Contagious diseases are infectious as well as non-infectious diseases that are transmitted to other people, either through direct contact, indirect contact or through airborne routes.   Most sexually transmitted diseases are deemed contagious due to being spread due person-to-person contact. Lab tests conducted by pathology services can be helpful in determining the existence and extent of certain contagious diseases in the body.

Here are the top 5 most contagious illnesses

  1. Common cold – This is the most highly contagious and the most common infectious disease in humans. This is an infection that has been a common thing since the existence of humanity. The average adult contracts common cold four times a year, while the average child gets it six to eight times.   The contagious nature of the disease comes in the form of inhalation of expelled germs in the mucus present in the air, and transfer of germs from the surface to the nose and eyes.
  2. Influenza – Also known as the flu, this is the second highest contagious illness. The cases can be mild to severe, resulting in nearly five million severe cases around the world. The common symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, tired muscles, and fatigue.  There can be accompanying symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.  Flu spread by contact and through sneezing and cough
  3. Conjunctivitis – Also known as pink eye, it is the inflammation of the outermost layer of the whitish part of the eye and the inner area of the eyelid. Due to this, the eye begins to look pink or reddish. Conjunctivitis may be accompanied by pain, itchiness, and burning sensation.  The most common causes are viral followed by bacterial infections.
  4. Viral gastroenteritis – This is an extremely contagious disease, caused by eating food or drinking water from contaminated utensils. Two of the common causes of viral gastroenteritis are rotavirus and norovirus.  The symptoms can last anywhere between two and ten days or more.
  5. Strep Throat – It is a highly contagious illness caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is also referred to as the most common throat infection caused due to bacteria. Some of the symptoms include a sore throat, fever, chills, and nausea, between two and five days of exposure. It is necessary to get timely medical intervention or the condition can lead to complications like scarlet fever, ear infection, and kidney problems.

 Difference between infectious diseases and contagious diseases

Infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms like bacteria and viruses that get into the body and cause problems. Out of these, some infectious diseases are spread from one person to the other; these are known as contagious diseases.  For instance, malaria is not a contagious disease; it is not spread from one to person, neither is it sexual transmitted. But it is infected by a person through the mosquito which carries the parasite called plasmodium.

Contagious diseases like common cold, flu or strep throat are passed from person to person in different ways, either through direct contact or indirect contact.  They can be passed through physical contact like kissing, sex or touching a person; or by coming in contact with airborne germs when the infected person sneezes or coughs.  It can also happen by touching or using something that has been touched by an infected person.

You can prevent contagious diseases by washing your hands well and avoiding contact with the ones who have such diseases.

Do not hesitate to go for diagnostic tests to find out if you have a contagious illness.  A timely lab test can help problems from escalating and getting speedy treatment. Opt for the best diagnostic services for effective treatment.

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