Infectious Diseases

Avian influenza, acute conjunctivitis, cholera, dengue fever, hand, foot and mouth disease, hepatitis B, HIV, influenza, malaria, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), tuberculosis and typhoid fever are just some examples of infectious diseases.

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What are Infectious Diseases? 

Infectious diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites. These communicable diseases can be spread directly or indirectly from a living thing to another.

Diseases which are spread from animals to humans, such as avian influenza, are known as zoonotic diseases.

Disease Transmission 

The modes of transmission of communicable diseases vary. Some infectious diseases also have more than one mode of transmission.

Droplets in the Air

Diseases such as influenza (flu) are spread when one comes into contact with the virus, which is suspended in the air. In addition, contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles may also be acquired through breathing or being in close contact with an infected person. In general, sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking and spitting spread these infectious agents.

Insects or Disease Vectors 

Some insects help in the transmission of diseases by carrying the infectious agent. Malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever are examples of diseases spread by mosquitoes. In addition, typhoid fever and some food-borne infections may be caused by eating food that flying insects have landed on. 

Contact 

Any object has the potential to be a carrier of an infectious agent. Dirty clothes and linens, utensils and unsterilised hospital equipment are some examples of breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. 

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) 

Diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, syphilis and gonorrhoea involve an exchange of bodily fluids, usually through unsafe sexual activities. Some STIs may also be transmitted through transfusion of blood and blood products, and contaminated needles and syringes. 


Emerging and Re-emerging Zoonoses



Animals have become a source of emerging infectious diseases. These emerging diseases have potentially serious effects on human health. Some examples found in the region include the avian influenza, nipah, hendra and SARS.


Vaccination for Prevention of Infectious Diseases

Vaccination can help prevent some infectious diseases and is considered one of the most cost-effective health investments.




Age Vaccine Immunisation Against
At BirthBCG
Hepatitis B - 1st Dose
Tuberculosis
Hepatitis B
1 MonthHepatitis B - 2nd DoseHepatitis B
3 Months

DTaP - 1st Dose**

IPV - 1st Dose

Hib - 1st Dose

PCV - 1st Dose

Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus
Poliomyelitis
Haemophilus Influenzae type b
Pneumococcal Disease
4 Months

DTap - 2nd Dose**

IPV - 2nd Dose

Hib - 2nd Dose

Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus

Poliomyelitis

Haemophilus Influenzae type b

5 Months

DTaP - 3rd Dose**

IPV - 2nd Dose

Hib - 3rd Dose

PCV - 2nd Dose

Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus

Poliomyelitis

Haemophilus Influenzae type b

Pneumococcal Disease

5-6 Months*Hepatitis B - 3rd DoseHepatitis B
12 months

MMR - 1st Dose

PCV - 1st Booster

Measles, Mumps & Rubella

Pneumococcal Disease

15 - 18 Months***MMR - 2nd DoseMeasles, Mumps & Rubella
18 months

DTap - 1st Booster

IPV - 1st Booster

Hib - 1st Booster

Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus

Poliomyelitis

Haemophilus Influenzae type b

10-11 Years
(Primary 5)
Tdap - 2nd Booster
Oral Sabin - 2nd Booster
Diphtheria & Tetanus
Poliomyelitis
National Childhood Immunisation Schedule - Singapore****

* 3rd dose of HepB can be given with 3rd dose of DTaP, IPV and Hib for the convenience of parents.
** DT-containing vaccines
*** 2nd Dose of MMR can be given between 15-18 months (Applicable to children born from 1 Dec 2010)
**** w.e.f June 2013
According to the Infectious Disease Act, it is compulsory for parents or guardians to ensure that their children are vaccinated against diphtheria and measles.


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