Noxa types and their characteristics

Egbert Haynes

Noxa It is a term that is used to qualify all that element that can affect a certain organism. When coming into contact with this factor, one is prone to presenting physical, mental and social imbalances that directly affect health.

A common example to illustrate the damage that a noxa can cause, may be human contact with a virus or bacteria. When noxa is introduced into the body, its defenses recognize it and later try to eliminate the imbalance that causes the disease.


The transmission of a noxa occurs mainly by three factors: the susceptibility of the organism, the environmental conditions and the interaction that the individual has with his surroundings..

There are three types of noxas: biological, physical-chemical and those of a socio-cultural nature. In the case of the latter, some authors also include psychic factors.

Article index

  • 1 Types (characteristics of each one)
    • 1.1 Biological
    • 1.2 Physical-chemical
    • 1.3 Socio-cultural (some authors also include psychic noxas):
  • 2 Means of transmission of a noxa
  • 3 Diseases caused by noxas
    • 3.1 Infectious diseases
    • 3.2 Social diseases
    • 3.3 Parasitic diseases
    • 3.4 Traumatic diseases
    • 3.5 Mental illnesses
    • 3.6 Degenerative and functional diseases
    • 3.7 Congenital and hereditary diseases
    • 3.8 Other types of diseases
  • 4 Associated terms
  • 5 References

Types (characteristics of each one)

The most outstanding characteristics of the types of noxas are discussed below:


-They are also called pathogenic agents.

-They are considered the main causes of diseases, since they include viruses, bacteria and parasites.

-They can cause conditions because a greater or lesser amount is found in the body. This means that there are viruses and bacteria that can be beneficial to the human body, but if they are high or low, they can cause serious health problems..

-Protozoa are included in this group and can act as consumers, saprophytes and even parasites. They can cause diseases such as malaria or Chagas disease.

-Another type of biological noxa are fungi, unicellular or multicellular. These can cause skin conditions and rashes.

-Worms and worms are also harmful that can lodge in the digestive system, due to the consumption of poorly handled food..


-This group includes all those derived from chemical substances and physical agents that are potentially fatal to man..

  • Physical: include sudden changes in temperature, atmospheric pressure, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, blows and injuries, overexposure to the sun's rays and atomic radiation.
  • Chemicals: the cause can be the consumption or inhalation of toxic substances such as poisons, pollutants and bites of poisonous animals.

Socio-cultural (some authors also include psychic noxas):

-May include internal (psychological) or external factors.

-They exert a powerful influence on man, although he cannot fully control it.

-They are a reflection of the ethical, aesthetic and moral problems in a society.

-Individuals who suffer from this type of noxas can be constantly worried about the future.

-Its consequences can lead to the following situations: wars, racism, xenophobia, economic and judicial instability, inequality, insecurity in the face of crime, drug addiction, poverty, religious discrimination and unemployment.

-From a more personal perspective, these noxas can also cause drastic changes in lifestyles and perennial states of stress, anguish and anxiety..

Transmission media of a noxa

In this regard, it is important to take into account three aspects: the level of vulnerability of the organism, the environment in which it is found and how it is related to its surroundings..

Due to the above, two types of transmission media are then indicated:

  • Direct: there is no presence of intermediaries, since the disease passes from one living being to another.
  • Indirect: transmission of the disease occurs through intermediaries (also called "vectors".

Diseases caused by noxas

Infectious diseases

They are produced by biological noxas. An example of these can be measles, which is caused by a mixed virus. It enters the body through the nose and throat, through the air.

After an incubation period of 10 days, the disease intensifies producing a cough, fever, and skin tags. Other examples of these diseases such as influenza, cholera and meningitis can also be named..

Social diseases

Those that affect both a group and the individual. Examples: tuberculosis and the black plague.

Parasitic diseases

They are transmitted directly or through intermediaries, called "vectors." These diseases are produced by external parasites such as lice (causing pediculosis), or as trichinella spirals what causes trichinosis.

Traumatic illnesses

Linked to physical injuries, they are those caused by accidents such as: fractures, sprains and even bruises.

Mental diseases

They have to do with the alterations produced in the mental functioning of individuals, in a way that directly affects their behavior. Psychosis and depression are two cases of particular ailments that are very present in today's society.

Degenerative and functional diseases

In this case, it includes two types: those produced by the alteration in the functioning of the cells such as cancer, and those corresponding to the failure in the performance of the organs such as diabetes..

Congenital and inherited diseases

Congenital ones manifest during the gestation process (for example malformations in the spine), while hereditary ones have to do with the transmission of genetic material from parents to children. A couple of examples of this case are color blindness and hemophilia.

Other types of diseases

  • Autoimmune diseases: manifested by reactions generated by the body's immune system.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases: are disorders produced by the death of brain neurons, as well as the rest of the nervous system.

Associated terms

There are a number of concepts that are related to this topic:

-Epidemiology: science that studies the causes and distribution of diseases in a given population.

-Outbreak: sudden onset and progressive spread of a disease in an unusual way that spreads in one area.

-Epidemic: refers to the appearance of a disease that manifests itself in a large number of people over a period of time.

-Endemic: it has to do with the number of cases of a disease that manifests itself in a certain place in a stationary way. It may present slight levels of fluctuation during a certain period of time..

-Pandemic: it is an epidemic that transcends the limits of a population, to spread to several countries and other geographical areas.


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