The reservoir of a disease agent can be infected people, other animals, or the environment. In order to spread, infectious organisms must exit a host. Handwashing and vector control can prevent many diseases; airborne
transmission of pathogens is difficult to control. The portal of entry of a pathogen can affect the outcome of disease. The outcome of transmission is affected by the dose, the incubation period, and characteristics of the host population.
■ Explain why smallpox was successfully eradicated but rabies probably never will be.
■ Contrast the transmission of bubonic plague with that of pneumonic plague.
■ Considering that circulating blood is not normally released from the body, describe how blood-borne microbes might exit.
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