these illnesses have mostly been referred to as STDs or VD, in recent years the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been preferred, as it has a broader range of meaning; a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without having a disease.
Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is, broadly, the insertion and thrusting of a male's penis, usually when erect, into a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction; also known as vaginal intercourse or vaginal sex. Other forms of penetrative sexual intercourse include penetration of the anus by the penis (anal sex), penetration of the mouth by the penis or oral penetration of the vulva or vagina (oral sex), sexual penetration by the fingers (fingering), and sexual penetration by use of a strap-on dildo. These activities involve physical intimacy between two or more individuals and are usually used among humans solely for physical or emotional pleasure and commonly contribute to human bonding.
A variety of views concern what constitutes sexual intercourse or other sexual activity and their effects on health. While the term sexual intercourse, particularly the variant coitus, most commonly denotes penile-vaginal penetration and the possibility of creating offspring (the fertilization process known as reproduction), oral sex (especially when penetrative) and particularly penile-anal sex are also commonly considered sexual intercourse. Non-penetrative sex acts (such as non-penetrative forms of cunnilingus or mutual masturbation) have been termed outercourse, but may additionally be among the sexual acts contributing to human bonding and considered sexual intercourse. The term sex, often a shorthand for sexual intercourse, can mean any form of sexual activity. Because people can be at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections during these activities, though the transmission risk is significantly reduced during non-penetrative sex, safe sex practices are advised.
Congenital syphilis is syphilis present in utero and at birth, and occurs when a child is born to a mother with secondary syphilis. Untreated syphilis results in a high risk of a poor outcome of pregnancy, including mulberry molars in the fetus. Syphilis can cause miscarriages, premature births, stillbirths, or death of newborn babies. Some infants with congenital syphilis have symptoms at birth, but most develop symptoms later. Untreated babies can have deformities, delays in development, or seizures along with many other problems such as rash, fever, hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, and jaundice. Sores on infected babies are infectious. Rarely, the symptoms of syphilis go unseen in infants so that they develop the symptoms of late-stage syphilis, including damage to their bones, teeth, eyes, ears, and brain.
Science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics,
pharmacodynamics, therapeutic use, and toxicology.
Pharmacology (from Greek φάρμακον, pharmakon, "poison" in classic Greek; "drug" in modern Greek; and -λογία, -logia "study of", "knowledge of") is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.