Common Communicable Diseases

Top 10 Most Communicable Diseases

Worldwide, the lack of clean water for drinking, cooking and washing, and the lack of sanitary waste disposal are to blame for over 12 million deaths a year, say researchers. Communicable diseases are those diseases which spread through direct contact with infected people. Such diseases can also spread if a healthy person touches objects that have been contaminated by various pathogens. Such diseases are normally caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. These pathogens spread from one person to another through bodily fluids such as saliva and nasal secretions.

In such diseases, it is very important to maintain hygiene as this reduces the possibility of contracting an infection. Touching your eyes, mouth or nose without washing your hands can cause the germs to be transferred to your body.

This eventually results in an infection. There are several kinds of communicable diseases. Some are mild and the symptoms wear off within a few days. Others are more severe and require strong medication that would help to destroy the harmful micro-organisms in the body.


Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a condition, which is characterized by yellowish dis­colouration of the skin and whites of eyes. It is a symptom or clinical sign, not a disease by itself. The yellow colouration is caused by an excess amount of bile pigment known as bilirubin in the body. Normally, bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of haemoglobin during the destruction of worn-out red blood cells

Common Cold

This ailment is caused by several types of viruses. These viruses are mostly airborne and are also highly contagious. They spread from infected individuals to healthy individuals at even the slightest contact. Most people suffer from this ailment about four to five times each year. Colds are more common in children than in adults.

On a normal basis, colds do not require any specific medication as the symptoms disappear within three to four days. However, if the cold is accompanied by fever, it is important to seek medical help so as to bring the fever under control. Colds must not be neglected as they are capable of causing sicknesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a self-limiting disease that is found all across the world. It is usually transmitted through oral ingestion of infected material (mainly water), but sometimes transmitted parenterally; most cases resemble the symptoms of a mild flu attack and jaundice is mild too.

Hepatitis B

This disease affects the liver of the person. The liver performs several functions which include filtering out impurities, storing nutrients and eliminating infections. The Hepatitis B virus causes the liver to become inflamed.

This prevents it from doing its normal work. As a result of this, sicknesses occur in the body. Dark yellow urine, jaundice and nausea are some of the symptoms of this condition. Hepatitis B spreads through bodily fluids. It can even be transferred from a mother to an unborn child. This condition requires prompt medical aid that can destroy the harmful Hepatitis B virus.


This disease affects the intestines and is caused by certain viruses and bacteria. The main reason for the occurrence of this disease is the lack of proper hygiene. People who consume food without washing their hands are very prone to suffering from this condition as the germs get an opportunity to enter the intestinal tract of the person.

This ailment is very common in places where proper hygiene is not maintained. The common symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhoea and pain in the abdomen.


Malaria is a very common disease in developing countries. The word malaria is derived from the word ‘mal-aria meaning bad air. Ronald Ross first discovered the transmission of malaria by mosquitoes, while he was working in India (Secunderabad, AP) in 1897. Malaria is one of the most widespread diseases in the world.

Each year, there are 300 to 500 million clinical cases of malaria, 90 percent of them in Africa alone. Among all infectious diseases, malaria continues to be one of the biggest contributors to disease burden in terms of deaths and suffering. Malaria kills more than one million children a year in the developing world, accounting for about half of malaria deaths globally.