A risk factor is something that raises your chances of having a health problem. You can get an infection even if you do not have risks. The risks are not the same for each infection. The basic ones are:

Viruses and bacteria that cause infections are passed through contact with infected people. You are at higher risk if you:

  • Do not wash your hands.
  • Touch your nose, mouth, and eyes with contaminated fingers.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from person to person during sex. Your risk is higher if you have had:

  • Many sex partners
  • Sex with someone who has had many partners
  • Sex without using condoms

Germs that cause infections have been found in:

  • Uncooked meats
  • Undercooked meat , such as rare beef, from infected animals
  • Uncooked vegetables
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Foods made from unpasteurized milk
  • Processed foods

Your risk is higher if you eat these foods.

Lifestyle factors are:

  • Having close contact with someone who has an infection
  • Using household items that were used by an infected person and not cleaned
  • Handling cat litter or soil where there is cat feces
  • Having a job that involves contact with bodily fluids, such as a:
    • Childcare worker
    • First aid or emergency worker
    • Funeral director
    • Healthcare worker
    • Dentist
    • Dental assistant
    • Firefighter
    • Police staff

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