Infectious and contagious diseases are one of the major causative agents behind the most severe health disorders in humans. You have quite likely heard the terms “contagious” and “infectious” diseases used fairly often, especially during the prime COVID-19 pandemic era.
Generally, both the terms have been interchangeably used in news coverage and media. Understanding the distinction could be a life-saver for you. Therefore, it is incredibly important to understand the differences between infectious and contagious diseases. So without any further delay, let’s have a look!
Inter-Relation Between Infectious and Contagious Diseases
Before we delve into the major differences between infectious and contagious diseases, let’s see how these key terms are related.
- Microscopic germs like bacteria, parasites and viruses that enter our body are the reason behind infectious and contagious diseases.
- All contagious diseases are infectious diseases. However, every infectious disease is not contagious.
- As a result, both these terms are often used as an alternative to each other.
Key Differences between Infectious and Contagious Diseases
1. Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases refer to those diseases that are caused by microbes including bacteria, viruses and parasites or contaminated food and water. In some cases, infectious diseases can directly spread from an infected person to another person, but not all.
Some infectious diseases can be transmitted to humans by an animal or insect. However, these diseases are usually not contagious among humans. For instance, Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected insect. However, you cannot pass or contract Lyme disease due to direct or indirect contact with someone who has it.
Lyme disease, food poisoning and infection in the urinary tract are some examples of infectious diseases that are not contagious.
2. Contagious Diseases
Contagious diseases are those diseases that spread from one person to another by establishing direct physical contact or indirect contact with infected individuals. Other factors like touching or using things that have been used by infected people can also facilitate the spread of contagious diseases. Another way contagious diseases spread is when germs travel through air whenever someone coughs or sneezes in your close proximity.
Some examples of diseases that are both contagious and infectious may include common cold, tuberculosis, chickenpox, measles and the flu.
The best way to protect yourself from contagious disease is by frequently washing your hands, staying away from infected people and vaccinating yourself.
Overall, infectious and contagious diseases are scientifically different terms. Therefore, it is important to understand the key differences between infectious and contagious diseases while addressing them on public health platforms. Understanding the differences will greatly help people work towards preventative strategies.
If you are struggling with infectious or contagious diseases, it would be best to seek professional guidance. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Diwan, one of the most reputable specialists in Houston. Contact us today!