communicable diseases


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communicable diseases,

illnesses caused by microorganisms and transmitted from an infected person or animal to another person or animal. Some diseases are passed on by direct or indirect contact with infected persons or with their excretions. Most diseases are spread through contact or close proximity because the causative bacteria or viruses are airborne; i.e., they can be expelled from the nose and mouth of the infected person and inhaled by anyone in the vicinity. Such diseases include diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, mumps, whooping cough, influenza, and smallpox. Some infectious diseases can be spread only indirectly, usually through contaminated food or water, e.g., typhoid, cholera, dysentery. Still other infections are introduced into the body by animal or insect carriers, e.g., rabies, malaria, encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The human disease carriers, i.e., the healthy persons who may be immune to the organisms they harbor, are also a source of transmission. Some infective organisms require specific circumstances for their transmission, e.g., sexual contact in syphilis and gonorrhea, injury in the presence of infected soil or dirt in tetanus, infected tranfusion blood or medical instruments in serum hepatitis and sometimes in malaria. In the case of AIDS, while a number of different circumstances will transmit the disease, each requires the introduction of a contaminant into the bloodstream. A disease such as tuberculosis may be transmitted in several ways—by contact (human or animal), through food or eating utensils, and by the air. Control of communicable disease depends upon recognition of the many ways transmission takes place. It must include isolation or even quarantine of persons with certain diseases. Proper antisepsis (see antisepticantiseptic,
agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the external surfaces of the body. Antiseptics should generally be distinguished from drugs such as antibiotics that destroy microorganisms internally, and from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms
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) should be observed in illness and in health. Immunologic measures (see immunityimmunity,
ability of an organism to resist disease by identifying and destroying foreign substances or organisms. Although all animals have some immune capabilities, little is known about nonmammalian immunity.
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) should be utilized fully. Some sexually transmitted infections are associated with cancer (cervical or penile). Education of the population in rules of public health is of great importance both in the matter of personal responsibility (disposal of secretions, preventing contact with the blood of others, proper handling and preparation of food, personal hygiene) and community responsibility (safe water and food supply, sterile blood supply, garbage and waste disposal). Animal and insect carriers must be controlled, and the activities of human carriers must be limited.
References in periodicals archive ?
For her part, Hoff lauded the Ministry's efforts to combat contagious and communicable diseases, affirming that the WHO will continue to support these efforts to prevent the spread of diseases, especially diseases transmitted via water.
Most deaths caused by epidemic communicable diseases happen among those having chronic diseases like diabetes due to their weak body immunity," he noted.
She went on to explain that people contract communicable diseases are triggered when microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites find their way into the human body through contact with an infected person, from animals or insects or due to ingestion of contaminated food or water.
To purchase "Control of Communicable Diseases Manual for Mobile + Web," visit www.
Epidemiologists are spoilt for choice with regard to reference manuals on communicable diseases and the competing wealth of information available on the internet via disease control agencies.
The requirements govern the methods used in, and the facilities and controls used for, the manufacture of HCT/Ps in a way that prevents the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases by HCT/Ps.
Communicable diseases are leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide, and ill health due to communicable diseases is strongly associated with poverty.
National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham, South Africa; ([dagger]) Durbanville Mediclinic, Cape Town, South Africa; ([double dagger]) University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa; and ([section]) University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Anne Halewood, in her 40s, is a communicable disease control nurse.
TORONTO -- A report by the Ontario Medical Association said that Canada should consider a needle exchange program to reduce the spread of communicable diseases inside prisons.
The report is "analytically tight," says Fox, and suggests that the economic and social impact of heart disease in the next generation may dwarf that of communicable diseases.

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