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Besides nutritional items, other substances which may be ingested include medications, recreational drugs, and substances considered inedible such as foreign bodies or excrement. Ingestion is a common route taken by pathogenic organisms and poisons entering the body.
Ingestion can also refer to a mechanism picking up something and making it enter an internal hollow of that mechanism.
Some pathogens are transmitted via ingestion, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Most commonly, this takes place via the fecal-oral route. This commonly takes place via an intermediate step, such as drinking water contaminated by feces or food prepared by workers who fail to practice adequate hand-washing, and is more common in regions where untreated sewage is common. Diseases transmitted via the fecal-oral route include hepatitis A, polio, and cholera.
Some pathogenic organisms are typically ingested by other routes.
Disk batteries, or button cells, are often mistakenly ingested, particularly by children and the elderly. They may be mistaken for pills because of their size and shape, or they may be swallowed after being held in the mouth while the battery is being changed. Battery ingestion can cause medical problems including blocked airway, vomiting, irritability, persistent drooling, and rash (due to nickel metal allergy).
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ingestion". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|