Communicable diseases can spread from one person to another through contact with bodily fluids, contaminated objects, or the air. Examples of communicable diseases include – the common cold, flu, and sexually transmitted infections.

Communicable Diseases

Importance of understanding Communicable Diseases

It’s crucial to understand communicable diseases because they spread rapidly and effortlessly among people, leading to significant repercussions for individuals and communities. When we grasp the ways communicable diseases transmit, diagnose, and treat them, we’re able to take preventive measures and reduce their impact. This includes practising good hygiene, getting vaccinated, seeking early diagnosis and treatment, and following public health guidelines during outbreaks. Understanding communicable diseases is also important for global health security. Outbreaks can have far-reaching implications and require coordinated efforts to control and prevent their spread.

Types of Communicable Diseases

Different types of communicable diseases exist, such as bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal infections. Let’s look at a few examples of each type:

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that can cause a range of infections, from minor skin infections to severe diseases. Examples of bacterial infections include:

  1. Streptococcal infections: strep is a type of bacteria, and streptococcus infections mean throat, tonsil, skin, etc. 
  2. Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis, also known as TB, happens when germs spread through the air from one person to another, causing a disease. Generally, it targets the lungs.
  3. Salmonella infection: Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines.
  4. Lyme disease: a severe disease that is caused by a bacterium transmitted by some ticks, that is often characterized at first by a spreading red patch on the skin, and that may result in joint pain and disorders of the heart and nervous system if left untreated. 
Viral Infection

Viral Infections

Viruses are tiny particles that can infect living cells and cause a wide range of diseases. Examples of viral infections include:

  1. Influenza (flu): a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and catarrh (a thick liquid that runs from the nose and throat when you have a cold) and often occurring in epidemics.
  2. HIV/AIDS: HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). There is currently no effective cure. Once people get HIV, they have it for life.
  3. Hepatitis (A, B, C, D, and E): Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C, and D usually occur as a result of parenteral (such as injections or infusions) contact with infected body fluids.
  4. COVID-19: a disease in humans caused by a coronavirus, which is characterized mainly by fever and cough and is capable of progressing to severe symptoms and in some cases death.
Parasitic Infections

Parasitic Infections

Parasites are organisms that live on or inside another organism (the host) and can cause disease. Examples of parasitic infections include:

  1. Malaria: a serious disease in hot countries that you get from the bite of a small flying insect (a mosquito).
  2. Toxoplasmosis: a disease caused by toxoplasmas, transmitted chiefly through undercooked meat, soil, or in cat faeces.
  3. Pinworm infection: caused by the female pinworm (known as threadworm which is a type of parasitic worm) laying her eggs. Symptoms of pinworm infection usually are mild and some infected people have no symptoms.
  4. Giardiasis: infection of the intestine with a flagellate protozoan, which causes diarrhoea and other symptoms.
  5. Flagellate Protozoan: Flagellate protozoans are a diverse group of unicellular organisms that move through whip-like appendages called flags.
Fungal Infection

Fungal Infections

Fungi are a diverse group of organisms that can cause infections in humans. Examples of fungal infections include:

  1. Ringworm: a skin disease that produces round red areas, especially on the head or the feet.
  2. Athlete’s foot: a fungal infection affecting mainly the skin between the toes. It is a form of ringworm.
  3. Thrush: type of yeast, that grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body.
  4. Valley fever: is an infection caused by the fungus Coccidioides which grows in the soil and dirt.

Transmission of Communicable Diseases

The transmission of communicable disease refers to how the disease spreads from one person to another. Communicable diseases can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, contaminated objects, or the air. Examples of how communicable diseases can be transmitted include:

  1. Direct contact: The disease can be spread through physical contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids (fluids in the body such as blood, semen, and saliva), such as blood, saliva, or semen. This can happen through activities such as sexual contact, sharing needles, or touching an open wound.
  2. Indirect contact: The disease can be spread through contact with contaminated objects, such as doorknobs, countertops, or medical equipment. This can happen if a person touches a contaminated object and then touches their face or mouth.
  3. Airborne transmission: The disease can be spread through the air, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes and releases tiny droplets that contain the virus or bacteria. This can happen when people are in close proximity (the state of being near to somebody/something in distance or time) to one another, especially in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces.
  4. Vector-borne transmission: The disease can be spread through the bites of infected insects or animals, such as mosquitoes or ticks.

Understanding how communicable diseases are transmitted is important for preventing their spread. This includes measures such as practising good hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick people, and using protective barriers like condoms or face masks.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Communicable Diseases

The symptoms of communicable diseases can vary depending on the specific disease, but here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  1. Fever: a higher-than-normal body temperature.
  2. Coughing: a sudden and repetitive expulsion of air from the lungs.
  3. Sneezing: a sudden and forceful expulsion of air from the nose and mouth.
  4. Sore throat: pain, scratchiness, or irritation in the throat.
  5. Runny or stuffy nose: excess mucus production or blockage in the nasal passages.
  6. Body aches: general feelings of discomfort, pain, or soreness throughout the body.
  7. Fatigue: a feeling of exhaustion or lack of energy.
  8. Diarrhea: loose, watery stools occurring more frequently than usual.
  9. Vomiting: the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.
  10. Skin rash: a change in the appearance or texture of the skin.

