Infectious Diseases

Here are some common types of infectious diseases. Learn how they are spread and the ways to avoid infection.

Some communicable diseases and infectious diseases are highly contagious.

What are Infectious Diseases?

Infectious diseases are diseases caused by living organisms like viruses and bacteria. Described as contagious, 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 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 a 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 a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites.
  • Food and drink contaminated by stools or urine
  • Insects, via their bites or direct infection
    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.
  • 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)

This infectious disease is commonly spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions and body fluids of a person with SARS.

Influenza

This infectious disease is commonly spread by inhaling respiratory droplets containing the flu virus.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease


The highly contagious hand, foot and mouth disease is commonly spread by bodily fluids.

 

This infectious disease is commonly spread by contact with an infected person's nasal or throat discharges or stools.

Dengue

This infectious disease is commonly spread by bites from an infected mosquito.

Hepatitis A

This infectious disease is commonly spread by consuming contaminated food, such as raw or partially cooked shellfish.

Vaccination for Prevention of Infectious Diseases

You can take vaccines to keep contagious diseases at bay

Many contagious diseases are preventable with vaccines. There is no reason why you should suffer from severe complications these diseases can cause. Learn more about vaccinations.

According to the Infectious Disease Act, it is compulsory for parents or guardians to ensure that their children are vaccinated against diphtheria and measles.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.


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