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Infectious Diseases and Communication Disorders

Infectious diseases are a major causal and contributory factor in the onset and development of communication disorders in children and adults. The role of infectious diseases in the etiology of communication disorders is at least as significant as genetic and traumatic causes of these disorders. Several pathogens give rise to infectious diseases, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and infectious proteins known as prions. When they invade the nervous system, ear, larynx, and lungs, these pathogens can have devastating and irreversible effects on speech, language, hearing, and voice. Of course, the infections caused by these pathogens may also threaten an individual’s very survival. An infection such as meningitis poses a serious risk to an individual’s life beyond the brain damage and hearing loss that is also ...

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