It’s important to note that some communicable diseases may not cause any symptoms at all, or may only cause mild symptoms that go unnoticed. If you suspect you may have an infectious disease, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately to prevent its spread and ensure proper treatment.

Diagnosis of Communicable Diseases

The diagnosis of communicable diseases typically involves a healthcare provider evaluating a patient’s symptoms, medical history, and exposure to other sick individuals. The healthcare provider may perform a physical examination and take samples of bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, or saliva, to test for the presence of the microorganism causing the disease. Laboratory tests may include cultures, PCR tests, or antibody tests, depending on the specific disease. In some cases, imaging tests like X-rays or CT scans are used to help diagnose the disease. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases are important for preventing their spread and minimizing their impact on the body.

Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease

Preventing and controlling communicable diseases involves taking steps to prevent their spread and minimize their impact on individuals and communities. Here are some ways to prevent and control communicable diseases:

  1. Practice good hygiene: Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals are all important ways to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
  2. Get vaccinated: Vaccines are available for many communicable diseases, and getting vaccinated can help prevent their spread. It’s important to follow the recommended vaccination schedule for your age group and stay up to date on booster shots as needed.
  3. Use protective barriers: Using protective barriers like condoms or face masks can help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections or airborne diseases.
  4. Seek early diagnosis and treatment: If you suspect you may have an infectious disease, seek medical attention right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the disease from spreading to others and minimize its impact on your body.
  5. Follow public health guidelines: During outbreaks or pandemics, it’s important to follow public health guidelines, such as wearing masks, practising social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. These measures can help prevent the spread of the disease and protect vulnerable populations.

Preventing and controlling communicable diseases requires a coordinated effort from individuals, healthcare providers, and public health officials. By working together and following best practices, we can help prevent the spread of communicable diseases and promote global health security.

Treatment of Communicable Diseases

The treatment of communicable diseases can vary depending on the specific disease and its severity. However, here are some general guidelines:

  1. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are drugs that can kill or slow the growth of bacterial infections. They are not effective against viral infections. If you are diagnosed with a bacterial infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to help treat the disease.
  2. Antivirals: Antiviral drugs can help treat some viral infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and influenza. However, not all viral infections have effective treatments.
  3. Antiparasitics: Antiparasitic drugs can help treat parasitic infections, such as malaria, pinworm infection, and giardiasis.
  4. Supportive care: In addition to specific medications, supportive care can help manage symptoms and improve overall health. This may include rest, fluids, pain relievers, and other treatments to help manage specific symptoms.
  5. Prevention: Vaccines are available to prevent some communicable diseases, such as measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B. Practicing good hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick people, and using protective barriers like condoms or face masks can also help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for treating communicable diseases, as untreated or improperly treated infections can lead to serious complications or the spread of the disease to others.

Current Challenges and Future Directions

Right now, we’re facing a bunch of challenges when it comes to communicable diseases. There are new infectious diseases popping up, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are spreading, and we’re constantly under the threat of pandemics. To make matters worse, things like climate change, globalization, and the lack of proper public health infrastructure in various parts of the world tend to make these challenges even more difficult.

To address these challenges, there are several future directions for communicable disease control and prevention. These include:

  1. Strengthening public health infrastructure: This involves improving disease surveillance, increasing laboratory capacity, and building stronger health systems in countries with limited resources.
  2. Developing new vaccines and treatments: Research and development of new vaccines and treatments are critical for preventing and treating communicable diseases. This includes efforts to develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
  3. Promoting One Health Approaches: One Health is an approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. Promoting One Health approaches can help prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases and reduce the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
  4. Improving global health security: This involves strengthening international partnerships and cooperation to prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. This includes supporting the World Health Organization and other international organizations that play a key role in global health security.

Overall, the challenges and future directions of communicable diseases highlight the importance of continued investment in public health and global health security to protect the health of individuals and communities around the world.


So, to sum it up, we should take communicable diseases seriously as they can greatly affect people and communities. It’s crucial for us to comprehend the various types of communicable diseases and how they spread in order to prevent their transmission and reduce their impact.

Measures such as practising good hygiene, getting vaccinated, seeking early diagnosis and treatment, and following public health guidelines during outbreaks can help to control the spread of communicable diseases. Furthermore, we need to continue researching and investing in global health security to make sure we’re ready to respond to new and emerging communicable disease threats. When we collaborate to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, we can safeguard our health and the well-being of everyone around us.

Further Reading

We express our heartfelt gratitude to our readers for their unwavering support in engaging with the IntakeLearn article on the management of diseases. We will continuously provide significant information you can check articles like and .

For more information on this topic, you can check other sources:

  1. Wikipedia:
  2. Wikipedia:,_emerging
  3. Wikipedia:
  4. Wikipedia:


1 Comment

Akshay Sharma · May 29, 2023 at 9:48 pm

Your article about the communicable disease is very informative. Would like to see a lot more content on this. Thank you for sharing this kind of article.

Leave a Reply