Infectious diseases – Myths vs Facts

Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; which can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another.


Myth: To get Cholera, you have to be around someone who has it.
Fact: Cholera is as a result of poor hygiene, and basically if you’re in contact with unclean water or items. However, If you are around someone with Cholera, make sure to be extra careful & adhere to strict hygienic practices.

Myth: If you have Leprosy, your hands, arms, legs, and all other limbs will fall off.
Truth: If you have Leprosy, you lose feeling in your limbs, so when you get injured, you can’t feel the injury, and sometimes amputation is needed, but the disease itself doesn’t make your limbs fall off.

Myth: Only athletes can get athlete’s foot.
Truth: Athlete foot occurs when fungus grows on the feet. One can get the fungus through direct contact with an infected person, by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools.

Myth: You can get HIV or AIDS from breathing the same air as an infected person.
Truth: HIV and AIDS are spread only by bodily fluids.

Myth: I would know if I had HIV or AIDS.
Truth: Some people don’t have symptoms for up to 10 years, even if they are positive for HIV or AIDS. 

Myth: If I am next to someone with TB and they cough, I will get it automatically.
Truth: No, you have to be in constant contact with the person for several hours or even days to get TB.

Myth: If I have/had TB, I will also get lung cancer.
Truth: TB does increase the risk of lung cancer, but TB doesn’t cause it.

Myth: TB disease and TB infection are the same thing.
Truth: No, the infection isn’t deadly or even contagious because the germ is inactive, but the disease is active and very contagious. 

Myth: If you’re vaccinated, you can’t get that disease or infection.
Truth: The vaccines aren’t magical, you still have to protect yourself from others who might have it.

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