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What is a communicable disease?

A communicable disease is one that is spread from one person to another through a
variety of ways that include: contact with blood and bodily fluids; breathing in an
airborne virus; or by being bitten by an insect.
Reporting of cases of communicable disease is important in the planning and evaluation
of disease prevention and control programs, in the assurance of appropriate medical
therapy, and in the detection of common-source outbreaks. California law mandates
healthcare providers and laboratories to report over 80 diseases or conditions to their
local health department. Some examples of the reportable communicable diseases
include Hepatitis A, B & C, influenza, measles, and salmonella and other food borne
illnesses.

Common Cold
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases states that as of 2007, Americans have an
estimated 1 billion colds each year. The age group most susceptible to repeated colds is children.
People older than 60 average less than one cold a year. The common cold is a viral infection.

Gastroenteritis
Viral gastroenteritis is a highly contagious disease spread by contact, such as sharing food or eating
and drinking from contaminated utensils. Depending on the specific virus, gastroenteritis lasts from
one to two days or up to 10 days. Two known causes of viral gastroenteritis are rotavirus and
norovirus.

Strep Throat
Strep throat is a communicable disease caused by group A streptococci bacteria. KidsHealth states
that teens are particularly susceptible to strep throat during the school year. Strep throat bacteria
spread easily by sneezing, coughing or shaking hands. A rapid strep test in the doctor's office will
confirm whether the symptoms are because of strep throat or a viral sore throat.

Pink Eye
Pink eye is a common name for a highly contagious form of bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. The
virus that causes the common cold causes viral pink eye. Staphylococcus or streptococcus cause
bacterial pink eye. To reduce the chances for spreading pink eye, avoid touching the infected eye,
wash your hands frequently and avoid reusing towels or washcloths in contact with the eye.

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Fifth Disease

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia states that fifth disease, a human parvovirus, is most
common among children and spreads through direct contact with nasal and throat discharge.
Exanthem, a skin rash or eruption, appears at onset of the disease. Fifth disease spreads easily
because it is contagious before symptoms of the rash appear.

Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium, is a
common infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than
700,000 people acquire gonorrheal infections every year. Sexual activity is the primary method of
spreading the disease.

Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a viral infection of the liver. The three types of hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and
hepatitis C. The most prevalent of the three types worldwide is the hepatitis B virus, with about 350
million people infected in 2005. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to lifethreatening conditions, such as cirrhosis and liver failure.

Whooping Cough
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly communicable disease that affects all ages. The symptoms
of whooping cough include respiratory infection, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough that
progresses to an uncontrollable cough with a high-pitched whoop.

Rotavirus
Rotavirus is a highly contagious infection that affects the gastrointestinal system of children.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever and watery diarrhea. Rotavirus is a noted problem in
daycare facilities. The virus spreads from the stool of infected individuals. Poor hand washing
technique following toilet use easily spreads the rotavirus.

HIV/AIDS
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in the
late stages of infection. HIV is in the semen, vaginal fluid and blood of infected persons. Unprotected

sex and shared needles or syringes with HIV or AIDS carriers are the main methods of disease
transmission.

A disease is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that


affects part or all of an organism. The causal study of disease is called pathology.
Disease is often construed as a medical condition associated with
specific symptoms and signs.[1] It may be caused by factors originally from an external
source, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such
asautoimmune diseases. In humans, "disease" is often used more broadly to refer to
any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress,social problems, or death to the
person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader
sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections,
isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function,
while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable
categories. Diseases usually affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as
contracting and living with a disease can alter one's perspective on life, and one's
personality.