Diseases: Cause and Control

What is Disease?

Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. A condition of the body in which the vital functions are disturbed physiologically or psychologically is called a disease.

Categories of Diseases

  • When the occurrence of the disease is restricted to a particular area and affects a small number of people, it is known as an endemic disease. Examples: Yellow fever, goitre
  • When the disease spreads from place to place, followed by its outbreak and attacks a large population at the same time, it is known as an epidemic disease. Example: Plague
  • When the occurrence of the disease is worldwide, it is known as a pandemic disease. Example: AIDS
  • Diseases occurring in single, scattered cases are known as a sporadic diseases. Examples: Malaria, cholera
  • Diseases caused by infectious agents or pathogens are called communicable or infectious diseases. Examples: Tuberculosis, chickenpox, measles
  • Diseases which do not spread from one person to another are called non-communicable or noninfectious diseases. Examples: Beriberi, scurvy, arthritis
  • Diseases caused by bacteria are called bacterial diseases. Examples: Cholera, tetanus, syphilis
  • Diseases caused by viruses are called viral diseases. Examples: Poliomyelitis, mumps, rabies
  • Diseases caused by protozoa are called protozoal diseases. Examples: Malaria, amoebic dysentery
  • Diseases caused by parasitic worms are called parasitic diseases. Examples: Ascariasis, taeniasis
  • Diseases caused by consumption of food contaminated with chemical toxins or pathogens are called food-borne diseases. Examples: Taeniasis, trichinosis
  • Diseases caused by consumption of contaminated water are called water-borne diseases. Examples: Typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis A
  • Diseases which spread through air when droplets of pathogens are expelled into the air due to coughing, sneezing or talking are called air-borne diseases. Examples: Influenza, meningitis
  • Diseases caused by pathogens transmitted by insects and ticks are called insect-borne diseases. Examples: Malaria, elephantiasis

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