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Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases

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A disease is any abnormal condition that obstructs normal bodily functions and often leads to a feeling of pain and weakness. It is usually associated with symptoms and signs. It is a pathologic condition in which the normal functioning of the body is impaired or disrupted, resulting in distress, or death. We can say that good health is the state where we are physically, mentally, and socially fit, and disease is a factor that affects health. A condition can be either due to structural disorder or functional abnormality in the body. 

Infectious diseases, deficiency diseases, hereditary diseases (including genetic and non-genetic hereditary disorders), and physiological diseases are the four basic categories of diseases. Diseases can also be divided into categories such as communicable and non-communicable. Here, we will talk about communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases. 

We can call diseases those abnormalities in our body, which cause discomfort as a result of organs or organ systems being affected. It is essential to know that there is a condition that is responsible for the improper functioning of the body. We realize that something is wrong when we notice the signs and symptoms. A proper diagnosis of the disease is possible by visible signs that our body exhibits. These signs are called symptoms. It is these symptoms that help in the accurate diagnosis of the disease. The study of disease is called pathology. 

Communicable Diseases

The term "communicable disease" refers to illnesses that can be passed from one person to another through a variety of means. The spread of communicable diseases is aided and accelerated by socioeconomic, environmental, and behavioral variables, as well as international travel and migration. It includes contact with blood and bodily fluids, breathing an airborne virus, or by an insect bite.

Vaccine-preventable, foodborne, zoonotic, healthcare-related, and communicable diseases are all serious hazards to human health, and they can even jeopardize global health security. The pathogen or infectious agent, as well as the mode of transmission, determine how these diseases spread.


  • AIDS

  • Polio

  • Measles

  • Influenza 

  • Tuberculosis

  • Whooping cough

  • Typhoid

  • Cholera


Pathogens that are transferred from one organism to another produce communicable diseases. Pathogens are organisms that cause disease. Viruses, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and worms are the five basic forms of pathogenic organisms.


Communicable diseases commonly cause headaches, runny noses, flu, vomiting, fever, dysentery, diarrhea, cough, malaria, muscle aches, rabies, itching, and other symptoms.



The treatment of the communicable disease depends on the type of microorganism that causes the infection.

  • If bacteria create a disease, antibiotic treatment usually kills the bacteria and brings the infection to a close.

  • Supportive therapy, such as rest and increased hydration intake, are frequently used to treat viral infections.

  • Antifungal and antiparasitic treatments, such as fluconazole, and antiparasitic pharmaceuticals, such as mebendazole, are used to treat fungal and parasitic infections.


Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases or NCDs generally are long-lasting and progress slowly, and thus they are sometimes also referred to as chronic diseases. They can also result from exposure to adverse environments or from genetically determined abnormalities, which may be seen at birth or which may become apparent later in life. The majority of non-communicable infectious diseases are non-infectious, except parasitic disorders where the parasite's life cycle does not require direct host-to-host transmission.

Examples of Major Non–Communicable Disease Include:

Parkinson's disease, autoimmune diseases, strokes, the majority of heart diseases, the majority of cancers, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, and others are examples of non-communicable diseases.


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are referred to as "lifestyle" diseases because the majority of these illnesses are preventable. Tobacco use (smoking), hazardous alcohol use, poor diets (high consumption of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and trans-fatty acids), and physical inactivity are the most common causes.


  • Short of breath

  • Severe pain or discomfort in the chest

  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat

  • Dizziness and weakness

  • Severe headache

  • Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech

  • Loss of strength in arms and legs

  • Dropping face, arm, leg especially on one side of the body

  • Difficulty of seeing with one or both eyes

  • Fainting or unconsciousness


There is no permanent cure for NCDs. Medications and therapies help in relieving most of the symptoms. NCDs are lifestyle diseases. Prevention and management are better than cure in case of NCDs. In the case of cancer, early diagnosis helps in treatment. Lifestyle changes such as giving up on smoking and alcohol can bring about improvements in the case of NCDs. Fig 1


What is Asymptomatic Transmission? 

Sometimes we hear a lot about the asymptomatic condition, particularly concerning the spread of COVID19. Asymptomatic transmission refers to a transmission of the virus from a person who does not develop or show any symptoms. People who are infected with COVID19 could likely transmit the virus before they develop any signs or symptoms. It is vital to know that pre-symptomatic transmission requires the virus to spread through infected droplets or through touching contaminated surfaces.


Nearly fifty percent of infections of regular seasonal flu may be asymptomatic. It may be in part due to pre-existing partial immunity. It may also be the case when asymptomatic patients shed their virus presence and can transmit the disease but not at the same rate as symptomatic persons. Now, it becomes a case of an invisible transmission of the virus.


It is important to note that 75 percent of people who have the flu show no symptoms for a long time.


It is tough to call this situation good or bad. It can be good that many people with flu do not experience symptoms and hardship. However, to limit the spread of a pandemic, this can be a stressful situation as it would be unclear who is infected and who is not.

Last updated date: 27th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases

1.  What can be done to prevent disease?

Any disease, both communicable and non-communicable, as well as allergies and infections, can be avoided by maintaining good hygiene. Other preventive actions include:

  •  Maintaining a clean and orderly environment.

  •  Drinking water that has been cleaned and boiled.

  •  Always eat food that has been cleansed, washed, and boiled.

  •  Get immunized or take your medications as directed.

  •  Washing hands frequently with germ-free hand soap.

2. What are the different types of fungi?

They are thread-like parasites that are unable to generate their food and rely on other organic matter to survive. Infections induced by fungi include ringworm and athlete's foot.


Other agents operate as carriers or vectors, carrying disease-causing bacteria and allowing them to move from one person to another. Mosquitoes, rats, house flies, and other vectors are among them.

3. Can non-communicable diseases be passed down via the generations?

A non-communicable disease is a non-infectious illness that cannot be passed from one person to another. It also has a lengthy life expectancy. This is sometimes referred to as a chronic illness. These disorders can be caused by a mix of genetic, physiological, lifestyle, and environmental factors.

4. Why is it so necessary to research the epidemiology of communicable diseases?

Epidemiology is the scientific study of diseases in communities, with a focus on how, when, and why they occur. Infectious disorders like coronavirus and non-infectious diseases like arthritis are among the diseases investigated. Epidemiologists assist us in determining where disease originates and who it is most likely to affect when it strikes a population. The data acquired will be utilized to restrict the disease's spread and prevent future outbreaks.