Communicable or infectious diseases are illnesses that are contagious and meet the following four criteria: 1) presence of a susceptible host, 2) presence of a disease-producing agent, 3) a mode of transmission and 4) a mode of entry into a susceptible host. Communicable diseases are caused by a variety of agents including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Transmission can occur directly from a person or animal to another, or indirectly though contaminated food, objects, or water. Specific examples of modes of transmission include physical contact with the body or blood of an infected person or animal, by droplets in the air, through sexual activity, and from ingesting contaminated food or water.
Communicable diseases cause a wide range of illnesses from mild colds and respiratory infections to severe illnesses that can result in death. The transmission of a majority of these diseases can be prevented by good hand hygiene, environmental sanitation, and through safe sexual practices or abstinence. In addition, safe food handling and storage and cooking foods to adequate temperatures can minimize the risk of illness.
Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services is committed to providing equitable, culturally competent care to all individuals served, regardless of race, age, sex, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
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