Infectious Diseases

Here is information on some types of common infectious diseases you should be familiar with and how they are spread.

Infectious diseases

What are infectious Diseases?

Infectious diseases are diseases caused by living organisms like viruses and bacteria. They can be passed from person to person through body secretions, insects or other means. Examples are SARS, influenza, the common cold, tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis A and B.

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

How are infectious Diseases commonly spread?

  • Person-to-person contact through skin wounds.
    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.
  • Droplets in the air e.g. when an infected person coughs or sneezes
    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.
  • Food and drink contaminated by stools or urine
  • Insects, via their bites or direct infection
    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.
  • 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.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) 

Commonly spread by: direct contact with respiratory secretions and body fluids of a person with SARS.

Influenza

Commonly spread by: inhaling respiratory droplets containing the flu virus.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease



 

Commonly spread by: contact with an infected person's nasal or throat discharges or stools. 

Dengue 

Commonly spread by: bites from an infected mosquito.

Hepatitis A

Commonly spread by: consuming contaminated food, such as raw or partially-cooked shellfish.

Vaccination for Prevention of Infectious Diseases

Vaccination for Prevention of Infectious Diseases

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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