While the concept of disease might appear to be straightforward, it is actually highly complex. Its definition varies across geographic and temporal context and it must be considered in relation to how health and illness are also defined. In its simplest form, disease is a condition that has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner. In the West, biomedical practitioners, also called allopathic physicians, generally determine how a particular disease is defined. A disease, then, is something that can be operationalized biomedically, where the link between a cause and effect might be known. Illnesses, on the other hand, may manifest themselves without any clear cause or disease etiology. It is common to have a cold without the presence of a disease. Disease is often contrasted to ...

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