The person's susceptibility and defence mechanisms may be altered by the resistance of the individual. This may be lowered by the following:

1. Nutrition. Where the nutritional status is decreased, the susceptibility to a disease is increased, or the clinical illness is more severe.

2. Trauma and debilitating conditions. Poliomyelitis may be a mild or inapparent infection, but if associated with trauma, such as an intramuscular injection, then paralytic disease can result. The appearance of shingles or fungal infections in debilitated people is often seen.

3. Multiple infections. The presence of one disease may make it easier for other infecting organisms. Secondary respiratory infections commonly occur in measles. Yaws has been noticed to increase and spread more rapidly following an outbreak of chickenpox.

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