Dec - 1 - 2014

Communicable Diseases Definition

In order for someone to fully understand the communicable diseases definition, one must first comprehend the meaning of disease. A disease is a medical condition that causes an organ (of either a person or of an animal) not to work properly and in unison with the other organs; in consequence developing the cascade effect, in which one’s overall medical condition is not good, making them feel under the weather or really sick, depending on the type of the disease they have. A disease may be triggered by factors such as: an unbalanced diet (making sure your intake of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and lipids is adequate according to your age, sex and physical effort), microorganisms, hereditary reasons, etc.

Now that we have understood the meaning of a disease, we can further explain the communicable diseases definition. The main definition of a communicable disease is: a disease that can be transmitted from an infected person to another, thus infecting the latter one, or a disease that can be transferred from an infected organism to another organism. Such communicable disease are: bird flu, malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis, chickenpox (varicella), measles, plague, rabies, diphtheria, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases (HIV included), etc. Sometimes it is required that the infected remains in quarantine in order to prevent the disease from spreading.

Communicable diseases definition also implies a contagious disease can be transmitted through different types of bodily fluids or if another person or organism comes into contact with an object touched by an infected patient or by a bodily fluid of the infected patient, thus the disease can be spread though another species or vector or through the environment.

For a better understanding of the communicable diseases definition, we need to explain some terms that are frequently used with communicable diseases:

  • Carrier: is a person who has a contagious disease.

  • Contact: is a person who may have contacted an infected person.

  • Incubation period: is the period of time that passes from the moment a person a person is infected with a communicable disease and the moment the first symptoms of the disease appear. The period varies widely depending on the disease on the amount of virus.

  • Isolation period: is the period in which the infected patient remains or should remain in isolation from the other persons so that they do not contact the infectious disease.

  • Communicability period: the period in which a person may be developing a transmittable disease after contacting an infected person and can communicate it to others.

  • Quarantine period: is the period during which authorities may need to isolate a ship from coming into contact with the shore. This type of quarantine is rarely applied, except when major epidemic diseases, like cholera, plague or yellow fever, are present on the board of a ship.


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